Veterans as teachers? A qualitative study of the inhibitors and enabling factors for OIF/OEF-era active duty veterans to complete a teacher education program and initial certification using military educational benefits.




Moore, Brandon L., 1977-

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Over two million veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq may be coming to American colleges and universities as a result of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Veterans have education benefits available to them, such as the Montgomery GI Bill, Post-9/11 GI Bill and, if they joined from Texas, the Hazlewood Exemption. With the shortage of teachers in high-needs schools and in areas of need, such as math and science, veterans provide a population from which to draw teachers. Research on military veterans becoming teachers indicates that they exhibit the characteristics sought in effective teachers. This is a multiple-case study of enablers and inhibitors for OIF/OEF-era enlisted, active duty veterans enrolled in a teacher education program leading to initial certification, with both sites identified as veteran-friendly universities. The research reveals similarities in why the participants chose to become a teacher as well as seven inhibitors that make it difficult for student veterans to complete a teacher education program. In addition, seven enablers were also identified that help student veterans overcome the inhibitors. The findings have implications for veterans, schools of education, colleges and universities, and the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs.