Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Steven Matarelli


The Department of Defense (DoD) Transition Assistance Program (TAP) was established by the U.S. federal government to support the transition and reintegration of service members into civilian communities upon discharge or retirement. The problem is that the actual success or failure of the TAP to facilitate that transition is not clearly understood. This quantitative study explored the relationships between former servicemembers who participated in TAP and participation success evaluating program outcomes. Mohr’s program theory served as the interpretive lens. Two research questions explored program aspects: (a) What is the individual likelihood that the Individual Development Plan (IDP) and Individual Transition Plan (ITP) process used for servicemember transition and reintegration predicts DoD TAP success and (b) What is the individual likelihood that the academic transition and reintegration process predicts DoD TAP success. A nonexperimental, binary logistic regression using bootstrap sampling was used to conduct the data analyses with 26 student veterans from 3 academic institutions. Key findings illustrated that IDP and ITP did not demonstrate a significant relationship between their use and program success; however, veteran participation in the program’s education track did demonstrate a significant relationship between track participation and program success Acceptance (OR = 9.6, p = .002, CI [-11.295, -9.797]); Application (OR = 32.0, p = .002, CI [31.111, 32.609]). Social change can be supported through focus on continual program improvements such as periodic IDP/ITP reviews, education track reviews, and multiple track attendance in order to enhance servicemember transition and reintegration while maintaining an economically justifiable program to the U.S. taxpayer.