The purpose of the dissertation is to prepare the student to be a professional in the discipline. The dissertation shows mastery of the field, that the student is ready to be a professional in and contribute to the discipline. The dissertation prepares the student for a career. The purpose of the dissertation is to allow the student to learn how to be an independent researcher. The dissertation demonstrates the student’s skills and ability to independently conceive and conduct original, significant, scholarly research: develop important researchable problems, define an experiment, generate and address hypotheses, conduct the experiment, and produce publishable results. The dissertation demonstrates that the student can mount an original, independent research project and take it from conceptualization to completion independently, formulate problems or questions, review the literature, collect and analyze data, and discuss findings.