Service Learning is 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.
Trisha Mason
Director, WCHP Service Learning
Adjunct Professor, Westbrook College of Health Professions

Service Learning and Cross Cultural Initiatives at UNE

The Service Learning Program of our Westbrook College of Health Professions (WCHP) seeks to connect students, faculty, and professional staff with opportunities to engage in meaningful and mutually beneficial service activities within a variety of community settings.

Our ultimate goal is to enable every WCHP student to participate in service as part of their UNE education. We believe this will enhance their program of study, broaden their understanding of societal health challenges locally, nationally, and internationally, and instill in them a lifelong commitment to serving others. We believe our commitment to service will also positively impact the health outcomes of the individuals, communities, and populations we serve.

To realize this goal, we pursue a variety of cross cultural immersion opportunities. These immersions expose students to living, learning, and working within collaborative social and academic environments, and provide them with exposure to communities and cultures different from their own.

Community-based learning

There are several opportunities for health professions students to participate in community-based service learning projects each semester. The Office of Service Learning coordinates events that help inspire students and others to make a difference in their communities in support of UNE’s mission to improve the health of people and communities.

If individuals, clubs, or academic departments are interested in pursuing other partnerships and/or activities, the Service Learning Program is always available to help assist you and support these endeavors.

Meals for Maine

In the spirit of service, more than 200 UNE volunteers came together to pack 50,000 meals for Mainers facing hunger.

Adaptive Sled Hockey

Watch Physical Therapy student volunteers take part in a sled hockey demonstration with Maine Adaptive as part of our community-based learning.

Benefits of Service Learning

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Be a culturally competent citizen

"There was a lot I learned through service learning that I felt I had a grasp on already. Service learning really opened my eyes to the community and how disability and disease can affect people's lives. I think my service learning really humbled me and required me to think critically."

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Polish clinical and professional skills

"Service learning provided me an opportunity to continue to develop in passion areas within my skill set. My interests did not always align with curriculum, however, service learning tied the two together well."

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Give back to your community

"It has afforded me the opportunity to explore a new community from a professional perspective and to also assess how my profession can better serve those around me."

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Real-world applications of classroom concepts

"Understanding needs of others improves my motivational interviewing skills and person-first language when talking with clients."

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Be part of an interprofessional team

"Service learning enhanced my understanding of my school work in a positive and different way. It helped challenge my thinking and work with the other health professions in a meaningful way."