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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An examination of support services offered by four-year universities for student servicemembers on military deployment
by Stein, Erik, Ph.D., Robert Morris University, 2015, 171; 3691843
Abstract (Summary)

There has been a recent emergence of literature related to student servicemembers on the campuses of American institutions of higher education. Most of the research has focused on the experiences of the servicemembers after deployment. This qualitative multiple case study, however, was designed to explore what supports and services, if any, are currently offered to servicemembers while on deployment. An exploration of services offered to student servicemembers on military deployment can assist college and university administrators in implementing appropriate and effective support and assessment processes designed to support students servicemembers while on deployment.

Three data sets were collected. The first two sets include semi-structured interviews with the study’s two participant groups. This researcher interviewed eight higher education veteran administrators and eight previously deployed servicemembers of the Selected Reserves to gain insight into the offering of support to student servicemembers while on military deployments. The third set of data was obtained by collecting the policies, in either hard-copy or electronic form via institutional websites, that directly related to supporting to student servicemembers on deployment at each of the eight higher education sites managed by the veteran administrator participants.

The results of this study revealed that contact with student servicemembers while on deployment can increase a servicemember’s feelings of connectedness toward their institution and help the student servicemember understand how a military deployment impacts their academic progression and allocation of federal education benefits. There are also several recommendations for practice that resulted from this study. These recommendations include establishing a formal process to allow for the tracking of deployed students; creating formal deployment withdrawal and course disenrollment policies; offering continued support to students on deployment in the form of direct and frequent contact with pertinent information, personal messages, and care packages; creating cross-campus communication mechanisms that involve the veteran administrator, faculty, staff, and students; and developing comprehensive, web-based information specifically for students on deployment.

Indexing (document details)
School: Robert Morris University
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Higher education, Military studies
Keywords: Deployment, Disenrollment policies, Service members, Veteran admistrators
Publication Number: 3691843
ISBN: 978-1-321-66644-1
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