Incoming Honors College freshmen have a special opportunity to participate in one of four Honors service-learning program before formal classes begin in the Fall. Participants arrive on campus before their peers and devote the week before the fall semester begins to service projects in west Alabama. Each program provides a unique experience for our students. Current Honors College students serve as student leaders and directors, and staff members serve as advisors. Freshmen receive one hour of pass/fail UH 103 credit for the fall semester. Upon successful completion, freshmen receive one hour of pass/fail credit for the fall semester.

The application for the 2018 Honors Action programs will open the week of March 19. The cost of the program is $225.00.

Alabama Action is a student-created service-learning opportunity for approximately 150 Honors College freshmen that responds to the needs of the community by providing hands-on projects and issue-relevant education. Service projects, such as mural painting, landscaping, building and other projects, take place at local underserved schools. Guest lecturers meet with students on campus to discuss issues such as systemic poverty, the meaning of civic engagement, and policy related issues. Through this experience, students make connections with other incoming students, student leaders, and Honors College faculty and staff. For 2018, Alabama Action is partnering with the Tuscaloosa County School System.

Outdoor Action is an exciting student-led, service-learning program which introduces 76 incoming freshmen to the Tuscaloosa community and surrounding area through various outdoor activities. Throughout the week, students work with local environmental groups to complete a wide variety of service projects, which aim to increase their knowledge and awareness of local environmental issues. In addition to serving the surrounding community, the program also provides students ample exposure to and appreciation for recreational areas near campus through activities such as canoeing, river seining, and hiking. In order to ensure incoming freshman transition comfortably from home to community to classroom, students participate in daily discussions and engage with faculty members over the course of the week.

Black Belt Action is a six-day, one credit-hour course that explores the dynamics of “community” through service-learning and group reflection focused in Alabama’s Black Belt region, a rural area originally named for its dark soil. Each day freshman participants engage in ongoing community projects coordinated in partnership with local non-profit organizations and community leaders. Student leaders facilitate discussions which examine how the fundamental elements of community transcend racial, socioeconomic, political, and geographic differences after a guest speaker each day. Participants also have the opportunity to join other Honors Action students for evening social activities.

Health Action is a service-learning program focused on addressing health disparities. In 2018, thirty-five Honors freshmen and seven student leaders will work on projects in partnership with Focus First and the Druid City Garden Project. Guest speakers will discuss the effects of poverty and health disparities, as well as how to maintain one’s health throughout college. Student leaders will lead discussion after the guest speakers; students will join with other Honors Action students for dinner and evening activities.

Honors Action will take place August 12-17, 2018. The application will open the week of March 19.

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