This study explores the experience of veterans enrolled as college students.
"This study described student veterans’ navigation of college re-enrollment. Fifteen participants interviewed at one institution were less likely to seek academic support and more inclined to pursue social support in the form of associating with fellow veterans with whom they felt more comfortable. They downplayed or hid their veteran status from campus community members. Recommendations for acknowledging and supporting student veterans are discussed" (p. 315). (Abstractor: Author)

Major Findings & Recommendations

•“Fifteen participants interviewed at one institution were less likely to seek academic support and more inclined to pursue social support in the form of associating with fellow veterans with whom they felt more comfortable. They downplayed or hid their veteran status from campus community members” (p. 315). (Abstractor: Author). • “The Student Veteran Academic and Social Transition Model (SVASTM)…explains that student veterans may experience initial academic challenges, but that their social transitions may be more problematic” (p. 320). (Abstractor: Author) •Military influence: “Because of the maturity and increased emphasis on academics, student veterans often did not utilize, or did not need, academic support. Moreover, pride and self-sufficiency impacted Veterans’ utilization of both academic and social support” (P. 321). (Abstractor: Author) •Invisibility: “Older, more mature student veterans were less likely to live on campus or get involved in campus activities. Participants’ development of maturity, humility, and pride dictated whether or not and to whom they disclosed their veteran status and, as a result of this, it was difficult to see student veterans because they often did not want to be seen” (p. 323). (Abstractor: Author) •Support: “Fellow veterans provided the most prominent source of support, both academic and social. Participants tended to rely on military colleagues whom they already knew or faculty members to whom they were introduced. Student veterans felt more comfortable associating with one another, a byproduct of maturity and a lack of commonality with their peers” (p. 323). (Abstractor: Author) •Campus culture: “For the most part, student veterans expressed positive perceptions of faculty members’ attitudes, helpfulness, and treatment of student veterans. Their perceptions of administrators’ and students’ attitudes were much more varied, as participants acknowledged apathy, unhelpfulness, and indifference among community members (p. 324). (Abstractor: Author) •Navigating re-enrollment: “Participants’ perceptions of campus climate did not prevent them from utilizing services; nor did these attitudes adversely affect their re-enrollment. Their perceptions simply reasserted participants’ assumptions that re-enrollment was an individual hurdle to overcome” (p. 325). (Abstractor: Author) •Coping resources: “Participants tended to rely heavily upon the self-coping resource…[as] they were taught in the military to be self-sufficient and to persevere quietly and with strength (p. 326). (Abstractor: Author)Recommendations on how higher education professionals can support veterans: • “Add a veteran data field to college entrance and re-enrollment applications. Simply having an accurate count of veterans will help campus constituents realize the scope of the population, its intermingling demographics, and how services might be realigned to better serve this subculture” (p. 328). (Abstractor: Author) •"Recruit and work [with] faculty staff members who are veterans [for the] creation of a student veterans’ center” (p. 328). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff) •Develop campus partnerships, such as “forming a [student veteran, faculty, and staff] task force… [and constructing] a student veterans’ Web page that encapsulates student services and appropriate information in a virtual one-stop format” (p. 328). (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff).