Examining Scholar-Practitioner Identity in Peer-Led Research Communities in Higher Education Programs

Genia M. Bettencourt, Victoria K. Malaney, Caitlin J. Kidder, Chrystal A. George Mwangi
2017 Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education  
Aim/Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore how research skills and communities can be promoted in student affairs and/or higher education graduate preparation programs through a peer-led, team-based model. Background: Numerous scholars emphasized a lack of empirical research being conducted by student affairs professionals, even though integration of scholarship with practice remains of critical importance to field of higher education. Methodology: Though a descriptive case study of a
more » ... ive case study of a graduate research course, we engage both quantitative and qualitative data points in a convergent parallel mixed methods design. Contribution: This study provides an important contribution in understanding how graduate programs may better prepare students to engage within a spectrum of scholar-practitioner identity. Findings: Findings suggest that while participants see value in a scholar-practitioner identity and its impact on their future goals, there is often a discrepancy between the perceived feasibility of embodying the role in actual student affairs practice as well as variations across master's and doctoral student levels. Recommendations for Practitioners: Recommendations for practice include working to integrate scholarship in professional positions and promoting greater collaboration between graduate coursework and professional supervisors. Recommendation for Researchers: Recommendations for researchers include continuing to examine how communities of practice develop across the levels of graduate socialization. Impact on Society: Understanding how individuals engage in scholarship in their fields carries interdisciplinary implications for merging research into professional roles. Future Research: A key area for future research is longitudinal inquiry into how emerging professionals in higher education/student affairs negotiate the scholar-practitioner spectrum across career development.
doi:10.28945/3783 fatcat:cqb5yryitfacnpotd7vencodcy