Alternative Service Experience 

The Alternative Service Experience focuses on exploring social issues in close collaboration with community partners through unique experiential learning opportunities. Participants will learn about the mission, guiding values, and client base of community partners including the historical, cultural, and social contexts the community and organization reside in. ASEs offer the opportunity for meaningful dialogue, service together, intentional engagement, and critical reflection of our experiences and the world around us.

Participants should be prepared to engage in self reflection, team building, group dialogue, and service work. Participants should expect to be challenged on various levels including (but not limited to): meeting new people, trying new things, and considering new perspectives.

MLK Day of Service 

Every January students, faculty, and staff elect to celebrate and honor the legacy of Dr. King by making it a “day on” rather than a day off by working alongside local non-profit organizations throughout the community of Asheville. Participants may sign up individually or as part of a group, class, or student organization.

Community Engaged Scholars 

Since 2012, 67 UNC Asheville students have graduated with the Community Engaged Scholar distinction. The Community Engaged Scholar honor is one of five academic recognitions available to graduating students at UNC Asheville. It provides the opportunity for students to become deeply involved in community based research in Asheville and Western North Carolina and receive recognition for their efforts. Community Engaged Scholars complete six or more service learning credit hours, are selected via application process reviewed by the Key Center Advisory Committee, identify a faculty mentor, complete a Community Engaged Project alongside a local non-profit agency that directly responds to a need identified by that agency, submit a research paper, and present at the Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Learn more about graduating as a Community Engaged Scholar.

Service-Learning Courses 

Service-Learning designated courses are taught by faculty to reflect best practices in the field including reciprocal relationship building with community partners, the integration of meaningful reflection activities and creating critical connections between the curriculum and engagement work.  

View current service-learning courses here.

LEAD Living Learning Community 

A Living Learning Community (LLC) is a group of people who live on the same residence hall and share a similar academic or personal interest. LLCs at UNC Asheville offer students the opportunity to engage in an intentional community experience with like-minded individuals.

LEAD LLC is a residential community for first year students interested in learning about social issues and their impact on society, as well as exploring their personal responsibility in identifying and addressing social injustices in the world. Students participating in LEAD LLC will learn more about who they are and how they are connected with the larger world, become more familiar with the wider Asheville community, and be exposed to a variety of leadership and community engagement opportunities, including: leadership workshops, social justice coffee hours, retreats, attending and/or presenting at conferences, volunteering on campus and in the Asheville community, and more.

Celebration of Community Engaged Learning

The Celebration of Community Engaged Learning is a part of Undergraduate Research Day at the end of every spring and fall semester to showcase the work of students engaged in all forms of community engagement, including service learning, the Community Engaged Scholars Program, internships, and study abroad. The event also serves to recognize and highlight the community partner organizations our students have worked with over the semester.