Facilitating Veteran Student Success: Experiences from an Accelerated BS Program
Keywords:military veterans, nursing education, academic success, transitioning, veteran student
Background: Military Veterans (MVs) face unique challenges that are important to recognize when building supportive academic environments. There is a need to broaden our understanding of the diverse student population within academia, requiring us to hear their voices and deduce facilitators and barriers to their academic transition and success.
Aim: The aim of this study was to explore the unique needs of MV students and understand obstacles and facilitators for successful transition and completion for MV students entering a civilian baccalaureate program.
Method: This study was guided by a phenomenological approach; we conducted three focus group interviews with Veteran students (n = 17) and conducted verbatim transcription thematic analysis.
Results: Three themes were identified that impacted student success: (1) military experience prepared me for academic challenges, (2) defining my new role, and (3) no one left behind. Specific exemplars for thematic components to support transitioning into a civilian academic program included incorporating a military liaison for academic guidance and mentoring, acknowledging baseline skills using competency-based cohorts, and facilitating opportunities for connecting with other Veterans.
Conclusion: Preparation of faculty and staff to better understand MV’s specific needs in civilian academic environments is needed.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Roberta Anne Rolland, Alicia Gill Rossiter, Dianne Morrison-Beedy
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