What is CSLP?

 Community Service-Learning Program

Approved by the Undergraduate Senate in 1993, the Community-Service Learning Program (CSLP) is a type of community-based learning strategy that allows students to add a pass/fail credit to a class they are taking. 

As part of this CSLP add-on credit, students volunteer at a local organization whose mission connects with their coursework, thereby enriching the learning experience and strengthening the local community. 


CSLP provides an opportunity for students to do in-person and/or virtual, service while earning credit towards graduation. It gives students the chance to serve the communities and causes they learn about in class, taking the learning process beyond the classroom. 

CSLP is right for you if...

  • You are a full-time undergraduate student currently enrolled in 12-16 credits
  • You want to increase your understanding of issues facing our community and how community organizations are responding to these issues
  • You want to gain a deeper understanding of your coursework through real-world connections with the local community

How to Apply to CSLP

Please refer to our FAQs page before beginning your application.

  1. Identify that class to which you want to connect the pass/fail add-on credit. 
  2. Review the course syllabus to identify main themes addressed in the course.
  3. Identify at least 3 local community partners whose work addresses an issue area that connects with the themes discussed in your course. (Check out our Non-Profit Directories .
  4. Complete the CSLP Application on GivePulse by Monday, January 24.
  5. In the first week of class, notify your professor you are applying for a CSLP add-on credit to their course. 

What Happens Next?

Applications will be reviewed by the CBL Coordinator and participants will be invited to the Orientation. After Orientation, the Coordinator confirms student participation with the faculty and forward the student's information to the Registrar's Office for the add-on credit. Any students who withdraw thereafter will receive a "W" on their transcript. (More more information, see AU's Academic Calendar). Students unable to complete the program should notify the Coordinator ASAP. 

Note: Students are not required to have a partner confirmed to apply to CSLP. After Orientation, participants will have a week to confirm their partner. Please refer to our Guide on Connecting with a Community Partner

Upcoming Events

  • Application: Apply for Spring CSLP on GivePulse. Registration closes Monday, January 24.

  • CSLP Orientation: Wednesday, January 26th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. 
  • CSLP Mid-Semester Reflection: First week of March, times TBD.
  • Blog Posts Due: Friday, April 1st by 5:00 pm.*
  • CSLP End of Semester Reflection: Wednesday April 20th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.
  • Hour Log Due: Wednesday April 27th by 5:00 pm.*

* Blog posts and hour logs must be emailed to the CBL Graduate Assistant: CBLR@american.edu 

Student in CSLP completing activity

CSLP Program Requirements

To earn the 1 CSLP credit, students must:

  • Complete 35 hours of service with a community partner of their choice.

  • Attend mandatory reflections including orientation, mid-semester reflection, and final reflection. Total reflection time is five hours. 
  • Complete 2 Peer Mentor Check-Ins to ensure that they are on track with participant documentation, service hours, academic project, etc.
  • Submit 1 blog post to CBLR@american.edu to be published on the CSLP blog
  • Complete 1 academic project to be decided upon with professor
  • Submit all hours onto GivePulse by hour log deadline. 

Confused? Email CBLR@american.edu with questions


Non-Profit Directories

These directories are organized by issue area, and include the contact information and mission statements of local non-profits.

Non-Profit Directories

Guide to Connecting with Non-Profits

This guide outlines a strategy of how to reach out to prospective community partners, including an email template and phone call talking points.

Access Guide Here

CSLP WordPress Blog

Serve Earn Learn is the CSLP WordPress site where students in the Community Service-Learning Program reflect on their service experience. Learn more about students' experiences and the organizations they volunteer with here.

Serve Earn Learn