The Downtown Education Collaborative: A New Model for Collaborative Community Engagement

  • Michelle Vazquez Jacobus University of Southern Maine at Lewiston-Aubern College
Keywords: Higher Education, Community Engagement, Community Partnerships


The Downtown Education Collaborative (DEC) is an innovative collaborative which includes public and private colleges working with community organizations in interdisciplinary community service learning. This article reviews DEC's development, from its inception as a shared vision aspired to by its partners, to a functioning collaborative. We evaluate DEC's unique elements, consider challenges confronted through this model, and propose the exemplary facets of DEC for the collaboration of other small colleges and community organizations.