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ERIC Number: ED532193
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 220
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-6680-5
ISSN: N/A
Called to Serve: The Military Mobilization of Undergraduates
Bauman, Mark C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
The purpose of this study was to answer the following research question: What is the process by which undergraduate students, recalled for military duty, prepare for mobilization, separate from their institution and then re-enroll upon their release from active duty, and how is this process affected by meaning? Using the grounded theory tradition, 24 participants were interviewed who had stopped-out of college for the purposes of military deployment. Deployments ranged from 12 to 20 months and generally required a withdrawal from college for a similar amount of time. Of the 24 participants, four were women and one was African American. Interviews were conducted and the subsequent data coded for categories and concepts. Findings revealed a three-phased undergraduate military mobilization process. Phase 1 involved the time leading up to one's mobilization where participants struggled to balance their student identity with their military identity. Phase 2 encompassed the time immediately before mobilization to the time immediately before returning home, toward the conclusion of one's deployment. Individuals in Phase 2 were entirely immersed into the military culture for this extended period and largely disconnected from their student identities. Of those interviewed, only one participant remained truly connected to her undergraduate institution throughout her entire deployment. Also during Phase 2, conditions and events while "in country" greatly influenced the success with which participants transitioned home. Phase 3 involved the return and transition back to home, school, and civilian life. During this phase, individuals struggled to shake off the reflexive actions and prolonged stress from their time "in the box." Participants described numerous challenges, from reacting to loud noises and certain smells, to reaching for their weapon and driving in the middle of the road. Two individuals expressed thoughts of suicide. Student identities, initially on a reasonable balance with one's military identity, were largely pushed aside in Phase 3. Member checks and peer audits supported the validity of the three phases, and the concepts contained within. Conclusions from this study included the need for institutions to take more notice of its student-veteran population. Institutions should connect with all military personnel, whether deployed or not, in an effort to build meaningful relationships. For those who must stop-out of college for military duty, the institution should remain connected during this time. Colleges could consider identifying individuals willing to serve as "student-veteran mentors" who could then facilitate these connections during deployment. Additionally, universities must be ready to offer a full range of personal, academic and transitional support to the veteran upon his or her return home. Finally, institutions should consider starting a student-veterans group, thereby offering peer-assistance to fellow veterans on the campus. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml.]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site: http://www.proquest.com/en-US/products/dissertations/individuals.shtml
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A