Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

First Advisor

Charles S. Hausman

Department Affiliation

Educational Leadership and Policy Studies

Abstract

This study examined whether a bridge program designed to remediate academic deficiencies for a cohort of student veterans has any bearing on their post-secondary success and persistence. Specifically, this study examined the Veterans Bridge to College Success (VBCS) pilot program at Eastern Kentucky University, which provides an admission pathway for student veterans with low ACT or SAT test scores, no test scores, or marginal high school or college GPAs. The study utilized both quantitative and qualitative analyses to determine whether student veterans with known academic deficiencies prior to enrollment would persist and perform at similar rates as their academically proficient peers and examine whether their academic and social cohort experience in the VBCS program had any lasting effect upon their persistence. The study examined both groups during their third and fourth academic terms when all participants were considered fully academic ready and enrolled full-time in credit bearing coursework.

The quantitative results of the study show evidence that the academic performance and retention rate of students who continued to pursue their degree after completing VBCS program did not differ significantly from their college-ready student veteran peers who did not participate in the cohort-based program. Furthermore, the qualitative portion of the study confirmed that members of the VBCS group reported lasting effects of the VBCS program on their desire to persist. Chapter 5 of the study reflects upon the value of the research in regards to policy, practice and for future research.

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