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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Qingwen Dong

First Committee Member

Heather Hether

Second Committee Member

Paul Turpin


Each month, thousands of U.S service members are discharged from the military and are forced to make the decision of what to do with the rest of their lives. For an increasingly large percentage of such veterans, the decision that they will make will be to become full-time college students and pursue an education that will provide them with meaningful careers. Unfortunately, due to the type of constant deployment cycles that many student-veterans undergo while enlisted/commissioned, a large percentage of veterans taking part in the military-to-college transition process have received mental/physical injuries that serve as major obstacles for achieving successful transitions. Specifically, this study seeks to determine if social support, willingness towards campus communication, self-esteem, and eagerness towards social networking site usage are related to a student-veterans overall level of academic engagement. This study draws its data from a sample of 202 full-time student-veterans. Data was collected through a volunteer self-administered online questionnaire. Six sections respectively measured eagerness towards SNS (Social Networking Site) usage, academic engagement, social support, willingness towards campus communication, self-esteem, and demographic information. Data was collected from California community colleges, California State Universities institutions, University of California institutions, and California private non-for profit institutions. This study found a statistically significant positive relationship between social support, self-esteem, willingness to communicate, and academic engagement. Essentially, student-veterans who have high levels of social support/self-esteem and are willing to communicate are more likely to possess high levels of academic engagement. There was no significant relationship found between eagerness towards SNS usage and academic engagement. Moreover, this study is significant as it suggests that a student-veteran’s level of academic engagement is positively correlated to their overall level of academic engagement. Thus, maintaining strong social support networks that allow student-veterans to interact in personal and one-on-one interactions is of great importance for a student-veteran during their time in college in order to achieve their academic and professional goals.





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