Date of Award

12-2015

Access Control

Open Access

Department

Political Science Department

Advisor

Dr. Laurie Buonnano

Department Home page

http://publicadministration.buffalostate.edu/

First Reader

Dr. Laurie Buonnano

Second Reader

Dr. Suparna Soni

Abstract

Student Service Members/Veterans (SSM/Vs) served their nation in times of peace and in war and in doing so, are eligible for various educational benefits. To assist the SSM/V in adapting to their new role as a student and civilian, most postsecondary educational institutions offer services specifically tailored to the SSM/V population in order to support and assist them in completing their academic program. These services could include navigating benefit programs, financial aid, orientation programs and disability services as needed. In this transformative mixed methods study, a content analysis of the public websites of the schools was first conducted to determine the SSM/V programs and services provided by the schools. Next, SSM/Vs from five participant schools in Erie County NY were invited to take a web-administered questionnaire which was designed to test for satisfaction levels with services provided, to gauge satisfaction in their personal transition from military life to student/civilian life, and how likely they are to complete their current academic program. While the study found no statistical significance among these factors, there was a statistically significant positive correlation between satisfaction levels of the services provided by a school’s Veteran Service Office and transition satisfaction. Because many respondents did not seem aware of some of the key services offered on their campuses, and at the same time results point to the desire for a highly active Veteran Service Office, the author recommends that postsecondary institutions ensure that their Veteran Service Offices are staffed appropriately to undertake the outreach needed for its SSM/Vs. While doing so will entail additional costs, colleges perceived as “veteran-friendly” will likely find that more SSM/Vs will be interested in studying at these campuses.