Service-Learning/Community Service in Standards and/or Frameworks
Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 • www.ecs.org

Service-Learning/Community Service in Standards and/or Frameworks

January 2014


This report highlights selected state standards and/or curriculum frameworks with an explicit link to service-learning or community service.


Service-learning is included in state standards and/or frameworks
Alabama No
Alaska Service-learning is included under community-based instruction as one of the recommended instructional methods for social studies, math and science content standards.

Mathematics and Science. Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/frameworks/mathsci/ms4inst.htm. [Accessed December 4, 2013.]


Collaborative learning or service projects are included in Instructional techniques and activities in the Social Studies Framework.

The Quality Paradigm Shift in Education. Alaska Department of Education & Early Development. http://www.eed.state.ak.us/tls/frameworks/sstudies/part3a2.htm#instructionaltechniquesandactivities. [Accessed December 4, 2013.]
Arizona No
Arkansas No
California Service-learning is included in the career technical education model curriculum standards and framework and the history-social science and reading/language arts frameworks.

Career Technical Education Framework for California Public Schools Grades Seven Through Twelve. California Department of Education, 2007. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/sf/documents/cteframework.pdf. [Accessed December 5, 2013.]

California Career Technical Education Model Curriculum Standards. California Department of Education, January 2013. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ct/sf/documents/ctestdfrontpages.pdf. [Accessed December 5, 2013.]

History-Social Science Framework for California Public Schools. California Department of Education, 2005. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/documents/histsocsciframe.pdf. [Accessed December 5, 2013.]

Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools. California Department of Education, 2007. http://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/cr/cf/documents/rlafw.pdf. [Accessed December 5, 2013.]
Colorado For high school students, the social studies standards include as an evidence outcome that students can engage ethically in civic activities including discussing current issues, advocating for their rights and the rights of others, practicing their responsibilities, influencing governmental actions, and other community service learning opportunities.

Colorado Academic Standards: Social Studies. Colorado Department of Education, December 2009. http://www.cde.state.co.us/sites/default/files/documents/cosocialstudies/documents/social_studies_adopted_12_10_09.pdf. [Accessed December 5, 2013.]
Connecticut No
Delaware Service-learning is included in the standards for family and consumer sciences education programs. Among the standards is  to extend the family and consumer sciences classrooms into the community through service-learning, preparing students to be volunteers, and improving the quality of life in their community.

Delaware Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences. Delaware Department of Education, February 2003. http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/staff/ci/content_areas/files/science/pcs_Fam_ConsSci_Ed_Standards.pdf. [Accessed December 12, 2013.]
District of Columbia No
Florida The Department of Education is required to develop and adopt elective service-learning courses for inclusion in middle and high school course code directories to allow additional opportunities for students to engage in service learning. In addition, school districts are encouraged to provide support for the use of service learning at any grade level as an instructional strategy to address appropriate areas of state education standards for student knowledge and performance.

Fla. Stat. Ann. § 1003.497
Georgia No
Hawaii No
Idaho No
Illinois No
Indiana The curriculum framework for middle school family and consumer sciences must include opportunities for students to develop good citizenship and social responsibility by connecting to their community through service learning and student leadership activities.  

Middle School F&CS Comprehensive/Enrichment Framework. Indiana Department of Education, February 2013.
http://www.doe.in.gov/achievement/career-education/middle-school-fcs-comprehensiveenrichment-framework. [Accessed December 16, 2013.]
Iowa No
Kansas No
Kentucky The model curriculum framework identifies expanded/extended learning opportunities as one strategy to engage students. Service learning is identified as a promising direction in achieving these opportunities. In addition, the framework recognizes participation in service learning projects in social studies instruction.

Model Curriculum Framework 2011. Kentucky Department of Education, July 2011.
http://education.ky.gov/curriculum/docs/Documents/Kentucky%20Model%20Curriculum%20Framework%202011%20revised%20July%2026.pdf. [Accessed December 16, 2013.]
Louisiana The Students Teaching and Reaching (STAR) I program is designed to provide a career focus by offering an overview of the teaching profession. The curriculum framework requires students to provide community service as a volunteer.

La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. CXXV, § 315


The Students Teaching and Reaching (STAR) II program offers secondary courses in teacher preparation. The curriculum framework for the program includes benchmark standards related to service learning, including a requirement that students participate in a variety of field experiences and provide leadership in developing service learning projects. In addition, the framework specifies that the curriculum may include designing individual internships or collaborating to create a service-learning project with school or community partners.

La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. CXXV, §§ 1501-1915


The curriculum framework for family and consumer sciences content includes a benchmark requiring students to plan, conduct, and assess ongoing activities or projects, such as service learning, to address the needs of human service agencies and schools.

