Missing Perspectives: Service Members’ Transition from Service to Civilian Life

Missing Perspective Report


  • Corri Zoli
  • Rosalinda Maury
  • Daniel Fay
Published: November 18, 2015

To date, existing research related to veterans and higher education has focused on issues of persistence, attainment, and readjustment. The following paper addresses what has been a critical gap in understanding the transition experience generally, particularly the transition from the military to higher education. It emphasizes the social and cultural barriers that affect the transition experience, narrated through the voices of veterans. Most importantly, it reveals veterans’ firsthand experiences, their pre-, in-, and post-service motivations; their perceived strengths, skills, and shortcomings; their future educational and employment aspirations; and their enduring contributions to public service.

Key Highlights

This survey resulted in one of the most sweeping datasets to date representing the lived experiences of our latest generation of veterans and military families. Results of survey highlight:

  • Veterans tend to have a strong positive perception of their military experience
  • Veterans’ military experiences motivate and promote interest in advanced education
  • Higher education is an important factor that service members consider pre-transition
  • Significant barriers still remain for veterans seeking higher education


Media & Related Presentations

Foreign Policy, What the academy doesn’t know about the vet: Exploring the top five oversights, November 23, 2015

Military Times, Colleges aren’t reacting to student vets’ needs, report says, November 18, 2015

Corri Zoli, Rosy Maury and Danny Fay. A Data-Driven Approach to Veterans’ Transition: Education, Employment & Post-Service Success. NAVPA Training and Veterans Conference, Oct. 5-9, 2015, Nashville, Tennessee

Corri Zoli, Rosy Maury and Danny Fay. In search of the Post-9/11 veterans’ missing perspectives. War on the rocks. April 23, 2015 Link: warontherocks.com

Corri Zoli, Rosy Maury and Danny Fay. From Soldier to Student: Veterans Transition, Public Service & the Promise of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. NASPA Veterans Conference, Feb. 8-10, 2015, Louisville, Kentucky