Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of College & Character 16:4 (November 2015), pp 209–224.


Copyright © 2015 NASPA; published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Used by permission.


Given the ever increasing numbers of Students of Color engaging in higher education, the importance of cross-cultural interactions for all students, and the evidence that White students and Students of Color may have vastly different experiences in higher education, there is a need to further explore the types of cross-cultural experiences that different college students have and the ways that those experiences facilitate learning and development. Using data from the National Survey of Alternative Breaks, the purpose of this study was to explore how one particular type of cross-cultural experience, participating in a service-learning based alternative break (AB) program, contributes to the racial understanding of White students and Students of Color. Findings point to the importance of considering the different experiences that White students and Students of Color have in ABs and other service-learning experiences.