Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Antonina Lukenchuk

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Colleen Ramos

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Dianne Reed


Abstract The purpose of this study was to examine the lived experiences of military veterans transitioning from service members to civilian life. The study was conducted using semistructured interviews with eight transitioning veterans who had completed their bachelor’s degree from the same Midwestern U. S. university between 2017 and 2022. Retention theory, and transition theory were used as the guiding theories for this study. An intrinsic qualitative case study was used for data analysis, which resulted in the emerging themes (a) Transitioning from Military Service to Civilian Life, (b) Work-Life-Study Balance: Confronting Challenges, and (c) Supporting Military Veterans. This study contributed to current research by exploring the systems of support needed for military veterans to successfully transition from the military to their civilian lives and successfully complete their higher education degrees. This study also provides insight into the obstacles faced by transitioning veterans such as reintegration with health concerns, changes and adjustments to the veteran’s geographic location, daily work routine changes, locating supportive resources, and reliance in family and social systems of support. This study contributed to current research by identifying campus and community resources that were used, or that were missing and needed during participants’ undergraduate studies. Among recommendations for future support was a mixed-methods study to review qualitative and quantitative data on the increased retention of military, a phenomenological study to focus on the common experiences of transitioning military veterans centered on participants’ gender, race, or socioeconomic status. Keywords: Traditional learners, nontraditional learners, social supports, family responsibilities, transition, military friendly

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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