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2012 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III - Session IV

Student Veterans' Adjustment to Academic and Social Life at the University at Buffalo

Existing literature asserts that student veterans face unique obstacles at colleges and universities which may include insufficient support services, administrative hurdles, high stress levels, and academic and social adjustment problems. Expanding knowledge on student veterans could help higher educational institutions develop and improve upon programs and services for veterans. This study attempts to answer this question: Do student veterans have a more difficult time adjusting to academic and social aspects of college life than non-veteran students? A study was conducted at the University at Buffalo. The data was collected through surveys from 30 students, both veteran and non-veteran. Students were undergraduate, full time, not married, and had no children. Academic and social adjustment measures were created based on research of existing instruments. Academic adjustment was scored based on variables such as GPA and academic honors while social adjustment was scored based on variables such as comfort and anxiety levels in the classroom, support systems, and involvement in activities. Results of statistical analysis show that student veterans were more likely to have lower academic and social adjustment scores. Findings call for interventions for student veterans at universities and colleges. This may include hiring and training professional staff members to serve student veterans, educational programs (including classes and activities designed to be “veteran-friendly”), and resources to help faculty members improve their understanding of issues commonly faced by student veterans. Results also call for a re-examination of government policies and procedures in order to better facilitate veterans’ pursuit of higher education.

Presenters: Amanda Bigos (University at Buffalo) -- ambigos@buffalo.edu
Kaitlyn Dorety (University at Buffalo) --
Kathleen Homer (University at Buffalo) --
Karrie Mietz (University at Buffalo) --
Christine Montaro (University at Buffalo) --
Lindsay Phelps (University at Buffalo) --
Topic: Social Work - Panel
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 11:10 am (Session II)