Date of Award

Fall 10-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Jodi E. Elder

Second Advisor

Dr. Roger "Mitch" Nasser Jr.

Third Advisor

Dr. Randy Caffey


The purpose of this study was to determine the presence (or absence) of barriers that hindered the ability of veteran student populations in completing degrees in the applied sciences field. Furthermore, in this study, the researcher sought to identify and to understand any detected barriers. The researcher examined the academic performances of veterans and non-veterans in the environmental science program at a Missouri community college. This study focused on collecting supplemental sources and gathering additional research on veterans pursuing applied science degrees. The researcher analyzed quantitative metrics and qualitative data, as well as compared personal responses from students to determine the leading perceived barriers and, conversely, the strategies most commonly employed to assist veterans in completion of the degree program. Additionally, the researcher compared academic performances of veteran and non-veteran students across multiple categories. The data indicated veteran students performed as well as non-veteran students, overall. However, some factors, such as educational background and military occupational specialties, had a favorable effect on veteran student retention and achievement rates. Based on the data presented, the researcher recommended a future longitudinal study investigating veteran resource center services and the academic performances of the veteran students who utilized them. Findings from such a study would provide valuable information regarding the effectiveness of the veteran resource centers and their ability to help veteran students transition to higher education.


Copyright 2017