Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Jon K. Coleman

Thesis Committee Member

Joshua L. Norman

Thesis Committee Member

April D. Flood


This study explored the experiences of female student service members when transitioning between military-related and higher education responsibilities as well as their motivations for degree completion and campus resources they utilized. While the number of studies on female student service members is growing, research on this population is scarce. This study utilized a narrative qualitative approach to give female student service members a voice and platform to share their experiences and truths. Participants in this study have served at least one year in the United States Armed Forces and have completed at least one semester of college coursework. Participants were interviewed individually via Zoom, and their narratives are included. This study found that it takes female student service members longer than the average student to obtain their degree due to their military responsibilities and that female student service members have a personal drive and motivation to pursue higher education. This study also found that faculty are highly supportive and influential when female student service members navigate their transitions between higher education and military environments, and support systems such as social, military, and educational supports are highly beneficial to this population of students.