Veterans are entering higher education in large numbers. Some colleges are ready with a welcoming, supportive environment, while others are not. A recent national study asked veterans enrolled in college, and service members in the process of transitioning out of the military, about the critical factors that influence their decisions about postsecondary education. Researchers interviewed 69 veterans and service members about their decisions to enroll in postsecondary education. During interviews, participants drew cognitive maps showing the resources and supports most important for them to reach their goals. This interactive process invited participants to apply directional and weighted numerical values that quantify the relationship between various supports and resources. The research team computed the weight and direction and used the data to test possible scenarios for higher education to better support veterans who are students, especially those pursuing STEM degrees and careers. Keywords: student veterans, higher education, military transition, post 9/11 veterans, STEM education, fuzzy cognitive mapping.
Petri, A.N., Jenson, R., Gotto, G., and Day, A.D. (2016). Transition and the troubled giant: Opportunities for colleges and universities to invest in veterans. Journal of Veterans Studies, 1(1), 1-32.