Committee Chair

Rausch, David W.

Committee Member

Harbison, John W.; Crawford, Elizabeth K.; Taylor, Jessica N.


School of Professional Studies


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


It has largely been assumed that graduates of doctoral programs labeled as scholar-practitioner (SP-p), via the institution’s website or marketing material, demonstrate their dual-identity within their professional practice after graduation (Moats, 2017). Yet, individuals may not demonstrate their dual-identity for a host of reasons. Primary factors may include, however are not limited to, the lack of formation or association with Scholar-Practitioner (SP) identity, or the inability to demonstrate behaviors consistently associated with SP identity in professional practice. Until demonstrated outcomes from enacting the identity of SPs can be captured in quantifiable terms, the construct remains largely theoretical since it is not clearly documented (Moats, 2017). This study described the process for utilizing qualitative methodology to design a quantitative assessment for the construct of scholar-practitioner using grounded theory. The research design followed two consecutive phases. First, through the use of qualitative open-ended questions via survey and semistructured interviews with graduates of doctoral programs labeled as SP-p, this study distilled the primary themes involved in demonstrating the dual-identity of SP in professional settings. After triangulation and saturation of the data, five primary themes emerged from phase one. The second phase followed the five step methods suggested by Rockinson-Szapkiw (2018) and Tourangeau (1984), to develop a scale that assesses the operationalized construct of SP: definition, item development, feasibility pilot, item validation, and deployment. The resulting SP Scale was developed with the intent to provide individuals with a means for assessing their own behavior in relation to the demonstrated SP identity.


This work would not have been possible without the support and assistance of a number of individuals. First, a special acknowledgement to my chair, Dr. David Rausch, for encouraging and inspiring me throughout my entire doctoral journey. Thank you for sharing your expertise and for demonstrating what it means to be a scholar-practitioner. Next, to my methodologist, Dr. Elizabeth Crawford, for being an incredible guide and motivator. Your ability to artfully challenge another while simultaneously balancing their weaving confidence levels is unparalleled. Finally, to my committee members, Dr. John Harbison and Dr. Jessica Taylor, for your time, passion, and attention to detail.


Ph. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.




Universities and colleges--Graduate work; Education, Higher--Research


Scholar-Practitioner; Quantitative Assessment; Grounded Theory

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xiii, 106 leaves