Our vision for Missouri State University is that every student at our institution will be active citizens by engaging in positive social change in local, national, and global communities. Pretty lofty, right? Bear Breaks Participants are making that vision a reality through the work and dedication they bring to Immersion Trips. As we know, the path toward active citizenship takes hard work, honesty, dedication, integrity, and is never ending. These trips, and the lessons learned from them, are connecting Citizen Bears with their unique visions for change.
Get out there! Experiential learning opportunities add so much value to a college education. We view community agencies as learning partners who provide insight and expertise to our college journey.
Unplug. Engage. Connect. Immersion Trips provide a rare opportunity to learn and grow with fellow students, to serve alongside communities, and to experience other parts of the world.
The magic of Immersion Trips is the bond created between students and the connections we build to active citizenship. Bring that magic back to Springfield and engage fellow students in creating positive change!
As part of the BreakAway movement, each trip also takes into account these components:
- Strong Direct Service - We promote “hands on” projects and activities that address unmet social needs, as determined by the community.
- Full Engagement - Participants are encouraged to align their values and actions with regard to choices about their alternative break experience. One example is the alcohol and drug free component to alternative breaks.
- Diversity and Social Justice - We recruit and include participants representing the range of students present in the campus community.
- Orientation - Prior to departure, participants are oriented to the mission and vision of the community, community partner, or organization(s) with which they will be working.
- Education - Provides facts and opinions from all perspectives on the issue, including ways that participants’ personal life choices are connected to the social issue.
- Training - Participants are provided with adequate training in skills necessary to carry out tasks and projects during the trip.
- Reflection - During the trip, participants are encouraged to reflect upon the experience they are having, synthesizing the direct service, education, and community interaction components. Time is set aside for this to take place both individually and as a group.
- Reorientation - Upon return to campus, participants transfer the lessons learned on break by identifying local organizations for continued education or service, sharing their experience to raise awareness of social issues, and by organizing or joining other small groups to take action on local issues through direct service, advocacy, and/or philanthropy.