Make a Difference Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day

What: Our all-campus community service days. For Make a Difference Day, first-year student teams work with community organizations to organize fun, one-time, hands-on group service projects in Marietta and surrounding areas—options include building, gardening, landscaping, working with youth, community outreach, and more. Similar projects are involvded in MLKJ Day of Service, both on and off- campus and this day is organized by the Offices of Civic Engagement and Diversity and Inclusion. 

Who: Any interested member of the campus. 

When: Make a Difference Day always takes place on the 3rd or 4th Saturday in October. Registration and refreshments: 8:30am; Service 9am-12pm. Other campus-wide days of service may be scheduled throughout the year, including MLKJ Day of Service which is always on the MLKJ holiday in January. Days of Service will be announced through MyMarietta, email, social media, and other campus communication.

How: Sign up in advance, either individually or with a group, with a specific project—watch your MC email on campus beginning in early October (and for MLKJ Day in November/December) for more info.

Why: If you did service in the past, want to start doing service, want to do a project with a group of friends, are looking for a chance to meet new friends, need service hours for a class or organization, or want to learn more about the Marietta Community.

Alternative Breaks: Fall Break, Spring Break, and Weekend Programs

What: Travel with a small group of students and staff to explore cities and towns, investigate economic and social issues, and participate in learning opportunities and service projects. All trips include travel, meals, and admission museums or other activities as well as visits with community organizations and hands-on service opportunities. One potential trip plans to visit Detroit to learn about neighborhood revitalization. Alternative Spring Break 2018  traveled to Washington, D.C., to learn about housing access, food and health justice, and policy making in our nation’s capital. There are ideally annual trips in May to the Dominican Republic to work on home repairs, building a school and working and playing games with Dominican Youth. In Spring 2021, we will hopefully be back in Wilmington, North Carolina, working with families struggling due to repeated hurricanes and economic distress. 

Who: All alternative break programming is open to all students at Marietta College.

When: Typically during breaks there will be a trip; always Spring Break, in May for Summer Break, some years in the Fall semester for Fall Break and Winter Break .

How: Watch your MC email and the @OCEmarietta facebook page or instagram for more info. You can also email Director of Civic Engagement Maribeth Saleem-Tanner for more info at, or stop by the Office of Civic Engagement in the McDonough Center Room 204. There is a trip fee, which varies by program. 

Why: Learn hands-on about issues and opportunities in other communities, engage in thoughtful discussion with a diversity or perspectives, and be part of the solution through service. Make new friends on campus and see a new city or part of the country. Get out of your “comfort zone” and challenge yourself to make new connections and discoveries that will enhance your learning, your resume, and your own self-discovery and leadership development.

Next Gen (LEAD 290)

Student Applications due in November
Program begins January 2021

Logo for Marietta College's Next Generation program

What: This intensive two-semester academic program matches Marietta College students with local nonprofit boards. Students attend weekly classes as well as monthly board meetings. They work on three specific projects for their nonprofit organizations through the class; a capacity assessment, a grant proposal, and a capacity-building service-learning project.

Who: Any student with an interest who will be on campus for the next 2 consecutive semesters.

When: Students take a once per week class each semester, as well as attend monthly board and committee meetings off-campus for their organization. Students apply to the program in November, and begin the program when classes start in January for spring semester.

How: Applications are sent out via Marietta email, as well as on the @OCEmarietta facebook page. You can also contact Program Director Amy Elliott at or stop by her office in the McDonough Center Room 210. Once they have filled out a short application, interested students participate in an interview to “match” them with an organization that they are interested in, and whose board meetings will fit in their schedule.

Why: This experience will put students in a direct leadership position in a community organization, giving them a seat on the Board of Directors of a local organization. This is a unique opportunity for anyone interested in: getting involved in their community, learning how a nonprofit organization is run while helping run it, working in the nonprofit sector or being involved in community work after graduation, or gaining experience that will help in running their own business or organization. This program is also a great fit for anyone who has a community-based passion or interest (youth, elderly, disabled, animals, history, art and culture, economic development, basic needs, sports, etc.) and wants to go beyond traditional volunteering. Next Gen students get opportunities for networking, developing marketable skills and experiences, and learning how to work in and with a group of diverse adults. Students also get to know their cohort members well, and form bonds with their peers and their community mentors that go far beyond the program itself.

Individual and Group Volunteering

Marietta College student and staff volunteers

What: Marietta College has a network of over three dozen community partner organizations who have volunteer opportunities for students. Whether you are looking for a one-time event, or a weekly commitment, we can help you connect with an organization that needs your help. Options range from giving tours at historical museums or tutoring children at after-school programs to working with national organizations like the Humane Society or Habitat for Humanity. 

Who: Any student, faculty, or staff member, as well as any club, group, or organization.

When: Some local organizations have daily or weekly programs that use volunteers, others are one time or occasional events or opportunities.

How: Many organizations have tables at the beginning of the year involvement fair where students can learn about opportunities and get connected. Announcements about special events, opportunities, and needs are posted on MyMarietta, shared through Marietta email, and announced on the @OCEmarietta facebook page. Or contact Maribeth Saleem-Tanner, Director of Civic Engagement at, or stop by the Office of Civic Engagement in the McDonough Center Room 204 for a list of volunteer sites.

Why: Volunteering feels good, increases your skills, builds your resume, and helps you connect with friends and mentors in the community.


Marietta College students sit at a table for a self learning program through the Office of Civic Engagement

What: “Service-learning incorporates community work into the curriculum, giving students real-world learning experiences that enhance their academic learning while providing a tangible benefit for the community” ( All service learning at Marietta College asks students to apply their academic knowledge and skills to help meet a real community need, engaging students directly with community members and organizations. Civic Engagement in the classroom also included engaged scholarship, community-based research, and creation of community case studies.

Who: Any interested student can find a class! Many departments offer service-learning or community-based courses and projects, including marketing, management, computer science, graphic design, leadership, art, nutrition, biology, political science, religion, communication, psychology, modern languages, education, English, and more.

When: Service-learning courses are offered each semester, as well as during summer faculty-led study tours. New courses and experiences are developed regularly.

How: Students interested in finding a service-learning course can talk to their advisor as well as the Director of Civic Engagement ( to learn about options. OCE is also available as a resource for any faculty or staff member who wants to develop a service-learning or community-based project. 

Why: Service-learning, in and outside of the classroom, enhances critical-thinking, problem-solving, communication, sense of purpose, and collaboration, as well as provides students with an opportunity to put their knowledge into action and build their personal and professional networks.