Association for Continuing Higher Education

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The Journal for Continuing Higher Education is hosting two webinars featuring 2 important studies that will be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal. 

SEPTEMBER 23rd at 12:30 EDT

Student Veterans’ Strengths: Exploring Student Veterans’ Perceptions of Their Strengths and How to Harness Them in Higher Education 

Katie Sullivan
Kay Yoon

This project explores student veterans’ perceptions of the strengths they bring to a university and how those strengths affect their academic performances. We employed mixed methods by conducting an online survey and interviews with 115 student veterans in a large southwestern public university. Findings reveal that student veterans perceive that they have strengths in communication, diversity management, leadership, and drive and that these strengths positively affect self-efficacy and motivation in their academic performances. Further, a key finding and contribution to the literature on student veteran strengths is that student veterans contextualize communication in order to translate strengths gleaned from the military into an academic setting in service of self, peers, and faculty. Based on these findings, we advocate for ways higher education institutions and faculty can support student veterans’ strengths.


SEPTEMBER 24th at 12:30 EDT

Nontraditional Students’ Experiences with Food Insecurity: A Qualitative Study of Undergraduate Students

Maria Beam

As higher education continues to see a changing student population, there is clear evidence that food insecurity is a real concern on college campuses. The need to increase food availability and access on campuses is critical to the retention and educational experiences of students. Eight students participated in interviews about their experience with food insecurity. This study also examined the lived experiences of students who encountered food insecurity. From the analysis of interviews 15 sub-themes emerged, organized into four broad themes. The first three themes offer the voices of students who expressed the physiological, psychological, and academic impacts of food insecurity. The final section shares the coping strategies and consequent difficulties of food insecurity as these students manage their food situations. Sub-themes included coping strategies, physical and mental strain, compounded financial challenges, stigma, campus support, commitment toward degree completion, adverse academic implications, high food costs, and the feeling of isolation or lack of socializing. An important recommendation drawn from these findings is for higher education institutions to consider establishing a variety of food relief initiatives that address the issue of student hunger, especially for nontraditional student learners, and to challenge policies preventing students from getting the support they need.


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