Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Andrea L. Beach

Second Advisor

Dr. Sharon Peterson

Third Advisor

Dr. Katherine Tabers


Web development, web design, professionalization, profession, computer science, web programming


Professionalization offers rewards such as prestige, financial benefits and autonomy. Fields such as nursing and social work have undergone the professionalization process. This exploratory study examined faculty attitudes regarding the professionalization of web development as defined by the Hall model of professionalism. The purpose of the study was to understand how faculty view web development as a profession. Based on the Hall’s Professionalism Scale (1968) and modified survey by Snizek (1972), the Web Development Professionalism Inventory (WDPI) was used to explore faculty attitudes toward professionalization.

This study surveyed faculty about their views on the structural and attitudinal components of web development, their demographics, education, teaching experience and professional experience. Principal component analysis identified five factors of professionalization consistent with Hall (1968) and Snizek (1972). This study defined web faculty based on their experience teaching web courses. Web faculty have webrelated professional experiences but lack formal education. Both web faculty and nonweb faculty supported the web development as a required knowledge area Computing Curricula, and the need for a code of ethics. Although membership in web professional organizations was low, participants selected the W3 as the professional organization representative of the web development field. This study shows both web faculty and non-web faculty support web development as a profession.

Although web development meets some of the criteria of a profession, the field has not reached professionalism status. This study lays the groundwork for the web development field to begin discussions on the need for professionalization. Although web development may be a marginal profession, this status will be able to change over time as the profession develops.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access