Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Karen A Card


Following the events of September 11, 2001, Student Veterans have emerged as “one of the fastest-growing subpopulations of nontraditional college students” (Schiavone & Gentry, 2014, p. 29). Military veterans transition from active-duty service into higher education and civilian life facing a variety of new challenges and experiences they are unprepared for. The focus of this study was to understand issues veterans face when transitioning from active-duty military service into higher education. Using transition theory, zoom interviews were conducted containing a series of open-ended questions to allow the student-veterans to share their experiences and perceptions of what it means to be a student-veteran transitioning from active duty to higher education. Six common themes emerged from that data. These themes include challenges faced from a lack of structure, stress from war, financial difficulties, inaccurate stereotypes, physical and mental health complications, and a struggle to find a new sense of purpose. Nancy K. Schlossberg’s transition theory was applied to the themes. All six fell within the parameters of transition theory. Based on the findings of this study, the several recommendations for practice are encouraged to be adopted. General recommendations for practice include training faculty and staff on veteran specific needs, veteran specific resources, and events to ease their transition, and increased advertisement and awareness of resources specific to veterans.

Subject Categories

Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership


Student Veterans

Number of Pages



University of South Dakota



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