Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Velma D. Layne


Some veterans transitioning from military duty to the classroom are not obtaining college degrees. The purpose of this study was to investigate student veterans’ perceptions of the transition services and support systems at their college that might impact the challenges they face while pursuing a college degree. The theoretical framework for this study was Schlossberg’s Theory of Transition. The guiding research question asked how military veterans perceived the transition services and support systems at their university in the context of their decision to obtain their degrees. A purposeful sampling approach was used for selecting student veteran participants who had returned from active duty and were enrolled at the university for 1 year. Moustakas’s transcendental approach was the model used for interviewing 12 veterans. Inductive analysis was used to analyze data, including coding the interview transcripts and identifying themes to capture the collective experience of the veterans. Participants indicated that existing emotional or social support programs, organizations, and personnel to assist them on campus were inadequate. Implications for social change include increasing faculty and staff understanding of veterans’ needs, which may lead to improved transition services, support systems, and communications within the university. Results may be used to improve retention and degree completion rates of student veterans.