Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Counseling, Rehabilitation Counseling & Counseling Psychology

Committee Chair

Jeff Daniels

Committee Member

Lisa Platt

Committee Member

George Mamboleo

Committee Member

Laura Hayward


Previous research revealed that veterans transitioning to post-secondary institutions have unique characteristics (PNPI, 2018; Wurster et al., 2013) and may suffer from a constellation of physical, psychological, and social problems that can impact their ability to perform to their full potential on campus (Ackerman et al., 2009; Alschuler & Yarab, 2016; Igielnik, 2019). Despite knowing the struggles student veterans (SVs) face when transitioning to campus, no studies were found that directly gain SVs’ input on what they believe will help their transition. The current study sought to gain a holistic perspective of SV needs by using the biopsychosocial model and to garner SVs’ qualitative and quantitative input through concept mapping. Student veterans in this study (n=10) created a finalized list of 17 statements they felt would best meet their needs when transitioning to college. Veterans then sorted (n=12) these 17 statements based on their perceived relationship to one another into five groups: (1) social; (2) group; (3) informational; (4) veteran accommodation; (5) other mental health options. Lastly, SVs rated (n=43) these statements on a Likert-type scale from 1 (relatively unimportant) to 5 (extremely important) (Trochim & McLinden, 2017, p. 167). Participants in this study believed the top 5 services that would benefit their transition were: (1) Assistance with GI bill and Chapter 31 benefits; (2) Designated counselors on campus who are familiar with veteran needs; (3) Education for professors and instructors on veteran needs; (4) Greater resources such as tutoring and campus events to foster connection; (5) Have veteran specific group therapy options. Implications for college administrators and SVs are discussed, as well as strengths and limitations of the study and suggestions for future research.