Faculty & Staff

Below are the different ways that Faculty and Staff can be a part of our programs!

Volunteer at Friends & Neighbors Day!

Friends and Neighbors Day is a community service program that is open to all students, faculty, staff, and alumni during the academic year. Get to know students in a different light by working side-by-side and support wonderful nonprofits in our local community!

Register for an upcoming Friends & Neighbors Day


Apply to be an Alternative Break Advisor!

Alternative Breaks take students, student leaders, and faculty/staff to communities in need across the country and the world to perform vital service with amazing organizations. There are several domestic and international trips. Alternative Break Advisors are an integral part of the AB Program by providing support throughout the planning process and the trip itself. They serve as a resource and mentor for student coordinators and participants before, during, and after the trip.

The service activities that occur during the trips depend on the trip’s social issue, location, and partnering organizations. For Spring Break trips, service is 4-5 days out of the seven-day trip, with some evenings and days reserved for cultural and educational excursions into the local community. Winter Break trips have a few more days of service and of excursions as they occur over a longer period of time (approximately two weeks).

This is a fantastic experience that will allow you to work with highly motivated, dedicated students who care about volunteer service! Please review the following information about the Advisor role and this year’s trips. If you are interested in advising an Alternative Break, be sure to apply by the deadline listed.

Program Fees & Costs
The Volunteer Center covers the advisor’s program fee which includes flight/travel on the trip, housing, most meals (some programs have a few meals on your own), and programmed cultural and service activities for all Faculty/Staff Advisors. International Health Insurance is not covered and is billed directly to the advisor by the university for international trips (for ASB’s an estimated $40-50). You may want to bring extra cash for other food expenses, optional evening activities, and any personal purchases.

*If an advisor drops out from an AB trip after their name is submitted for their plane ticket, the advisor must cover the $200 change-of-name fee billed by the airline. 


The Advisor’s Role & Responsibilities

Before the trip: 

  • The advisor must be a full-time or part-time USC faculty or staff member.
  • The advisor is a volunteer. The advisor is not paid for their service.
  • If a faculty/staff member plans to travel on University time, it is their responsibility to receive travel permission from their supervisor.
  • The advisor is responsible for attending Alternative Break Pre-Trip meetings.
  • The advisor traveling internationally will need a valid passport. The Volunteer Center will not provide funding for passports/visas.

During the trip:

  • The advisor will support and guide the student trip coordinators throughout the trip.  
  • The advisor will serve as the designated representative of the University should an emergency arise.
  • The advisor will exercise his/her authority when necessary.
  • The advisor will participate in all trip service, reflection, and cultural activities.
  • Some advisors may need to drive students in a rental SUV or minivan.
  • The advisor must connect to the trip leaders on a daily basis to provide mentorship and facilitate leadership development.
  • The advisor should communicate and collaborate effectively with trip leaders and with community organization representatives.  
  • The advisor must be prepared to facilitate conflict resolution strategies.  
  • The advisor must be prepared to help participants process issues encountered.  
  • The advisor should be prepared to help trip leaders manage stress, logistics, conflict, exhaustion, and crisis.
  • The advisor must uphold the mission, values, and policies of the Alternative Breaks program.
  • The advisor may need to charge pay-as-you-go services such as gas, groceries to their credit card on trips where our partners are unable to provide or bill us for food/transportation. However, the Volunteer Center will submit reimbursements for staff immediately after they turn in their receipts. You will receive your check in 1-2 weeks.  If you have any questions or concerns you may speak with the Program Coordinator, Judy Sandoval.

After Trip:

  • The advisor must complete a Staff/Faculty Advisor Evaluation.
  • The advisor is invited to attend The Volunteer Center Service Banquet celebrating the programs’ achievements in April.
  • Advisors that covered any group costs may submit receipts to Judy Sandoval at judithsa@usc.edu or SKS410 to be reimbursed as soon as possible.

Thinking about applying? Learn more about our Alternative Break Trips.

Application Deadline for Advisors: October 15 at 11:59 pm (FINAL DEADLINE)

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Advisor FAQ’s:

    • Do advisors have to be a USC staff or faculty member to be an Alternative Break Advisor?  
      Yes, you must be employed by USC as a full-time or part-time staff member or faculty member.
    • How many advisor positions are available? Will I be chosen?   
      Each one of our service trips is searching for 1 advisor, and it depends how many apply. The international trips have the most competitive/selective application process. 
    • How are Advisors and Trips paired?  
      Advisors and trips are based on their interest in the social issues, knowledge about the issue, and the fit between the Student Trip Coordinators and the advisor.
    • Which students participate in AB Trips?
      Any student currently enrolled at USC in a Bachelor’s or Master’s Program can participate.
    • How are participants selected?  
      Students apply online. They are interviewed and selected by student Trip Coordinators, which advisors support.
    • Do advisors share a room with students?
      Exact accommodations vary by trip. If there are single rooms available, advisors will have their own room. However, in the case of Home Stays there is often double occupancy and single rooms are not available. 
    • Can family come on alternative break trips?
      No. We do not recommend that advisors bring their families because they have a large group of students to supervise and support.
    • What expenses are covered?
      The program fee which includes flight/travel on the trip, housing, most meals (some programs have a few meals on your own), and programmed cultural and service activities.
    • What expenses are not covered?
      – Transportation from your home to the airport and vice versa
      – Room Incidentals (i.e. Telephone Calls, Wifi, Movie Charges, Safe Rental, Room Upgrades, etc.)
      – Airport Baggage Fees for extra luggage
      – Food Purchases not authorized by/included in the AB Trip
      – Any Expenses for tourist/cultural activities not part of the AB itinerary (on your own) 
      – Any Expense without an Original Itemized Receipt
      – Souvenirs
      – Travel Insurance
      – Health Insurance
    • Do advisors have to fluently speak another language?
      Although not required, some overseas trips may prefer to have an advisor who is fluent in the language spoken at AB trip location. However, language is not the only factor when selecting advisors.