Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Ugur Kale

Committee Co-Chair

Terence Ahern

Committee Member

Betty Mei

Committee Member

Patricia Obenauf

Committee Member

Nathan Sorber


This research explored the extent to which the campus climate at a military friendly college or university promoted student service members' and student veterans' success of their time to degree in transition following separation from the Armed Forces and the impact of this specific climate on the cultivation of camaraderie in higher education. A mixed methods design incorporated focus group narratives from seven participants (n =7) and information from a web-based survey completed by one hundred and seventy respondents (n =170). Triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data resulted in complementary information and insight of the military friendly school phenomenon at seven colleges and universities. All five branches of the Armed Forces were represented in the sample. Data analysis revealed that support services needed at each campus provoked students' varying endorsement of the military friendly brand in addition to the manifested services and support already in place. Accommodations most requested by the military and veteran community on campus included: a veteran's lounge, priority registration, and credit for courses and training completed during active military commitment and at other higher education institutions. Students reported varied degrees of support during transition and excelled for the most part in academic commitment. Many maintained they would succeed in college performance and graduate. Few participants considered failure of this goal. Some found a supportive network of camaraderie among military and veteran peers when involved in on-campus coursework. Camaraderie among focus group members was attributed as a viable factor toward students' persistence, academic and social support. Survey respondents found that it was a source of encouragement and alleviated student isolation on campus for some. Education benefits offered through the GI Bill most often eased students' college financial obligation. Plausible definitions for military friendly school and camaraderie were presented in the data.