Research Article  |   September 2016
Experiences of Veterans Transitioning to Postsecondary Education
Author Affiliations
  • Brian T. Gregg, PhD, OTR/L, CHT, is U.S. Army Major, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington; brian.t.gregg.mil@mail.mil
  • Dana M. Howell, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, is Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond
  • Anne Shordike, PhD, OTR/L, is Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond
Article Information
Military Rehabilitation / Mental Health
Research Article   |   September 2016
Experiences of Veterans Transitioning to Postsecondary Education
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006250010p1-7006250010p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.021030
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2016, Vol. 70, 7006250010p1-7006250010p8. doi:10.5014/ajot.2016.021030
Abstract

An increasing number of U.S. military veterans are entering postsecondary education with problems attributed to deployed military service. The primary objective of this research was to describe the lived experiences of student veterans transitioning from active military service to postsecondary education. Phenomenological interviews were performed with 13 student veterans who had transitioned from military deployment to postsecondary education. An overall essential meaning of “emerging in college culture” was manifested from three themes, supported by rich textural and structural descriptions of student veterans’ experiences: (1) repurposing military experiences for life as a student veteran, (2) reconstructing civilian identity, and (3) navigating postsecondary context and interactions. These findings highlight implications that may facilitate occupational therapists’ efforts in supporting the needs of student veterans.