This study sought to understand what influenced veterans decisions to enroll in post-secondary education. 69 veterans and service members were interviewed, participants drew cognitive maps showing the resources and supports most important for them. Data from the interviews was then used to test possible scenarios for higher education to better support student veterans.
Veterans are entering higher education in large numbers. Some colleges have prepared a welcoming, supportive environment, while others have not. A recent national study asked veterans who are enrolled in college and service members who are in the process of transitioning from the military about the critical factors that influence their decisions about post-secondary education. Researchers interviewed 69 veterans and service members about their decisions to enroll in post-secondary education. During the interview, the participants drew cognitive maps showing the resources and supports most important for them to reach their goals. This interactive process invited participants to apply directional and weighted numerical values that quantify the relationship between various supports and resources. The research team computed the weight and direction and used the data to test possible scenarios for higher education to better support veterans who are students, especially those pursuing STEM degrees and careers.
Petri, A. N., Jenson, R., Gotto, G., & Day, A. (2016). Transition and the Troubled Giant: Opportunities for Colleges and Universities to Invest in Veterans. Journal of Veterans Studies, 1(1), 1–32. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jvs.v1i1.36