Date of Award

6-2017

Rights

© 2017 Mark Anthony McKinney

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Marylin Newell

Second Advisor

Laura Bertonazzi

Third Advisor

Donna Burdzinski

Abstract

Transitioning from military service always has been an inevitable part of serving in the United States military. With the recent end of military operations in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, transitioning from military service and entering higher education has become commonplace. However, the lived experiences of United States military veterans transitioning from military service to higher education within the past five years are not clearly understood. Consequently, higher education institutions may not possess information necessary to assist U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans who transitioned from military service within the specified timeframe.

The purpose of this qualitative research study was to investigate the lived experiences of a select sample of U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans transitioning from military service to higher education. The application of social constructivism to Schlossberg’s Adult Transition Theory and Schlossberg’s 4 S Model (Amineh & Davatgari, 2015; Goodman, Schlossberg, & Anderson, 2006), for the theoretical framework, with an online survey and interviews (Creswell, 2015) as the methods of data collection, four themes expressed participants’ experiences transitioning from military service to higher education: planning for transition, awareness of the transition, support during the transition, and transitional situation awareness.

The findings of this study may be utilized to inform higher education faculty, staff, and administrators about what U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans experience while transitioning from military service to higher education. Educational professionals can use this information to examine, revise, expand, and/or prepare support mechanisms for these students upon their entry into higher education.

Comments

Ed.D. Dissertation