Students partnered with NetWork Volunteers in the Louisiana bayous volunteering at a food pantry.

Community Engagement and Service

You want to do well at college, but we’re willing to bet you also want to do good.

Oxford offers many opportunities to leave your residence hall and studying behind for a while and volunteer for service at places where your interests align and where your talents are needed.

Alternative Breaks

Why head to the beach or the mountains on fall or spring break, when you can go on vacation with other Oxford students and do good at the same time? Alternative Spring Break and Alternative Fall Break blend fun, team bonding, and community engagement in a shared project that illustrates social-justice issues in real time.

Groups of 12 to 30 students travel to a selected location, where they work during the day supporting a local cause or agency. In the evenings or on off days they enjoy the local sights and attractions.

Previous trips have included post-disaster relief work following hurricanes in Mississippi, New Orleans, and New Jersey; doing urban farming and working with elementary students in Memphis; building Habitat for Humanity homes in Alabama and Georgia; working with high-need communities in South Carolina; working on the Heifer International ranch in Arkansas; assisting with refugee placement in Nashville; and reducing food insecurity in New Orleans and Orlando.

I’ll remember the bonds between our students and the elementary school students we served. By the end of the week, both groups had developed an authentic fondness and leaving was hard. It was a gentle reminder of the power of relationship building and community.

Ricardo Horne
Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Leadership

Oxford Service Corps

Oxford Service Corps consists of a select group of first- and second-year students committed to making a difference in the lives of others and the world around them. Participants receive financial compensation and are assigned to work approximately eight hours a week in a setting that matches their interests and schedules.

Student assignments range from settings such as local classrooms as class assistants or tutors in after-school programs, to mentorships in youth diversion programs, to programs in domestic-violence shelters, senior centers, and environmental agencies.

Theory Practice/Service Learning

Usually referred to as TPSL, Oxford’s theory practice/service learning courses combine classroom theory with involvement in the local community. You’ll partner with local organizations to serve, and learn by relating the content of your TPSL course to experiences in the real world.

Service Saturdays

If you’re interested in helping out in the local community but can’t commit to a set schedule, the student coordinators of Volunteer Oxford help arrange volunteer opportunities at local agencies and offices, often on the weekend. 

Volunteer Oxford

Led by three student coordinators, Volunteer Oxford is the liaison between service agencies in the local community and willing Oxford student volunteers. Volunteer Oxford Coordinators find initiatives, let students know about them, and then facilitate a volunteer matchup.

Typical service opportunities include mentoring students at local K–12 schools, working at a local food bank, helping with landscape and beautification work in local parks, and assisting with programs at a local senior adult center.