Service Learning Program

The Service-Learning Program in the Harward Center for Community Partnerships is an academic office that is not formally affiliated with the Chaplain’s Office, but the two offices do work collaboratively on occasional projects.

Boys and Girls Club

A Bates student, serving as summer program director for the Auburn/Lewiston Boys & Girls Club, posed with some of the children involved with the organization.

The Service-Learning Program at Bates is dedicated to the proposition that liberal learning, personal growth, and moral development are enhanced through service to

others. Students, faculty, and staff learn about themselves, the dynamics of the world in which they live, and those with whom they work when involved in community service. Not insignificantly, they also enhance the quality of community life by the tangible results they add through their service. These ideas are at the heart of the Service-Learning Program’s mission.

The Service-Learning Program is committed to facilitating a wide variety of contacts with the larger community to the mutual benefit of all involved. It is especially interested in promoting reflection and discussion on community service. It is this reflective quality, in fact, that distinguishes service-learning from traditional volunteerism.

  • The Program’s staff helps individuals and groups of students establish contacts for service of varying lengths of time with over sixty different groups and agencies in the Lewiston-Auburn area, as well as in national and international venues.
  • They arrange all contacts and logistical details for faculty and students who wish to incorporate service-learning as an integral part of a course.
  • They develop and assist in the placement of students in internships and on-site research efforts during the academic year as well as in the summer.
  • The Program promotes arrangements that encourage extracurricular organizations, residences, and other groups to become involved with community projects of service.
  • The Program promotes and provides developmental programs for faculty and other groups interested in initiating service-learning projects.
  • We are also a place where people interested in becoming productively involved in the larger community can meet informally to share good conversation and exchange ideas.
Remembering the Great Depression

Lewiston resident Merton Parker (right) shares memories of the Great Depression with a Bates student as part of Professor of Economics Anne Williams' class on documenting the Depression in the area.

A few basic principles guide service learning at Bates at this juncture. It is voluntary except when required in a course. It is supported by the encouragements of reflective practice. It respects those being served as both learners and teachers. It guards against patronizing postures. It promotes genuine partnerships with the community. It values both “service” and “learning” as pedagogies that enhance the educational experience of Bates students. Access to the Center’s programs is available to all members of the Bates community.

Service-learning is a mutual enterprise. Those who serve teach and learn; those being served teach and learn. All give and receive. The words above the entrance to Chase Hall say, “They helped everyone and his neighbor.” In one form or other that sentiment has been associated with Bates from its founding. It resonates well with the historic mission of this institution. The Center for Service-Learning is a vehicle dedicated to helping all members of the Bates community achieve this noble goal.

Bates Dance Festival

A Bates student developed a dance curriculum for local children. She collaborated with the Bates Dance Festival -- a premier international festival -- and the Lewiston school and recreation departments.

The Service-Learning Program is located at 161-163 Wood St.

Please note: Participants undertake volunteer service in any of the opportunites coordinated by the Volunteer Office at their own risk and liability.

Holly Lasagna, Director
161-163 Wood St.
(207) 786-8319