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 to do service in D.C. 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


  1. Identify that class to which you want to connect the pass/fail add-on credit.
  2. Review the syllabus to identify main themes addressed in the course.
  3. Reach out to local community partners whose work addresses an issue area that connects with the themes discussed in your course. (Check out the resources on the left tabs, including the list of Non-Profit Directories and Guide on Connecting with a Community Partner).
  4. Complete the CSLP Application here
  5. Notify your professor you are applying for a CSLP add-on credit to their course.  


Upcoming Events

  • Application Opens: Now Open!

  • Spring Community Partner Fair: Wednesday, January 15th, 12-2pm @ MGC 2-5
  • CSLP Deadline: January 27th at 5pm
  • CSLP Orientation: Saturday, February 1st from 10 am to 12:30 pm 
  • CSLP Mid-semester Reflections: TBD
  • End of Semester CSLP Reflection: TBD
  • CSLP Hour Log Due: April 27th to MGC 273

CSLP Program Requirements

To earn the 1 CSLP credit, students must:

  • Complete 40 hours of service with a community partner of their choice

  • Attend mandatory reflections including orientation, mid-semester reflection, and final reflection
  • 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 hour log complete with hours served and community partner signature to MGC 273 by 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