Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Higher Education Administration

Major Professor

Dorian L. McCoy

Committee Members

Terry T. Ishitani, Norma T. Mertz, C. Neal Stewart


Female veterans are a growing population on campuses across the United States (DiRamio et al., 2015; National Conference of State Legislatures, 2014). Researchers have turned their attention toward the veteran student population, but research specifically on female veteran students is lacking (Borsari et al., 2017; Demers, 2013). This sequential explanatory mixed method study was conducted to examine and compare the transitional experiences of male and female veteran students from the military to college. In this research method, the quantitative and then qualitative data were collected and analyzed, each in distinct stages (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2009). Participants from this study were from Patriot University, a large, public 4-year institution. Results from the quantitative phase indicated that gender is not a significant predictor of veteran students’ use of transition coping mechanisms for four of the five scales developed. A difference existed between male and female veterans on the stress scale with male participants scoring higher. The qualitative findings converged with existing literature that indicates veteran students experienced transitional challenges but also developed skills and characteristics that were useful in their transition to higher education (Borsari et al., 2017; Stalides, 2008; Steele, Salcedo, & Coley, 2010). This research contributed to the literature by presenting the narratives of eight female veteran students’ transition from the military to higher education. Recommendations include providing female veteran students with opportunities to develop reintegration and coping skills as part of a first-year studies course.

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