Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Pamela L Eddy
Student veterans (SVs) represent a diverse and understudied sample of the college student population. Educational institutions are attempting to ascertain actions required to facilitate SV success on their campuses. The purpose of this study was to analyze a sample of the SV population at Ivy League institutions to understand the SVs’ engagement, academic resource use, and non-academic resource use. This dissertation examined the frequency of use of specific resources provided by institutions and their effect on SV grade point average (GPA) and feelings of inclusion. This cross-sectional quantitative research dissertation created a unique survey instrument to ascertain the answers to four specific research questions. A total of 183 respondents participated in the study, and statistical tests were conducted on raw data collected. Chi-square analysis was conducted between the SVs and the national data of traditional college students to identify statistically significant differences in collaborative learning and student-faculty interaction. Differences in collaborative learning were found in “explain[ing] course material to one or more students,” “prepar[ing] for exams by discussing or working through course material with students,” and “work[ing] with other students on course projects or assignments.” SVs reported at a higher level that they “sometimes” engaged in these activities. In terms of student-faculty interactions, the SV sample yielded significant differences in “talk[ing] about career plans with a faculty member” and “work[ing] with a faculty member on activities other than coursework” compared to national comparisons. Again, SVs reported higher responses of “sometimes” compared to their national peers. One-on-one interactions with faculty members and remedial skills programs were academic supports used by SVs that had moderate correlations with self-reported GPA. Yet, this correlation did not have a large coefficient (only 0.011) when a multiple regression model was conducted. This dissertation also measured the use of non-academic supports and their relationship with feelings of inclusion. Most veterans reported feeling included on campus (78.7%). Engagement with the educational benefits resource officer showed to be moderately correlated with feelings of inclusion. A binary logistic regression model revealed that use of this specific resource yielded a 15.5% higher chance of inclusion. This dissertation also asked the respondents to report requested resources they wish to be provided by their institution. Qualitative research coding methods were utilized to create frequency counts of these responses. Generally, responses indicated that most SVs did not request additional resources provided by their HEI; however there was evidence of a desire for a (a) Student Veterans Resource Office, (b) creation of student veterans groups, and (c) further remedial academic skills programs. As a result of the present study’s findings, campus leaders can better focus their resources to improve the GPA and feelings of inclusion in the SV population: encouraging collaborative learning, increasing student-faculty interaction, maintaining efforts to process educational support programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and creation of both remedial academic training and student veteran resources offices are all courses of action to take. With the number of SVs attending higher education on the rise, colleges and universities will need to adapt current practices to refine services to best SVs on campus.
© The Author
Thompson Jr, Robert Clay, "The Relationship Between Student Support And Academic Success For Student Veterans At A Sample Of Ivy League Institutions" (2022). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1673281775.
Available for download on Tuesday, May 23, 2023