Johnny Key

Commissioner of Education

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Community Service Learning

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. 

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;
  • Coordinated with an elementary school, secondary school, institution of higher education, or community service program and the community;
  • A way to help foster civic responsibility;
  • Is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students, or the education components of the community service program in which the participants are enrolled;
  • Provides structured time for students or participants to reflect on the service experience

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."


For more information, please contact:

Maggie Herrick, Social Studies Specialist
Arkansas Department of Education
Division of Learning Services
Four Capitol Mall, Room 202-B
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: 501-682-6584

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