La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. LXXIII, § 507


The curriculum framework for general technology education, which is designed to provide students with the opportunity to explore a variety of technical careers through contemporary technology education activities, requires work-based learning strategies including field trips, service learning, and job shadowing.

La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. LXXXI, § 2503


The curriculum framework for energy, power, and transportation technology includes work-based learning strategies such as field trips, service learning, and job shadowing.

La. Admin. Code tit. 28, pt. LXXXI, § 2535
Maine The parameters for essential instruction for social studies standards related to application of social studies processes, knowledge, and skills/taking action using social studies knowledge and skills includes a requirement that students select, plan, and implement a civic action or service-learning project based on a community, school, state, national, or international asset or need, and evaluate the project's effectiveness and civic contribution. The standard for civics and government related to rights, duties, responsibilities, and citizen participation in government includes community service requirements.

Code Me. R. 05-071, Ch. 132
Maryland No
Massachusetts The Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is authorized to set standards for student community service-learning activities and programs.

Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 69, § 1D
Michigan Service learning is identified in the social studies standards as a component of social studies proficiency in preparing students for successful postsecondary engagement. Participation in a service learning project is a component of the participating in civic life standard of the civics curriculum.

High School Content Expectations: Social Studies. Michigan Department of Education, October 2007. http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mde/SS_HSCE_210739_7.pdf?20131217150604. [Accessed December 17, 2013.]
Minnesota No
Mississippi Community service learning is identified as a one-credit elective for students in grades 9-12 in the social studies framework through which citizenship, academic subjects, skills, and values are taught.

MS ADC 7-27


Service-learning is identified as a component of a quality career pathway experience program.

MS ADC 7-93
Missouri The Missouri Department of Education, Missouri Service-Learning Advisory Council, Learn and Serve Missouri, and the Missouri Campus Compact have published a booklet entitled “Missouri Service-Learning Standards” that serves as a resource to educators considering academic or curriculum-based service-learning for the classroom.

Missouri Service-Learning Standards. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. http://dese.mo.gov/eel/exl/servicelearning/documents/SL-StandardsforServiceLearningFINAL.pdf. [Accessed December 18, 2013.]
Montana A basic program in social studies must include practices that promote decision-making skills and civic responsibilities through active participation such as service learning projects.

Mont. Admin. R. 10.55.1601


Among requirements of the benchmark for workplace competencies content standard 2 for a student at the end of grade 8 is the ability to practice positive interpersonal communication skills such as customer service, electronic etiquette, or a community service project.

Mont. Admin. Reg. 10.54.9522


Among the requirements of the benchmark for social studies content standard 1 for a student upon graduation is the ability to synthesize and apply information to formulate and support reasoned personal convictions within groups and participate in negotiations to arrive at solutions to differences such as elections, judicial proceedings, economic choices, or community service projects.

Mont. Admin. Reg. 10.54.6013


Among the requirements of the benchmark for career and vocational/technical education content standard 3 for a student at the end of benchmark 3 is the ability to implement and evaluate a successful, productive citizenship activity such as a community service project.

Mont. Admin. Reg. 10.54.8033


Among the requirements of the benchmark for workplace competencies content standard 4 for a student upon graduation is the ability to design, evaluate, and refine a system composed of subsystems such as a community service project, peer mediation, or web page design.

Mont. Admin. Reg. 10.54.9543
Nebraska The social studies standards for civics for grades 6-8 include demonstrating civic engagement with activities such as service learning projects or volunteerism.

Social Studies Standards. Nebraska State Board of Education, December 2012. http://www.education.ne.gov/AcademicStandards/Documents/NE_SocialStudiesStandardsApproved.pdf. [Accessed December 18, 2013.]


The social studies standards for high school civics include engaging in civic activities such as service learning.

Social Studies Standards. Nebraska State Board of Education, December 2012. http://www.education.ne.gov/AcademicStandards/Documents/NE_SocialStudiesStandardsApproved.pdf. [Accessed December 18, 2013.]
Nevada Community service is included in a social studies benchmark for citizenship and the law, grades 6-8. Students must be able to identify and explain the rights, privileges, and responsibilities associated with Nevada and U.S. citizenship, including voting, holding office, jury duty, and military service, community service, and public service.

Nevada Social Studies Standards. Nevada Department of Education, 2008. http://www.doe.nv.gov/Standards/SocialStudies/CompleteStandardsDec2008.rev4.19.11.pdf. [Accessed December 18, 2013.]

New Hampshire Laboratory experiences and other types of student-centered, hands-on projects are expected in every unit of study in the middle school family and consumer sciences program. Service learning and/or large-group product development are strongly recommended.

