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About

Learning through collaboration, partnership, and real-world problem solving

At Bates, community engagement is a prized institutional value. Since its founding by abolitionists in 1855, Bates has been committed to education as a means to individual and social transformation. As the college’s current-day mission statement avows, a Bates education aspires to cultivate “informed civic action” and “responsible stewardship of the wider world.” Toward this end, and with the support of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, Bates students, faculty, and staff enact the college’s civic mission through reciprocal and sustained partnerships that connect the college and the community in mutually beneficial and transformative ways.

Community engagement is a hallmark of the academic program at Bates, with more than a third of students taking a community-engaged learning course each year and many students undertaking community-engaged research projects and theses. The commitment to being an engaged campus is evidenced also in athletics, the arts, residence life, the dining commons, and student clubs and organizations. As they partner with off-campus communities to address pressing societal needs, Bates students develop the intellectual, ethical, and personal skills needed for lifelong civic responsibility and purposeful work.


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