The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type




Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Jennifer Benson-Jones

Third Advisor

Rachel Friedensen

Fourth Advisor

Corbin Smyth

Creative Commons License

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

Keywords and Subject Headings

Student veteran


The impact of deployment on the returning student veteran to a four-year institution is unknown to the majority of the general population. With less than 5% of the population having served in the military and even fewer of those deployed overseas for greater than one year, it can be expected that there is little research on this topic at this institution of higher education. The purpose of the narrative inquiry qualitative research study is to fill the knowledge void and add to the current literature. The research participants are current or former students (graduates) within the last ten years, whose academic programs were interrupted at least once by a military deployment. These student veterans includes current and alumni undergraduate and graduate students. The theoretical framework used for this study was Transition 2.0: A Theoretical Critique of Tinto’s Model for Exploring Student-Veteran Persistence. This research utilized the narrative inquiry method to gain the lived experiences of the research participants. The sample consisted of 9 participants from an upper Midwest regional state university. Interviews were recorded and later analyzed using NVivo Software; interview notes supplemented transcripts for non-verbal messaging. Analysis of the participant narratives identified three themes that support the Theoretical Framework presented above: Goals/Commitments, Institutional Commitment, and Development and Integration. Student-veterans shared their experiences and thoughts about how they felt as students returning to the same institution regarding academics, fellow students, and the administrative processes. In summary, all participants reported a positive experience with suggestions for improvements.



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