Our Programs

Alternative Breaks

Engage and explore social issues and their impacts

Mason’s Alternative Break (AB) programs are collaboratively designed by students and staff to address social issues through education and community service. Each trip has a focus on a particular social issue and how it impacts the community. Through exploration and immersion into the social issue long before the trip starts, students are able to interrogate the root causes of social issues in a way that allows them to engage compassionately and think critically.

Applications are due late September each year.

Current Trip Offering

  • Indigenous Culture, Education, and Equity: Guatemala
  • Ecosystem Restoration: Stuart, Florida
  • It’s Not Them but Us - Turning the Tide on HIV/AIDS: Washington, DC
  • The Color of Justice: Mass Incarceration & Environmental Justice in Camden, NJ
  • Unlocking the Dream: Food Justice and Community Activism (Atlanta, GA)
  • Puerto Rico Renace (Rebirth)


Field Studies

Discover the world through hands-on experiential learning

Field studies, as practiced by Field Studies (FS) at SAIL, is an immersion model in which classroom material is explored and applied within a given field experience. Field Studies at SAIL defines “field experience” broadly to encompass a wide spectrum ranging from the natural world to human populations in their respective social and cultural contexts and settings, including how individuals behave in families, neighborhoods, and communities.

Field Studies experiences are often held during Winter and Summer break. Applications are due in October and March. 

Previous trips have included:

  • Leadership the Italian Perspective
  • Ethics and Leadership: Lessons from the Holocaust
  • Applied Engineering in Germany
  • Conservation and Sustainability of the Amazon Rainforest
  • Post Genocide Community Development and Spirituality: Cambodia
  • Post Genocide Reconciliation and Healing: Rwanda


Bonner Leader Program

Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve

The Bonner Leadership program affords college students an opportunity to use their energy, talents, and leadership skills to engage in community service while receiving developmental and financial support. It is a four-year program utilizing work-study or scholarship funding for students to volunteer with our local Community Service sites on social issues!

Applications are due March 15th. Click here to apply to the Bonner Leadership Program!


Leadership through Community Engagement LLC

Leaving a Leadership Legacy

The Leadership through Community Engagement LLC offers both first year and upperclass students the opportunity to live with peers interested in exploring social concerns in order to become an active part of solutions through community engagement. Based on the Social Change Model, residents examine local and global issues through academic study and activism, with an emphasis on relational leadership, positive change and active citizenship.


Community Based Learning (CBL)

Connecting coursework to community

Community Based Learning (CBL) is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Students and faculty partner with the community to work together towards community-driven social change.


Nonprofit Fellows

Behind the Scenes: What is it really like to work for a Nonprofit!

The Nonprofit Fellows are a select group of students who earn a minor in Nonprofit Studies through a semester-long immersion experience. The 20 - 25 Nonprofit Fellows are enrolled in the three courses and complete a 6-credit internship with a local nonprofit organization. The program is offered by the School of Integrative Studies in partnership with the Schar School of Policy and Government. Offered in the Spring semester, applications are due in October.


Leadership Minor (SIS)

This minor prepares students for transformative leadership in campus, local, national, and global contexts. Interdisciplinary and integrative classes examine leadership from multiple perspectives and disciplines, offering an understanding of socially-responsible leadership with an emphasis on community action. Through the required coursework and experiential learning, students critically examine diverse theories, research, and perspectives on leadership and are encouraged to explore topics such as social change and globalization, creative conflict resolution, the nature of power, oppression and influence, innovation, and systemic leadership. Civic engagement and multicultural competence are viewed as necessary requirements for leadership.This minor is open to students in all academic programs, schools, and majors.


Seeds of Change

This event celebrates and recognizes the impactful and incredible work we see in our community. We hope you will join us for light refreshments and the celebration of community engagement here at Mason. We will be awarding graduating seniors the Community Engagement Medallion and recognizing several unique and wonderful partnerships of community partners, faculty and students.