A Research Survey of Graduate Student Service Members and Veteran Students’ Experiences of Matriculating Through Graduate Schools and Professional Programs

Tasha Bayard, Fayetteville State University


The purpose of this study during the COVID-19 pandemic was to obtain the perspectives of graduate student service members or veteran students in graduate school programs or veterans who were pursuing a master’s or a doctoral/professional degree or had completed a master’s or a doctoral/professional degree. The results of this study contribute to the gap in knowledge about their personal shared experiences of utilizing services provided by higher education institutions, personal challenges during their matriculation, their needs, and strengths, which all have the potential to provide a foundation for empirical evidence-based studies on the best techniques for serving this population. According to selected research findings, prior to the post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 that assisted student veterans with obtaining higher education was the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944. Under the legislation of the Title II benefits, millions of veterans were assured that service members who were newly discharged would return to their civilian life without the delay of re-entry. The initial data were collected from voluntary participants (N= 36) and a follow-up interview in which n=9 participants agreed to answer the research questions that guided the study. As part of the data collection and analysis process, 10 themes emerged through the four research questions. Selected findings from the descriptive-virtual- phenomenological exploratory analysis research, suggested that some graduate student veterans and active-duty graduate students (a) were still challenged in the areas of time management/ work-life balance, (b) were challenged by campus culture, (c) had mixed emotions about taking courses virtually versus in person, (d) need more veteran representation in the offices, (e) and needed more outreach programs (via social media). As a result of selected findings, an original conceptualized model was produced to support the future policy and practice support delivery system for servicemen and women and veterans. The model suggested is the Veterans’ Educational and TransitioningProcess (VET-P) system. This model suggests that under the Constitution of the United States of America, all citizens have a vested interest in the advocacy of servicemen, servicewomen, and their dependents’ educational opportunities and transitioning. It is recommended that a biannual review of findings collected by a VET-P data collection system be reported to Congress, the President, and each state and territorial government’s Executive Branch of Government and Legislative Branch of Government. Keywords: Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924; Veterans Educational Assistance Program of 1977; Montgomery G.I. Bill of 1984; post-9/11 ; student-veteran; Veterans’ Educational and TransitioningProcess (VET-P) model

Subject Area

Educational leadership|Education

Recommended Citation

Bayard, Tasha, "A Research Survey of Graduate Student Service Members and Veteran Students’ Experiences of Matriculating Through Graduate Schools and Professional Programs" (2021). ETD Collection for Fayetteville State University. AAI28943450.