Date of Award

Fall 11-25-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

PHD - Doctor of Philosophy


Doctoral Program

First Advisor

MaryAnn Cappiello

Second Advisor

Jennifer Serowick

Third Advisor

Anne Benoit


Currently there is a dearth in the literature surrounding the experiences of Veterans and individuals with children within higher education. The goal of this dissertation was to understand Veteran student parents’ perceptions of the ways in which their undergraduate institutions supported their completion of a bachelor’s degree. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 individuals; this dissertation analyzes the findings of the 6 participants who were both Veteran students and parents concurrently. Narratives were constructed for each participant and resulted in the identification of four intersecting themes: relationships, institutional barriers, motivators, as well as barriers and threats. Special attention was paid to the ways in which students utilized institutional services and support structures within higher education and the ways in which those services contributed to student success. The research findings led way to the development of recommendations and applications for higher education institutions to better serve and support the graduation of Veteran student parents and other similar populations. Given the limited available research on Veteran student parents in higher education, this dissertation advances our understanding of the intersection of military status and parenthood within the educational context.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.






The author owns the copyright to this work.