The commitment to a strong connection between the University of Maine and communities within the state and beyond is evident in the institution’s mission statement. As Maine’s center for learning, research and service to the public, our role is reflected in our belief that:
“Through teaching, basic and applied research, and public service activities, the University of Maine contributes to the economic, social and cultural life of Maine citizens. With programs that are nation and international in scope, the University is also a major resource of Maine in the increasingly interdependent world community.”
Service-learning is a teaching method which combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Service-learning programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community.
The Faculty Senate of the University of Maine adopts the following general definition for service-learning (Oct 19, 2011)~ This definition will serve as a guide in the development of service-learning opportunities and partnerships between students, University of Maine faculty and staff, and communities throughout the State of Maine.~ Service-learning at the University of Maine is defined as “a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities” (National Service-Learning Clearinghouse).