Masters Thesis

A phenomenological study: Military veteran to student veteran

This qualitative study sought to gain a better understanding of the lived experiences of student veterans who had recently transitioned from military service into community college. Utilizing the Veteran Critical Theory (VCT) as the primary conceptual framework, this study sought to give voice to those who are directly impacted by the services that were created to support them during their transition. Findings included difficulties relating to civilian peers, increased feelings of positive militaristic-type discipline, motivation, attention to time and detail, as well as, heightened critical thinking skills. Findings also included an unanimously positive response concerning the importance of the Veteran Resource Center and the services provided, particularly the individualized education planning. Student veterans suggested the need to improve upon services delivered to future student veterans by developing a mandatory orientation where students could become familiarized with the campus and the services provided by each department. Primary limitations of this study include, only two branches of military being represented, small sample size, the use of convenience sampling from only one community college, the use of some closed-ended questioning during interviews, and interviews being conducted within the veteran resource center.

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