Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Vicki Underwood


The enrollment of military/veteran students at U.S. colleges and universities is growing steadily; however, factors affecting their academic success need further investigation. Guided by Tinto's student integration model and Bean and Metzner's model of nontraditional student attrition, the relationships between student characteristics and academic success for military/veteran, and civilian students were investigated. For this nonexperimental study, preentry characteristics (military/civilian status, race/ethnicity, age, gender, transfer credits) as well as 1st-year academic performance (total terms attended and grade point average [GPA]) archived in 393 students' records were examined to determine whether these variables predicted 4 student success measures: retention after 1 year, associate degree (AA) within 4 years, bachelor's degree (BA) within 8 years, and final GPA. Binary logistic regression and ordinary least squares multiple regression were conducted for the 3 retention/graduation measures and GPA, respectively. Significant findings indicated that Black students were more likely than White students to complete both AA and BA degrees and military, but not veterans, were more likely than civilians to earn AA degrees. Age was a positive predictor for earning a BA degree and a higher final GPA; transfer credits and total terms attended predicted student retention and AA degree completion; first-year GPA only predicted final GPA. Based on outcomes from this military-focused college, which showed the academic potential of two student groups often deemed less academically successful (military and Black students), colleges that focus on military students' success can better prepare these students for degree completion.