Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

James Lampley

Committee Members

Donald Good, Hal Knight, Michael Torrence


Research in military veterans’ transition from military service to civilian college indicates that veterans can be successful in college. Considering veterans are generally older than the average traditional student population who attends college after high school, military veterans fit the characteristics of an adult student. Research indicates that the military veteran may be more disciplined and characteristically achieve their academic goals. However the literature is limited in the research of military veteran success in community colleges, and research is inconsistent with regards to the academic success of military veterans. The military veteran population in the present research consisted of 40 students with a comparison to 5,189 students in the general student population. Each of these students was pursuing an associate’s degree and were enrolled at 1 of 4 Middle Tennessee community colleges.

The purpose of this comparative quantitative study was to compare the success factors (GPA, fall to fall retention, and graduation rates) of military veterans to the general student population at 4 participating Middle Tennessee community colleges. Data were compiled from historical student-level data consisting of a single cohort. Results of this study pointed to significant differences between the proportion of males and females with a higher proportion of males at the colleges and a lower proportion of females at the same colleges. There was also a significant difference in the use of financial aid-excluding the GI Bill between military veterans and the general student population. However there was not a significant difference between military veterans and the general student population in consideration of the other success factors such as Grade Point Average (GPA), graduation rates, persistence, and full-time attendance, along with the difference in the age of the military veteran students.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.