Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

Home / Solution-based Service / Solution-based Service

Solution-based Service

Solution-based Service

ABP teams can clearly articulate what challenge they are addressing, who they are working with, and how their work will help lead to a solution to the challenge. Their work is solution-based. 

This may seem intuitive or even ridiculously obvious, but many service programs are not set up and run to solve a community challenge. Instead they are designed primarily to provide an "experience" for the volunteer. These concepts, such as "volunteer tourism", "service learning", "emersion experiences", and other like-models, are not in and of themselves bad. They can lead to greater understanding of a community and its challenges, or an increased ability to empathize with people from different cultures and situations, but they are not often programs that are designed to lead to an actual solution to a community challenge. 

This does not mean that ABP teams' civic engagement projects single-handedly solve community challenges over a spring break, quite the opposite. ABP teams work with partnering local organizations and play a specific part or role in the solution to a community challenge. 

Student Engagement


515 Alfred Lerner Hall
2920 Broadway
New York, NY 10027

Call: 212-854-3611

Fax: 212-854-6972

Office Hours
9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.