Since 2010, California community colleges began to implement veterans resource centers (VRC) to assist with the influx of Post 9/11 student veterans entering higher education. Depending on the needs of their students, each center provides different types of support services while following the California Community College Chancellor’s Office three pillars of support: academics, wellness, and camaraderie. However, VRC administrators experience the implementation and sustainment of VRCs differently.
This basic qualitative study explored the experiences of VRC administrators during the implementation and sustainment of their center. The study used a semi-structured interview protocol to gain in-depth understanding of inhibitors and facilitators they have had or continue to experience. Fifteen participants were identified through a convenience and snowball sample. Bolman and Deal’s (2017) Four Frame model was used as the theoretical framework to analyze the experiences of VRC administrators.
The findings indicated that VRC administrators experience a range of inhibitors and facilitators while implementing and sustaining these programs, with many reporting barriers with upper administration, specifically. However, many also reported faculty members and other directors or managers who provided guidance on how to implement a VRC. Staffing and funding continue to be a hurdle, even with the first-year allocation in 2017-2018. The funding that was received is not enough to fund positions or implement long-lasting support services. VRC administrators also reported hurdles navigating campus and local politics, and many felt their student veterans were used to leverage support for personal agendas instead of student needs. Lastly, VRC administrators reported their utilization of military traditions and symbols to change campus culture and climate as well as to gain support for their advocacy efforts.
Recommendations for policy include training and legislative support for VRCs. VRC administrators should have a structured model and support from the campus to utilize the funding that is received for VRCs. Most VRC administrators indicated that legislative support is needed to receive higher amounts of funding and support systemwide. Finally, VRC administrators should practice awareness of their own student veteran population to implement support services.
|Commitee:||O'Brien, Jonathan, de Dios, Paul|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Military studies, Educational administration, Higher education, Political science, Educational sociology|
|Keywords:||Veteran resource centers, California community colleges, Post-911 student veterans, VRC administrators, Upper administration, Military traditions, Campus culture, Peer support, Legislative support for veterans|
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