Study Opportunity: Doctoral Study Aimed at Helping Female Veterans


From the Battlefield to the Classroom: An Exploration of Northern California’s Post-9/11 Female Combat Veterans Who Completed Graduate School After Military Service.

by Arthur Littler III 

Since 2011, approximately 200,000 service members transitioned from military service to the civilian sector each year (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016b). Due to this historical surge of veterans inundating the civilian workforce, a bottleneck effect was created as competition for employment increased significantly (Messer and Greene, 2014). According to the Department of Labor’s 2018 Employment Situation of Veterans Report, 8.9% of veterans were stuck in this bottleneck effect, disadvantaged as they have little to no higher education. Without employment or a financial support system to fall back on, transitioning veterans face the inevitable issue of homelessness.  Research by Tsai, Hoff, and Harpaz-Rotem (2017) found the rate of homelessness amongst veterans has dramatically increased over the past decade with female veterans more likely than their male counterparts to experience a period of historically high rates of homelessness or unemployment.


The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study is to explore and describe the transition experiences of female military veterans regarding their graduate level education program after leaving service, using the Schlossberg transition factors of: situation, self, support, and strategy.  


Situation. Situation encompasses the extent, nature, and assumed significance and readiness for change and transition.

Self. Self refers one’s health, socioeconomic status, psychosocial competence, past experience with similar transitions, and value orientation.

Support. Support encompasses interpersonal support, institutional support, and physical settings.

Strategy. Intentional and thoughtful action, execution, task completion, and course amendment.


This qualitative multiple case study explored and described the transition experiences of 7 post-9/11 female combat veterans living in Sacramento and Solano County through interviews, observations, and artifact analysis.  Respondents were purposively chosen based on specific criteria and recommendations of knowledgeable sponsors.  


  • Post-911 female combat veteran 
  • Honorably discharged after January1, 2011
  • Currently residing within Sacramento or Solano County
  • Successfully completed a graduate (master or doctorate) degree while in veteran or retiree status


This research would serve as a benefit to all governmental agencies, community support groups, non-profit agencies, veteran support organizations, and most importantly, the female veterans and their families.  The findings from the study will assist in the organizations’ development and improvement of programs designed aid veterans in successfully transitioning from military to civilian service.  Additionally, the findings will also contribute to an increased understanding of the target population and how efforts may best be directed, formally and informally, to aid in their successful transition and completion of higher education with the intent to mitigate the risk of unemployment and homelessness.  Once analyzed the results can be utilized to create training/educational programs for the target population and their support systems, best practices, and improve veteran transition assistance programs.  Furthermore, the results can add to the limited body of research regarding female combat veterans as well as the limited body of research on successful transition from veteran to civilian life.    


Interested and qualified individuals should contact Ms. Tenell Woods or Ms. Rochelle Arnold via email. Once identified as an interested participant, members will be provided additional information, participant Bill of Rights, an Informed Consent Letter, and the opportunity to ask the research any clarifying questions. Afterwards, members will be scheduled for an interview which will occur via Zoom and is expected to last 45min – 1hr.


Tenell Woods – teecmo1@hotmail.com or tenell.woods.1@us.af.mil

Rochelle Arnold – arnoldro@saccounty.net