Date of Conferral







Dennis Beck


Many veterans pursue college degrees using their inservice higher education benefits and enroll in universities around the world. However, many of these veterans also begin their higher education with mental and physical disabilities that limit their ability to attend brick and mortar college classrooms. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore veteran students’ experiences in collegiate online learning. The veterens in this study were restricted from the conventional classroom for various reasons. The conceptual framework included Tinto’s student integration model and Knowles’ andragogy. The research questions in this study inquired about (a) the perceptions of online student veterans toward online learning, (b) the tools within LMSs assisted student veterans to obtain their college degree, and (c) the online obstacles which hindered student veterans from completing their degree. Six veterans recruited through online communities, who completed their degree online and had enlisted after 9-11, participated in the interviews. Data were analyzed using an open-coding process to find themes that answered the research questions. Key results were that all veterans had positive experiences in communicating effectively with faculty online; however, they had difficulties working online with other nonveteran students. Recommendations for future studies are to evaluate the way student veterans collaborate, and their perceptions of how to collaborate with students who do not have a military background. This study produces positive social change in providing evidence that veterans may benefit more from an online classroom to complete their college degrees thereby reducing the challenges faced in the traditional classroom.