School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Joseph Fontanella


Community College, Graduation, Non-veteran, Persistence, Developmental, Veteran


Education | Educational Leadership


Despite the significant scope and documented challenges facing veterans, few studies have addressed student veteran graduation persistence. A predictive correlation research design was used to analyze the persistence of veteran and non-veteran students in an associate degree program. In this study, community college students’ veteran status (i.e. veteran or non-veteran), enrollment status (part-time or full-time), success in remedial/developmental English (Yes/No pass), and demographic variables, such as gender (male, female, other), race (minority, non-minority), and age, were examined to determine their ability to predict persistence to graduation from associate degree programs. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine how persistence can be explained by the set of variables. Participants were drawn from a convenience sample at a community college in an upper-income suburb in Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. The primary participants were undergraduate community college students who had served in the military, transitioned into civilian life, and were completing an associate degree; and non-veteran students who completed an associate degree at the same community college. The findings demonstrated that the predictor variables did predict persistence in community college associate’s degree programs, with enrollment status being the only variable individually and positively linked to persistence. The variables investigated only predicted 18.8.% to 27.7% of the variance in persistence, additional variables, and interactions between variables needed to be further explored to understand this phenomenon fully.