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Community Service, Literacy & Tutoring/Mentoring Leave

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Community Service Leave (CSL) provides leave-eligible SPA & EPA employees paid time off to volunteer in schools, communities, institutions of higher education, State agencies, and not-for-profit organizations; as long as the employee is not receiving pay for the service. All CSL must be preapproved by supervisor prior to volunteer event.

Literacy CSL is a special provision available in lieu of regular Community Service Leave to support a literacy program in a public school. Leave under this option shall be used exclusively for assisting students in reading and/or writing skills in accordance with established rules and guidelines for such arrangements as determined and documented by joint agreement with NCSU and the public school.

Tutoring/Mentoring CSL is a special provision available in lieu of regular Community Service Leave and Literacy CSL to provide tutoring and mentoring for a student in a formal standardized approved tutoring/mentoring program in a public or a non-public school. Leave under this option is to be used exclusively for tutoring and/or mentoring an “at-risk” student in accordance with established rules and guidelines for such arrangements as determined and documented by joint agreement with NCSU and the public/non-public school.

Community Service Leave Terms and Definitions provides additional information about included and excluded activities.

Who's Eligible?

With approval of the supervisor, an employee is eligible for the following types of CSL:

Type of Appointment Community Service Leave Literacy CSL Tutoring/Mentoring CSL
Full-time- permanent, probationary, trainee, or time-limited 24 hours a calendar year Up to 5 hours a month not to exceed 45 hours a calendar year 1 hour a week, not to exceed 36 hours a calendar year
Part-time (half time or more) – permanent, probationary, trainee, or time-limited Prorated – equal to percentage of full-time amount. Prorated – equal to percentage of full-time amount. Prorated – equal to percentage of full-time amount.
Temporary, intermittent, or part-time (less than half-time) None None None
  • All types of CSL is credited to each eligible employee on January 1 of each year.
  • If an employee chooses to change options from one type of CSL to another, the maximum hours that may be granted is the maximum allowed under the new option chosen minus the amount already used under the original program.
  • For the calendar year of employee transfer – the employee should secure approval from the new supervisor to continue the CSL option prior to the transfer.
  • All types of CSL does not carry over from one year to the next
  • All types of CSL is not paid out upon separation
  • New employees are credited with leave upon hire, prorated at a per hours per month rate for the remainder of the calendar year

How Do I Apply?

Employees should:

  • Submit a request for community service leave to their Supervisor. If the CSL is for Literacy CSL or Tutoring/Mentoring CSL then program documentation should be provided to the supervisor as well.
  • Enter and track all leave in the Web Leave System under the correct CSL field.

Supervisors review the requests for community service leave and approve or disapprove the request.

Guiding Policies and Other Resources

Human Resources Guiding Policy Disclaimer


Terms and Definitions

Athletics - Participation in recreational or athletic activities including coaching is excluded.

Child – a son or daughter who is biological, adopted, foster, step, legal ward or a child of an employee standing in loco parentis.

Child Involvement - Includes meeting with a teacher or administrator about the employee's child or attending a school function in which the child is participating.

Civic Group Meetings - Attendance at meetings such as Jaycees, Kiwanis, Rotary, etc. does not meet the intent of the policy.

Community Service Organization - Typically known as charitable organizations. Organizations must be non-profit, non-partisan and designated as an IRS code 501 (c) (3) agency serving citizens with special needs including children, youth, and the elderly.

Fundraising - Since fundraising does not directly meet a service need of the citizens of NC, this is excluded.

Literacy Program – an education program recognized and supported by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and provide instruction in reading and writing.

Political Activities - CSL can be used to work inside the polls for the State or County Board of Election to facilitate the voting process. Leave cannot be used for handing out brochures, campaigning, or transporting voters.

Religious Involvement - Although religious organizations may be 501 (c) (3) agency, all services provided to a religious organization might not qualify. The work done must fill a service need to citizens, communities, or schools in North Carolina. For example, a mission trip to Brazil to repair homes would not qualify but a church sponsored project to repair homes damaged by floods in NC would qualify. Also, work cannot involve the promotion of religious beliefs or in raising funds to support religious activities.

School (public, private & home) - The policy covers public, charter, private, and licensed child-care schools but not home schools for tutoring/mentoring. Home schools are covered for child involvement and volunteer activities.

Training to Tutor/Mentor or for Literacy CSL - attending training before volunteering is not covered by CSL leave and therefore other leave such as comp time or annual leave must be used.

Travel Time - Reasonable travel time to and from volunteer activities may be charged to CSL, however the majority of the leave shall be used for direct volunteer service. Travel time to and from schools for tutoring/mentoring or Literacy CSL is not covered.

Tutoring/Mentoring Opportunities - Contact the Communities in Schools of NC program at 919-832-2700, or go to

Volunteer Opportunities - Call the Governor's Office of Citizen and Community Services at 1-877-SERVE-NC.