Community Engagement

The Education Department engages with the Maine community through programs like the Island Schools Project and a Professional Development School Partnership with King Middle School in Portland.
Lobster boat

Island Schools Project

The Island Schools Project was established in 2008 as a service-learning component of the education department’s advanced seminars, Teaching and Learning and Curriculum Development. Through these courses, students explored the core opportunities and challenges of teaching in small island communities. Bowdoin students have traveled to these communities (Islesboro, Vinalhaven, North Haven, and Deer Isle/Stonington) to meet with the schools’ faculties, observe classes, and learn first-hand about the communities’ educational resources, economic challenges, and cultures.

Following this overnight visit, high school students from these island schools come to Bowdoin College, where they are hosted by Bowdoin students for an overnight visit consisting of structured exposure to college life. High school students participate in an education class, tour campus, stay in a dorm, eat in the dining hall, and get a better sense of life on a college campus.

The Island Schools Project is generously supported by the Curtin-Nowers Family Endowment for Island Schools, the McKeen Center for the Common Good, and contributions of time and resources by multiple campus departments.  

Professional Development School Partnership with King Middle School

Bowdoin students headed toward careers in teaching enjoy the professional development school partnership with King Middle School in Portland, a nationally recognized expeditionary learning school with a diverse school community, in which they are placed with veteran King teachers for their field placement.

Rick Wilson

Education for the Common Good Award

Rick Wilson is the community outreach coordinator and a service learning teacher at Brunswick High School, and the inaugural recipient of the 2017 Education for the Common Good Award. Educators "have a lifetime of work to do... And embracing that journey, that is something that Rick models every day."

Read about Mallory Haar, recipient of the 2018 Education and the Common Good Award, here