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.

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.

Education for the Common Good Award

The Education for the Common Good Award celebrates a local educator who embodies the three tenets that guide Bowdoin's Education Department: be aware of the big picture, embrace theory and practice, and model and live in the spirit of inquiry.

2019 recipient, Jess Woods 
2018 recipient, Mallory Haar
2017 recipient, Rick Wilson

Jess Woods
Jess Woods, previous counselor at Islesboro Central School and current educational consultant: 2019 recipient of the Education for the Common Good Award