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ERIC Number: ED559429
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3032-9137-1
They Self-Ignited: Adult Student Journeys to an Associate's Degree While Active Duty Military or Military Spouse
Bibus, Lindsay Pohl
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Oklahoma
This qualitative study was undertaken in order to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of adult students and how they made meaning of their journey. To that end, through in-depth interviews with twenty participants, the study inquired into the journeys to an associate's degree of adult students who were also active duty military service members, their spouses, or civilians employed by the military. The study explored their reasons for not enrolling in college or for dropping out after high school, reasons for military enlistment, the personal and environmental factors that precipitated their enrollment later on, their experiences with college as adults, factors that fostered their persistence, and ways the experience of college may have changed them. The theoretical framework of the study was drawn from theories of adult learning and development. The findings revealed that decisions to enlist in military service were closely intertwined with later decisions to enroll in college; nine major themes were identified that addressed the research questions. These included lack of interest in, or opportunity to attend college after high school, choosing military enlistment as an alternative way to improve themselves, growth and maturity in a demanding environment, the eventual realization that college was a salient goal, coping with careers, family and college, and expanding views of their own academic capabilities and place in the world. Additionally, the research findings revealed that the military environment, despite the constraints it placed on the participants' lives, may have positively influenced both their personal and socioeconomic development as well as their ability to pursue their degree. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A