Student veterans' career services in higher education

by Delmar Rhodes

Institution: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Year: 2017
Keywords: Student veteran; Employability; Career development; University career center veteran program
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2155009
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/97317


This qualitative study investigated student veterans awareness of, access to, and use of U.S. military veteran-centered career development resources, services, and programs that are necessary to enhance their transitional career development and preparedness while in higher education at a large public university. It is important to examine the available veteran-specific career services on campus as the student veteran encounters various career development challenges (e.g., employment resume creation) while transitioning from military service via a higher education institution toward civilian employment. This study addresses how student veterans (and university officials) identify and realize how such campus student veteran-centered resources, services, and programs help them to meet their career goals. My central research question is: How do student veterans in higher education become aware of and use available veteran career services or career preparation resources in helping them to meet their career goals? Relevant methodologies and designs, including concepts and constructs that have been studied or raised as influential elements on this topic in the current literature, are reviewed. Data has been collected from two focus group interviews involving six postsecondary student veterans, as well as demographic surveys and observational protocols, and two individual interviews with university officials involved in implementing veteran-specific career services on campus. In accordance with this studys findings, an inductive analysis using a coding scheme was used on the collected data to produce resulting themes that informed this studys units-of-analysis. This study assumed that participating student veterans identified some type of career development or preparedness barriers upon their university enrollment, and potentially planned to seek out the appropriate veteran career services on campus or related transitional employment services and supports. Additionally, this study assumed that participating university officials charged with the programing and delivery of veteran career services in higher education will have identified appropriate veteran-specific career services to provide to their student veterans. Finally, I discuss these assumptions in connecting the data I have collected and analyzed to inform my central research question by providing implications, recommendations, and a conclusion section, which speaks to implications for policy and recommendations for practice, as well as suggestions for future research. Awareness of veteran career services was found to be inadequate in terms of incoming student veterans not being identified by the university as student veterans for the purposes of outreach. Regarding accessing veteran career services, the majority of student veterans indicated they would use these services, had ideas of what types of services they needed, and preferred prior military service individuals to act as veteran career services providers. While university officials found it difficult toAdvisors/Committee Members: Jankowski, Natasha A. (advisor), Anderson, James D. (Committee Chair), McDermott, Monica (committee member), Trent, William (committee member).