What We Do
Maine Campus Compact is a coalition of 17 member campuses whose purpose is to catalyze and lead a movement to reinvigorate the public purposes and civic mission of higher education. We seek to transform our campuses in ways that develop better informed, active citizen problem-solvers, stronger communities, and a more just democratic society. We believe that our campuses must be vital agents and architects of a flourishing democracy.
We work with our member campuses to:
- Improve the quality of education by developing academic and co-curricular practices that cultivate the skills and habits of citizen problem-solving in our students;
- Engage faculty in community-based teaching and scholarship focused on societal concerns;
- Develop collaborative partnerships among campuses and communities; and
- Advance leadership throughout the state in addressing critical issues and strengthening democracy.
We are part of a growing Campus Compact network that nationwide includes almost 1200 college and university presidents, 34 state compacts, and a national office. To learn more about national programs and activities, or to access a national calendar of events and service-learning syllabi and other resources, visit the national Campus Compact website.
Why We Do It
There is growing evidence that many Americans are disengaged from communal life in general and from the responsibilities of democracy in particular. Disengagement poses the biggest threat to our collective ability to address the complex and critical issues we face today. Higher education– its leaders, students, faculty, staff, trustees, and alumni– remains a key force in our culture that can respond, and can do so without a political agenda and with the intellectual and professional capacities today’s challenges so desperately demand. Those of us in higher education have a fundamental mission to renew our role as agents of democracy. This task is both urgent and long-term. We cannot afford to educate a generation that acquires knowledge without ever understanding how that knowledge can benefit society or how to affect egalitarian decision making. We must teach the skills and values of democracy, creating numerous opportunities for our students to practice and reap the results of the authentic, hard work of citizenship.
By annually engaging more than 10,000 college students in community problem-solving, Maine Campus Compact provides a three-for-one return on investment:
- We support the development of Maine communities.
- We cultivate the next generation of leaders and community problem-solvers.
- We deepen higher education’s commitment to civic and public purposes.