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The Impact of Mentoring on

Military Veteran Students


Community College
Persistence
Dissertation Proposal Defense
by
Angela R. Dickson, M.S., M.Ed.
Dissertation Chair: Lisa Hobson, Ph.D.
Prairie View A & M University
Educational Leadership

April 1, 2013

Committee Members

Lisa Hobson, Ph.D.


Chair
William Kritsonis, Ph.D.
Member
Laxley Rodney, Ph.D.
Member
Harry Adams, Ph.D.
Outside Member/College of Juvenile
Justice/Department of Justice Studies
Jennifer Butcher, Ph.D.
Member/Lamar University/Center for
Doctoral Studies

Proposal Defense Format


Research
Problem
Rationale
Research
Questions
Assumptions
Related
Literature

Operational Terms
Armed
Forces

Veteran

Drawdown

Separation
from
military
service

Traditional
student

Deployment

Discharged or
released from
active duty

Nontradition
al student

Research Problem
There are no existing
models that focus on the
complex issues faced by
military veteran students as
they transition from military
service and acclimate into
higher education settings.

Support for Research


Problem
When moving through
phases of transition, it is
imperative that
psychological and personal
factors are considered.
(Schlossberg, Lynch, and Chickering, 1989)

Research Problem
Secondarily, the problem
is the lack of mentoring
effort directing military
veteran students toward
persistence, retention,
career readiness, and
program completion at

Transition + Mentoring +
Persistence = Retention
Transition

Retention
Persistence

Mentoring

Rationale
To assist community college
stakeholders identify needs and
types of specific programming
necessary to meet those needs.
To assist in the modification of
current programs and services
and/or the development of new
programs that
aid the military
veteran student.

Research Question

1. How do military
veteran students
experience
community college?

Research Question
(continued, 2 of 5)

2. What community
college resources and
services do military
veteran students
perceive as beneficial in
meeting their financial,
academic, social, and

Research Question
(continued, 3 of 5)

3. What types of
mentoring programs
are currently in
existence for military
veteran students at the
sample site?

Research Question
(continued, 4 of 5)

4. What on-campus resources


do community college
stakeholders (military veteran
students, faculty,
administrators, and staff)
perceive to be the major
facilitators of the retention of
the military veteran students?

Research Question
(continued, 5 of 5)

5. How does mentoring impact


military veteran students:
a. adjustment to community
college level study,
b. acquisition of relevant
study skills, and
c. persistence in completing
an associate degree?

Assumptions
My personal assumptions for this study:
1. Military veteran students require
additional
and/or different services
than those of
other students to be
successful in college.
2. Community colleges in the state of
Texas
should strive to improve their
practices in
retaining military
veteran students.
3. Expanded programming is
beneficial to
military veteran

Related Literature
Overview
of
Military
Members

Veteran
defined

National,
state,
and local
populatio
ns

Elements
of Culture

The
Disciplin
e
Element
The
Professio
nal Ethos
Element
The
Elements
of
Cohesion
and
Esprit de
Corps

Reacclimation
into Society

Challeng
es to
Successf
ul ReEntry
Re-Entry
into
Higher
Educatio
n

The Texas
Higher
Education
Plan

Closing
the Gap
by 2015
Colleg
e
Credit
for
Heroes
Texas
Inter
Colleg
e
Council
on
Vetera
ns

Framework

Schlossbe
rgs Adult
Transition
Theory

Tintos
Model on
Persisten
ce and
Retention

Veteran Defined
Veteran, a person who has been
Discharged, or released from
active duty in the armed forces;
Performed under honorable
conditions;
For more than 180 consecutive
days, other than for training.
(U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012, p. 1)

Veteran Population Nationwide


According to data from
the 2010 U.S. Census
Bureau, the veteran
population in the
United States is
22,448,000.

Veteran Population State


The concentration of military veterans in

California

= 1.9 million (ranking the

largest)

Texas

= 1.7 million (ranking second and


as the fastest growing veteran population
in the nation in 2010)

Florida

= 1.6 million (ranking third


largest)

(U.S. Department of Commerce, 2012)

Veteran Population Local

Harris County has the second


largest military veteran population
in the United States with 305,000.

