Randy CroftFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Jennifer Courduff


Attrition, Family Support, Military, Military Student, Nontraditional, Persistence


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Other Education | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore perceptions of spousal support among active-duty Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officers (Senior NCOs) in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. Senior NCOs are comprised of enlisted Airmen in the ranks of E-7 through E-9. Fourteen active-duty Air Force Senior NCOs, who have completed, or are enrolled in a bachelor’s degree program completed an online survey and a personal interview regarding their perceptions of spousal support in their pursuit of a bachelor’s degree. In addition, participants completed a written timeline, which helped provide context to college degree enrollment decisions and spousal influence. Pattern, theme, and content analysis provided structure in classifying data results in recurring themes through coding and categorical assessment. The findings from this hermeneutic phenomenological study add an important dimension in understanding military student degree persistence and help fills a gap in existing literature concerning the role of spousal support and the military student. Air Force education leaders and counselors will be able to use the results of this study to better advise and support military students in their educational goals, while staff at Airmen and Family Readiness Centers (A&FRC) will be able to better counsel and support Air Force spouses and families.