School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Meredith J. Park


Dependents, Military-connected Students, Military-connected Schools, Military-connected Youths, Transition




Although nearly 1.1 million military-connected students attend public schools throughout the United States, few research studies have examined how transitions related to military mobility requirements affect this unique group of students from the perspective of the students. More often than not, researchers have examined phenomena related to military-connected students and their transitional experiences from the perspectives of parents, teachers, school administrators, or stakeholders other than the military-connected student. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study is to describe, from the perspective of the students, the academic experiences of military-connected high school students who transition to different states. Working closely with military-connected students who attend or attended high school in Virginia within the past 4 years, this study utilized purposeful sampling procedures to identify and recruit a diverse group of military-connected high school students (e.g., males, females, various ethnic backgrounds, various rank structures). Using transcriptions gleaned from face-to-face individual interviews, corroborated via participants’ self-recordings of self-reflections and personal creative writing assignments, data were analyzed using coding methodologies and the concepts and procedural guidelines outlined by renowned phenomenologists, Edmund Husserl and Clark Moustakas. At the conclusion of this analysis, three primary themes emerged and are reflective of the true meaning or essence of the military-connected high school students’ experiences: (a) Help Me to Understand and Understand Me to Help, (b) Coping Resources Begins With Me, and (c) Be All You Can See.

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