Purpose. The purpose of this study was to determine how Southern California community colleges have implemented best practices based on the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success as identified by the U.S. Departments of Education, Defense, and Veterans Affairs to effectively support and retain military and veteran students in higher education programs. The study sought to determine the practices that provided the most substantial impact and what outcomes were utilized to measure success.
Methodology. Four military and veteran student program professionals within successful Southern California community colleges were interviewed. This sample population was selected due to the colleges’ excellent military and veteran student programs. A multiple-case study, qualitative analysis was conducted of the data collected. Limitations of this study include a small number of participants surveyed and the researcher’s limited amount of time to conduct a more extensive research of current literature.
Findings and Conclusions. This study found that the most impactful “keys” supporting veteran student program success were providing a dedicated, functional space and creating a culture of trust and connectedness. These were followed by sustained campus leadership support and collaboration with the local community. The outcomes utilized were retention and graduation rates, followed by persistence rate and years to completion. Barriers were overcome by utilizing the keys effectively, including functional space on campus, enough qualified staff, and sustained support. Utilizing the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs outcomes, colleges and universities can effectively implement military and veteran student programs and consistently measure their success.
Recommendations. Administrators should assess their military and veteran student programs utilizing the 8 Keys to Veterans’ Success as a rubric, then strategize plans and resources for program improvement. Further research is needed to assess best practices to support military and veteran students transitioning successfully from 2-year programs to 4-year universities and from college programs to meaningful employment.
|Advisor:||Giese, Richard J.|
|Commitee:||O'Rourke, Patrick C., Wood, Brent A.|
|School:||University of La Verne|
|Department:||LaFetra College of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Higher Education Administration, Military studies|
|Keywords:||Administration, Best practice, Higher education, Military, Student program, Success, Veteran|
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