The greater Houston area leads


the state with over 197,000
military veterans.
(Texas Veterans Commission, 2012)

Re-acclimation into
Society
Veterans struggle to recapture the
world as it was once understood.

Having excelled at real-world


situations, veterans exhibit work
ethics and courage that sets them
apart from their civilian
communities.

(Coulter, Lester, & Yarvis, 2010)

The Texas Higher


Education Plan

College Credit for Heroes


Mission: to determine and cultivate processes
that provide college credits to veterans for
their military experience and training.
Partnered with seven community colleges
forming the Texas Inter-College Council on
Veterans
Charged with using best practices in assisting
military service veterans to obtain and
achieve education and career goals.
(Texas Veterans Commission, 2012)

Schlossbergs Adult
Transition Theory
SE
LF
moving
through
eve
nt
or
non
eve
nt

sit
uat
ion

moving
in
antici
pated
and/or
unanti
cipate
d

sup
por
t

stra
tegi
es

moving
out
(Schlossberg et al.,

Framework (continued)
Outcomes

Successful
Matriculation
of Veterans in
Higher
Education
Settings

Institutional
and Social
System
Structures
Mentoring
Programs
Application and
Allocations of
Resources and
Services

Mediatin
g Factors
Persistence and
Retention
Transitioning
from service to
college
Federal, State,
and Local
Initiatives

Methodology
Qualitative research
methods are suitable for this
study as the intent is to gain
a thorough understanding of
the lived experiences of the
participants perceptions
related to persistence,
retention, career readiness,
and program completion

Methodology

(Research Design)

The research is designed


as a phenomenological
case study.

Case study methods


provide an in-depth
picture of participants
real-life events.

Phenomenological
methods describe the

Methodology

(Population and

Sample)

The sample site in this study is a


community college in a
metropolitan area of a southwestern
state that has been classified as a
military friendly campus.

Creswell (2012) states that


qualitative research - studies a
single individual or a single site to
present the complexity of the site
and provide an in-depth picture.

Methodology

(Population and

Sample)

Military veteran student


study participants must
meet the following criteria:
enrollment in sample site;
in their first year of
course work;
served in the armed
forces.

Methodology

(Population and

Sample)

Seven to ten military veteran


students
Enrolled in first-year courses
Three campus administrators
Vice President for Student
Success
Dean of Academic Affairs
Director of Academic Success
Center

Methodology

(Instrumentation)

Face-to-Face interviews
Ten open-ended questions
Semi-structured
Audiotaped
Survey
Seven questions
Electronic online submission

According to Creswell (2012), someone


elses instrument is not used in qualitative
research as it can limit the collection of
unrestricted participant views.

Methodology

Process

(Data Analysis)

Compilation of responses from the


interview and survey questions will
answer the research questions.
Collected data will be coded based
on the participants responses.
Redundancy and overlap will be
reduced.

The analyzed data will reveal


connections and emerging themes.
The results will be reported

References

Coulter, I., Lester, P., & Yarvis, J. (2010). Social Fitness. Military Medicine,
88-96.

Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting, and


Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th ed.). Boston, MA:
Pearson.

Schlossberg, N. K., Lynch, A. Q., & Chickering, A. W. (1989). Improving


higher education environments for adults. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass.

Schlossberg, N. K., Waters, E. B., & Goodman, J. (1995). Counseling adults


in transition: Linking practice with theory (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer.

Texas Veterans Commission. (2012). Hazelwood Act. Retrieved from


://www.tvc.texas.gov/Hazlewood-Act.aspx

United States Department of Commerce. (2012). United States Census


Bureau. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov

United States Government Printing Office. Federal government outlays by


function and subfunction: 1962-2012 fiscal year 2011(table 3.2).
Retrieved from
http://
www.gpoaccess.gov/usbudget/fy12/pdf/BUDGET-2012-BUD- 7.pdf

http