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Collaborations: A Journal of Community-Based Research and Practice


While much has been written about student experiences with service-learning and factors that sustain university instructors’ experiences in service-learning over time, less is understood about the contexts that prompt instructors to embark on their first experiences of incorporating service-learning into their teaching. The focus of this article is the experiences of two instructors, one tenure track faculty member and one adjunct faculty member, who incorporated service-learning projects into their classes for the first time during the 2020-2021 academic year. Both professors teach within a speech-language pathology graduate program. The timing and context of their first service-learning experiences are important because they took place during a challenging school year characterized by a reliance on virtual learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper will describe how these instructors decided to incorporate service-learning projects into their classes, identify their goals and aspirations for these assignments, and describe how they identified and made initial contact with their community partners. This paper provides meaningful insight into two instructors’ first experiences with service-learning at a unique moment in time and explores what contextual factors supported and motivated them to incorporate service-learning into their teaching.