Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration
Veterans have been an integral part of the student population on higher education campuses since the conclusion of World War II. The purpose of this study was to examine veterans' perceptions of how their military experiences affected their experience as college students. Twenty-six veterans were interviewed at six Illinois higher education institutions. Study findings suggest five ways in which the military experience helped veterans adjust to college: (a) veterans were experienced with group collaboration; (b) veterans held high expectations of themselves; (c) veterans were organized and task-oriented; (d) veterans were experienced learners, and; (e) veterans had experience and ability to work with others. In addition, the interviews uncovered five ways in which military experience made adjustment to college life difficult: (a) veterans faced difficulty with lack of direction; (b) veterans had challenges transitioning from the military to college; (c) veterans faced socialization concerns; (d) veterans had difficulty in coming to terms with age difference; and (e) veterans were frustrated when working on group projects.
Study results led to four recommendations. First, the military and universities can offer coordinated transition assistance. Second, colleges and universities can offer college orientation with veterans in mind. Third, the military and universities can offer assistance for veterans who desire to socialize more with others. Fourth, colleges and universities should implement mentoring and peer counseling programs for veterans. In addition to these recommendations, this study also suggests areas for further research.
Dougherty, Jeff, "The Impact of Military Experience on the Higher Education Experiences of Veterans" (2015). Theses and Dissertations. 328.