Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education

First Advisor

Karyn E. Rabourn

Second Advisor

Monica Fochtman

Third Advisor

Michelle Miller-Adams

Academic Year



Since the passing of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, more than 817,000 service members have participated in higher education. In this time, little research has been done to study student veterans as a unique college population; and to gauge whether the current best practices to support these students are impactful and effective. The purpose of this study is to further the scholarship on student veterans by investigating the transition into higher education and the factors that influence their engagement with academia. Both survey and interview data were collected to inform this research. 45 survey responses and 4 interview conversations were recorded during the data collection phase of the research plan. Three themes that influence student veteran transition and engagement in higher education emerged from the data collected: (1) Veteran Camaraderie, (2) Nontraditional Student Status, and (3) Campus Culture. The findings of this research give insight into the relationship that student veterans have with entering and persisting in higher education, that differs from their non-military affiliated peers. In addition to this, findings and conclusions from this research may help to enhance veteran specific services in higher education.