FCS Middle School Program Guidelines – Foundations of Work and Family. New Hampshire Department of Education, January 2007. http://www.education.nh.gov/career/career/documents/family_1d.pdf. [Accessed December 18, 2013.]
New Jersey For purposes of standards and assessment for student achievement, “service learning experience” is defined as a teaching and learning strategy that integrates community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

N.J. Admin. Code 6A:8-1.3
New Mexico Among the benchmarks for music in grades 9-12 is a requirement that students participate in interscholastic music festivals and volunteer in community service projects using musical talents.

N.M. Admin. Code § 6.29.2


Among the benchmarks for economics in grades 9-12 is a requirement that students understand the relationship between essential learning skills and workforce requirements (e.g., school-to-work initiatives, service learning) as they relate to supply and demand in the labor market.
 
N.M. Admin. Code § 6.29.11
New York Included in the social studies standard for civics, citizenship, and government for elementary students is a requirement that students understand that effective, informed citizenship is a duty of each citizen, demonstrated by jury service, voting, and community service.

Learning Standards for Social Studies. New York State Department of Education, 1996. http://www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/socst/documents/sslearn.pdf. [Accessed December 18, 2013.]
North Carolina No
North Dakota Service learning is listed as an activity that can be used to develop strategies to influence and support others in making positive health choices in the health standards.

North Dakota Health Content and Achievement Standards. North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, August 2008. http://dpi.state.nd.us/standard/content/health/health2008.pdf. [Accessed December 19, 2013.]


Service-learning is an integral part of the high school agricultural education course Community Development, which is listed in the PK-12 course codes and descriptions. The descriptions provide uniform recording and course descriptions for statewide reporting purposes. The course description states that community leadership development and service learning are integral to the success of the course

Grades 9-12 Course Codes: Agricultural Education. North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, July 2011.
http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/resource/corscode/2014pdf/agried14.pdf. [Accessed December 19, 2013.]


The HSB – Leadership for Business course listed in the High School of Business Program is a project-based leadership course that uses an on-going service-learning project for course delivery and reinforcement.

Grades 9-12 Course Codes: High School of Business Programs. North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, July 2013. http://www.dpi.state.nd.us/resource/corscode/2014pdf/bs_programs14.pdf. [Accessed December 19, 2013.]


Ohio The social studies standards for high school American government courses states that how the American people govern themselves at national, state, and local levels of government is the basis for this course. Students can impact issues addressed by local governments through service learning and senior projects.

The standards for high school contemporary world issues courses states that the course should address approaches to addressing global and regional issues and reflect historical influences and multiple perspectives. Students can impact global issues through service learning and senior projects.

Ohio’s New Learning Standards: High School Social Studies Course Syllabi. Ohio Department of Education,  June 2012. http://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Academic-Content-Standards/Social-Studies/HS-Social-Studies-Standards-UpdatedNovember-2012.pdf.aspx. [Accessed December 19, 2013.]
Oklahoma Oklahoma standards for world languages include classroom examples for each standard. For the school and community standard, students will use the language both within and beyond the school setting. Community service is one of the classroom examples. The example for the intermediate level range is to use the target language to communicate with speakers of the target culture while on community service projects/trips. At the pre-advanced level range, one of the examples is to volunteer to interpret for a community service, such as a clinic, that serves speakers of the target language.

Okla. Admin. Code § 210:15-3-136
Okla. Admin. Code § 210:15-3-137
Oregon Students are required to develop an education plan and build an education profile that, among other things, designs, monitors, and adjusts a course of study that meets the interests and goals of the student and includes identified career-related learning experiences. The student must participate in the identified career-related learning experience that is outlined in the plan.

Or. Admin. R. 581-022-1130
Pennsylvania The academic standards for career education and work include, for 11th grade, that students evaluate school-based opportunities for career awareness and preparation such as, among other things, community service. In addition, in the career acquisition standard for 5th and 8th grade, students are required to identify individualized career portfolio components such as community service involvement and projects.

Career Education and Work Standards. Pennsylvania Department of Education, July 2006. http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_academic_standards/19721. [Accessed December 20, 2013.]

Rhode Island The Rhode Island grade span expectations for social studies identifies service learning as 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, noting that it is usually incorporated into an educational system as a graduation requirement.

Rhode Island Grade Span Expectations for Social Studies. Rhode Island Department of Education, November 2012. http://www.ride.ri.gov/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Instruction-and-Assessment-World-Class-Standards/Social-Studies/RI-SS-GSEs-K-12-Final-Version.pdf. [Accessed December 20, 2013.]


