Aspects of Scholarship

The doctoral scholar practitioner will demonstrate competency in each of the core competency domains through a variety of rigorous academic pathways including, but not limited to, the following:

Clarity of Written and Oral Communication
Participants will be challenged throughout the doctoral journey to engage in the critical, self-conscious process of exploring the relationship between learning and writing. Course work will require considerable writing and reflection. The dissertation research prospectus, proposal and final dissertation will be major written documents. In addition, when appropriate, doctoral scholars will be encouraged to publish their research. Finally, the participant's career will be substantially aided by the ability to communicate in a clear, concise, and professional manner.

Written products and oral presentations are expected to exhibit increasingly sophisticated  analysis and thought. Major points that are not already widely accepted are to be substantiated with logical argument, reference citations, empirical  evidence, or other means. Growing understanding of the literature in the field will help with this process. Written products and substantial oral presentations are to be well organized, with an introduction that indicates the direction of the discussion, content that develops the main points, and a conclusion that pulls these materials together. Successful practitioners will use established professional terminology, while avoiding heavy jargon that makes the writing inaccessible to interested persons from outside the field. The wording is to be precise, concise, and grammatical.

The Learning and Leadership doctoral program requires that major course papers and all stages of the dissertation comply with the format specified in the Thesis and Dissertation Standards of the UTC Graduate School (link: Thesis and Dissertation). These formatting requirements are coupled with style guidelines according to the Style Manual of the American Psychological Association (Sixth Edition). Participants should acquire a copy of the APA Style Manual, as they will need to consult it repeatedly. Participants should submit deliverables, documents, and all drafts for dissertation stages in Microsoft Word format unless otherwise stipulated.

Graduate School standards stipulate that all theses and dissertations must use bibliography management software. The Learning and Leadership Program requires all candidates to use EndNote bibliography management software, which the university provides at no charge for all students and faculty. Additionally, the UTC Library faculty support and provide instruction on the EndNote software as part of their programming and support of scholarship. A link to the download site for EndNote is available on the Dissertation Resources page (link: Dissertation Resources).

Advanced Knowledge of Subject Matter Area 
A doctoral scholar practitioner will build upon core coursework and enhance learning in a content-specialty area. Advanced elective work will provide opportunities to build on professional experience through engaging scholarship and research activities. These activities substantially build the body of knowledge relevant to specific disciplines. Effective professionals continually update their knowledge to stay current.

The Creation of New  Knowledge   
The doctoral journey culminates with planning, conducting, reporting, and defending a rigorous, original research study known as the doctoral dissertation. This dissertation process allows the participant to demonstrate mastery of the core competencies in the program using his or her  specific research agenda, while subsequently adding to the body of knowledge to increase learning throughout the field.