Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Advisor

John Giordano


The purpose of this study is to take a deeper look into the perceived benefits on host communities of short-term Alternative Spring Break programs associated with higher education institutions. A majority of the current literature is specifically student-development focused with regard to the impact of Alternative Spring Break trips. The motive for this study is to determine whether host communities are benefiting from these trips, however, the extent to which the goals and objectives of the sending organizations align with the host communities is extremely important in identifying if the host communities’ goals are being met by the sending organizations. Essentially, if the objectives of both the host communities and sending communities are not aligned, are the host community's needs being met? If their needs are not being met, are sending organizations fully reflecting on their Alternative Spring Break Trips, and do host communities truly benefit from these short-term Alternative Spring Break programs? Through an exploratory approach, the study surveys colleges and universities to gauge their objectives for these spring break programs and test whether those objectives were met. Host communities are also surveyed to gauge whether their objectives were met. The data was then compiled and analysed based on thirty-eight survey responses and then compared to identify any existing gaps between host communities and sending organizations' goals. Findings show that there are in fact gaps in objectives and meeting those objectives and recommendations are made to improve Alternative Spring Break programming for hosting communities.