The health education framework section on essential resources for successful health education states that schools can benefit from a list of agencies with which relationships can be developed and from which resources are provided, noting that a resource list would provide opportunities for community service learning activities with a health orientation.

Rhode Island Health Education Framework. Rhode Island Department of Education, 2010. http://www.thriveri.org/documents/RI_HE_Framework.pdf. [Accessed December 26, 2013.]
South Carolina No
South Dakota School districts are required to offer, every two years, either a capstone experience or service learning.

S.D. Admin. R. 24:43:11:07
Tennessee Curriculum standards for the course “Success Skills through Service Learning” outline a comprehensive approach focusing on ethical, social, and intellectual skill development. Service-learning is defined as a form of experiential learning where students develop knowledge and critical thinking skills while addressing genuine community needs. Mastering the standards will enable students to develop personal integrity based on positive values, to learn respect and responsibility, and to learn citizenship in schools, and community.

Curriculum Standards. Tennessee Department of Education.  http://www.tn.gov/education/ci/service/index.shtml.[Accessed December 26, 2013.]
Texas The family and community services course is designed to involve students in realistic and meaningful community-based activities through direct service experiences. Students are provided opportunities to interact and provide services to individuals, families, and the community through community or volunteer services. Emphasis is placed on developing and enhancing organizational and leadership skills and characteristics.

19 Tex. Admin. Code § 130.249


The principles of hospitality and tourism course and the travel and tourism management course require students to demonstrate leadership, citizenship, and teamwork skills required for success, and to participate in community service activities.

19 Tex. Admin. Code § 130.222
19 Tex. Admin. Code § 130.225
Utah No
Vermont Vermont’s framework of standards and learning opportunities requires that students know about various careers. For students in grades 5-8, the requirement is met when students collect information about careers, and experience careers directly or indirectly through classroom work and community experiences such as job shadowing, working with a mentor, or performing community service. For students in grades 9-12, students collect information about specific careers, and experience the occupations directly or indirectly through classroom work, community work, and/or workplace experiences — such as job shadowing, working with a mentor, performing community service, apprenticeships, youth entrepreneurships, courses in technical centers, or community placements.

The civic/social responsibility standard for preK-12th grade required students to take an active role in their community by planning, implementing, and reflecting on activities that respond to community needs and using academic skills and knowledge in real-life community situations.

Service-learning experiences that are linked to classroom learning are among the identified learning opportunities that establish relevance and family and community collaboration.

Vermont’s Framework of Standards and Learning Opportunities. Vermont Department of Education, Fall 2000. http://education.vermont.gov/documents/framework.pdf. [Accessed December 26, 2013.]
Virginia The history and social science standards in civics and economics include a requirement that students demonstrate knowledge of personal character traits that facilitate thoughtful and effective participation in civic life by, among other things, practicing service to the school and local community. The standard for Virginia and U.S. government requires that students understand that thoughtful and effective participation in civic life is characterized by, among other things, performing public service.

History and Social Science Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools. Board of Education, Commonwealth of Virginia, January 2008. http://www.doe.virginia.gov/testing/sol/standards_docs/history_socialscience/next_version/stds_all_history.pdf. [Accessed December 27, 2013.]
Washington The learning standards for social studies have a goal to build in each student a commitment to civic participation. The commitment is identified as the result of social studies education that includes opportunities for students to understand and experience their own power to make a positive difference through service to their communities and the world.

Washington State K-12 Social Studies Learning Standards: Version 1.2. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, January 2013. http://www.k12.wa.us/SocialStudies/pubdocs/SocialStudiesStandards.pdf. [Accessed December 27, 2013.]


The career and technical education program standards require that each CTE course include extended learning in the community/family and business/industry, managed and supervised by certified CTE teachers.

Career and Technical Education Program Standards 2011. Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2011. http://www.k12.wa.us/CareerTechEd/Forms/CTEProgramStandards2011.pdf. [Accessed December 27, 2013.]
West Virginia Standards for 21st century learning include standards for personal and workplace skills. Among them are a requirement that students demonstrate ethical behavior and work responsibly and collaboratively with others in the context of the school and the larger community, and demonstrate civic responsibility through engagement in public discourse and participation in service learning.

W. Va. Code R. § 126-44N-4


The social studies content standards for grades K-12 include civics standards addressing citizenship and political systems. The standards recognize that the curriculum must extend beyond the school to include experiences in the workplace and service in the community.

W. Va. Code R. § -126-44
Wisconsin No
Wyoming No


This database will be updated as we learn of policy changes. If you have comments about the information presented or the database, please contact Paul Baumann at pbaumann@ecs.org or 303.299.3608. Creation of this database was made possible in part through the support of the State Farm Companies Foundation.

© 2014 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail ecs@ecs.org.
Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy