Service and Civic Engagement Programs

The Center for Community Action and Research at Dyson College (CCAR) facilitates a multitude of service and civic engagement programs each semester. Many of these programs are produced in concert with other offices and student organizations at Pace. Below are some examples. For more specific information on our service and civic engagement program offerings please consult our End-of-Year report archive or email us for the full slate of upcoming opportunities at for our New York City campus, or in Westchester at

Pace University’s Alternative Spring Break Program

Each spring 15 Pace students spend a week learning about and directly assisting a community with an identified community need. The CCAR partners with organizations with direct ties to the community, and participants balance their time equally between service activities and learning from community members. The goal of Pace’s Alternative Spring Break program is to provide valuable service to affected communities while giving participants the opportunity to have impact on a local level, while learning about the regional/national/global contexts. Participants complete the program by selecting an issue to lobby their elected official on, write to their local paper about, and more. Information sessions, required for attendance, begin in February on both the New York City and Pleasantville campuses.

Common Hour Conversations

The CCAR facilitated Common Hour Conversations tackle pressing, hot button, issues that demand attention.  Facilitated by Pace faculty, students are given the opportunity to sound off and discuss topics dealing with race, student debt, the Middle East, and more, several times each semester.  

Take Action! Series

The CCAR works to educate and empower students to take action on important issues.  Students participating in a CCAR sponsored Take Action! program are given the opportunity to watch an educational video on a particular topic or issue of importance in their community, and then are given an action that they can use to make their voice heard.  These actions are often writing or signing a letter to an elected official, or signing a petition. 

“Pace Makes a Difference” Service Series

Each year, the CCAR facilitates large service events open to the full Pace community.  Partnering with area community organizations, 100-200 Pace students each semester head out into their communities to make a difference, painting murals at underprivileged schools, preparing community gardens for planting, performing park clean-ups, and more.