Community Service Learning

Partner site applications are taken to the State Board for approval twice a year, in July and December. If you wish to submit a partner site application, please email these to by June 5 and November 5 so that they may be added to the document for the State Board’s agenda.

Districts that wish to provide a Community Service Learning program must complete a district plan and submit it to DESE through the Course Approval System. If you would like to check to see if your district has a plan on file, contact

Community Service Learning:

  • A method whereby students learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully organized service that is conducted in and meets the needs of communities;
  • All eligible community service learning activities or programs must include preparation, action, and reflection components;
  • An approach to teaching and learning in which students use academic knowledge and skills to address genuine community needs;
  • A way to help foster civic responsibility;
  • Is more than just volunteering - activities must benefit the community in some way;
  • Coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service program and the community.

Act 648 of 1993 states that beginning with the 1996-97 school year, "a student who has completed a minimum of seventy-five (75) clock hours of documented community service in grades nine (9) through twelve (12), at any certified service agency or a part of a service-learning school program shall be eligible to receive one (1) academic credit that may be applied toward graduation."


Community Service learning (CSL) in Arkansas is specific to the implementation of Act 648 of 1993 which combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. CSL is best defined as volunteering or serving in a worthwhile capacity in the community while making a conscious effort to reflect, through some thoughtfully designed method, on what is learned from the service experience. Guidance for districts and nonprofits is provided in “An Approach to Implementing Community Service”. An excellent resource for districts offering CSL is “Service Learning in Arkansas Toolkit and Resource Directory”. These documents as well as a list of all State Board of Education (SBE) Approved sites (businesses and nonprofits) are located under Related Files; school districts do not need SBE approval. 

For more information, please contact:

Amber Pirnique
Disciplinary Literacy Program Manager

Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Elementary and Secondary Education
Four Capitol Mall, Mail Slot #15
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-5764