Incoming Honors College freshmen have a special opportunity to participate in one of our three Honors service-learning programs before formal classes start in the fall semester. Participants arrive on campus before their peers and devote the last week of their summer to service projects in the Tuscaloosa area. Each Honors Action program provides a unique experience for our students, so read through the descriptions and figure out which one is right for you. Current Honors College students serve as student leaders and directors, and Honors College staff members serve as advisors. Freshmen receive one hour of Pass/Fail UH 103 credit for their fall semester.
Alabama Action is a student-created service-learning experience for 150 Honors College freshmen that responds to the needs of the community by providing hands-on projects and issue-relevant education. Through Alabama Action, students foster relationships with like-minded freshmen, upperclassmen student leaders, and faculty. The University of Alabama quickly becomes home as the students live on campus, serve in the community and surrounding areas, and familiarize themselves with Tuscaloosa.
Service projects take place at local underprivileged schools where the students have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children not only through projects, such as mural painting, building an outdoor classroom, renovating schoolrooms, etc., but also by serving as mentors. Guest lecturers meet students on campus to engage in academic issue-relevant education, such as poverty in education, the meaning of civic engagement, and policy related issues. Participants will also return to the schools when the elementary students begin their school year to work on goal-setting, future plans, and character building through a set curriculum. This year, Alabama Action consists of two educational outreach projects with Faucett-Vestavia Elementary School and Matthews Elementary School. While each student will be assigned to a specific partnership and service project, all participants of Alabama Action will engage in common programming with the entire group (i.e., breakfasts, lectures, dinner, evening activities).
Outdoor Action is an exciting, week-long service-learning program designed to provide approximately 80 incoming freshmen the opportunity to engage in meaningful community-based partnerships. Participants enjoy outdoor activities from canoeing to river seining then work together on a day-and-a-half service project working with local environmental groups to improve outdoor infrastructure.
Black Belt Action
Black Belt Action is a week-long service-learning program designed to provide approximately 30 incoming freshmen a focused, transformative experience in Alabama’s Black Belt region. Named originally for its dark, fertile soil, the Black Belt is a strand of 14 counties that stretches across the Heart of Alabama – a region rich with historical significance, unique culture, and vibrant people.
This year, students will work to make an immediate positive impact in the community by leading renovation and renewal projects at a Head Start program in Marion, AL. Participants will explore the elements of ‘community’ and the implications of systemic poverty through discussion with local leaders, group reflection, and application of selected readings to their experience. Throughout the week, Black Belt Action participants will also have opportunities to acclimate to campus life, familiarize themselves with Tuscaloosa, and engage in common programming with the entire Honors Action group (i.e., breakfasts, lectures, dinner, evening activities).
Dates and Application
Honors Action 2014 begins Sunday, August 10, 2014 and concludes Friday, August 15, 2014. Participants will move into their residence halls prior to beginning the programs, at a time designated by the UA Office of Housing and Residential Communities.
To apply for one of the Honors Action programs, one must:
- Be an incoming UA freshman
- Be accepted into the Honors College
- Submit the online application, including the signed Liability Release (AA, OA, BA) and $195 deposit
The Honors Action deposit is non-refundable, and only one deposit is required between all Honors Action applications. However, if an applicant does not enroll in any Honors Action course, the money will be credited towards any outstanding balance on the student’s UA receivables account.