About Us

The Downtown Education Collaborative is a partnership of Lewiston-Auburn’s academic institutions and two community partners.  The core partners are Bates College, Central Maine Community College, Kaplan University, the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, the Lewiston Public Library and Lewiston Public Schools. 

Mission Statement

Our mission is to bring the knowledge, resources and skills of DEC’s members into partnership with the community in order to strengthen community-engaged teaching, learning, research and service to effect beneficial social change in downtown Lewiston.

Our Values

  • Collaboration
  • Diversity and Inclusiveness
  • Community-Engaged Teaching and Learning
  • Reciprocity in all Relationships





DEC is the fruit of several years of planning and discussion.  The collaborative members came together around a core set of shared values and the vision that as a collaborative DEC would enable its members to meet community needs more effectively than any could do on their own.  In addition, as a collaborative DEC would foster interchange among institutions with diverse student bodies, missions, and expertise, and catalyze new models of engaged teaching, research, and educational practice.  It was this dream, combined with the commitment and hard work of its members, which led to the formation of DEC and its official launch into the community in the spring of 2008.