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A Narrative Approach to Uncovering the Veteran Student’s Voice: From Soldier to Student

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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This case study highlights the needs of second-year veteran students at a 3-year professional focus, commuter institution of higher education. Through an intrinsic case study that uses interviews, blog posts, and focus groups to collect evidence, the narratives of four veteran students highlight their experiences, challenges, and need for a comprehensive educational support program. Through narrative inquiry, each veteran’s story captures the lived experience of their second year of college. Currently, veteran students are absent in second-year literature, and this study aims to begin the important conversation about the need to have a nuanced structure in place to help veteran students thrive in the second year and beyond. This case study explains how narrative inquiry was used to extract the storied experience from four veterans and how to use narrative to weave together individual stories to convey a more complex story about veterans’ needs in the second year. Through these narratives, the common themes that developed are need for structure, networking and camaraderie, and a military mindset. Through these themes and narratives that show how each veteran internalized these ideas, practitioners and educators can better understand how to support veterans in their second year at a 3-year professional focus, commuter institution.

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