Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department or Academic Unit
College of Professional Studies. Department of Education.
college, combat, cultural capital, engagement, transition, veterans
Educational Administration and Supervision | Higher Education Administration
The circumstances of each war vary greatly for different generations of veterans. As such, research on the veterans of previous wars may not be applicable as colleges look to prepare for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. What specifically is missing is an analysis of how the experience in a combat zone affects educational engagement for Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans and what colleges and universities are doing to aid them in their return. For that reason, the primary and secondary questions that frame this research center on enhancing our understanding of this phenomenon, as well as how the veteran perception of institutional culture enhances or inhibits their experience. Two theoretical frameworks have been utilized to further organize and enhance our understanding of the veteran experience in higher education: transition and critical theory.
A phenomenological design has been utilized to address the primary and secondary research questions. It allowed veterans to express how their experiences in war affect the conception of their roles as students and the role colleges play in assisting them in meeting their educational goals. Individual interviews, as well as a focus group have been conducted in accordance with this methodology, as well as in an effort allow veteran perspective to remain the primary focus of the conclusions that have been reached.
Ultimately, the conclusions of this research confirm the prior programming recommendations of previous research on veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars but differ in the manner in which they should be conceived. A new theoretical framework, student-veteran integration theory, is introduced to give practitioners more informed guidelines when creating effective programming that engages veterans based on a deeper understanding of their experiences at war, rather than addressing them as a population with a uniform cultural background.
Lackaye, Bryan, "In country, on campus: a study of combat veteran integration into higher education" (2011). Education Doctoral Theses. Paper 32. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002688
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