Date of Graduation

12-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Workforce Development Education (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communication Disorders

Advisor

David M. Deggs

Committee Member

Michael T. Miller

Second Committee Member

Kenda S. Grover

Keywords

Education; GI Bill; Military GI Bill; Military education; Military transition to college; Racial diversity; Racially diverse veterans; Veterans

Abstract

This study focused on examining the integration and transition challenges of racially and ethnically diverse modern day military veterans at a predominantly white research university. Modern day racially and ethnically diverse veterans who have been retained at the institution past their freshman year were invited to participate in the study. Tinto's (1975) Student Integration Model (SIM) served as the theoretical framework for the study which focused on retention and academic support strategies that could be appropriate for racially and ethnically diverse modern day military veterans in American higher education. The methodology utilized in this study was phenomenology which utilized interviews as the primary method of qualitative inquiry. Eight primary themes emerged through the study including college aspirations, college transition, networking opportunities, campus involvement, campus support services, race and ethnicity issues, personal discipline, and nontraditional student status. These themes represent the experiences among modern day racially and ethnically diverse veterans as they have transitioned to college following their military careers as well as what has affected their continued enrollment at the institution.

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