This research examines the manifold forms of support that shape and influence Post-9/11 Native American Student Veterans to enter, persist, and graduate from a mainstream institution of higher education. Moreover, it is a qualitative assessment that explores how Post-9/11 Native American Student Veterans navigate the collegiate environment and balance their military and indigenous identities within the context of higher education. Through the individual voices of five Post-9/11 Native American Student Veterans, the results of this study illustrate their decision-making processes, weighing of options, and reasons for sacrifice. Each individual had unique experiences, situations, and circumstances to consider before committing and transitioning into higher education. The confluences of situations and circumstances often determine the ability of Native American Student Veterans to engage, persist, and complete their academic endeavors; therefore, support systems are vital in helping them navigate and overcome obstacles. Respectfully, the experiences of Post-9/11 Native American Student Veterans have the power to influence future generations and to clarify their options when transitioning from a military environment to a university environment. Moreover, the findings from these experiences can inform mainstream universities and Student Veteran Centers to strategically respond and develop support systems specifically designed to recruit, retain, and graduate Post-9/11 Native American Student Veterans.
Mary Jo Tippeconnic Fox