Faculty Attitudes and Beliefs Toward Current Era Student Veterans at Mid-Western Institutions of Higher Education
Kovach, Daniel R.
University of Wisconsin--Stout
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The current military era is the longest period of sustained conflict in the nation’s history. Moreover, it is being fought by a contracting volunteer force of less than one half of one percent of the population. As veterans utilize their military benefits in their transition to civilian life, colleges are trying to create a veteran friendly environment and identify the barriers student veterans face. Research has shown that student veterans cited a barrier to inclusion and college success as feeling misunderstood by college faculty. This qualitative phenomenological study examines the perceptions of faculty at mid-western technical colleges and universities. The key objectives of the study were to determine what influences faculty perceptions of student veterans and what were the teaching faculty attitudes toward accommodations for student veterans. Qualitative interviews were conducted with ten faculty from two college systems across three campuses. Subjects were asked a series of questions that explored their background, military heritage, political perceptions and that of their professional peers, significant personal experiences with veterans, knowledge of veteran issues, and other factors that influence their perceptions of student veterans. The findings used interpretational analysis to identify patterns of perception and themes that help understand the objectives of the study.