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A STEM Mentorship Program to Improve Veteran Student Efficacy at Georgia Southern University - Year 1

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Military and Veterans Constituent Committee Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Military and Veterans

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Keith A. Landry Georgia Southern University

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Keith Landry, PhD, PE, F.ASCE
Colonel (Retired), US Army
Assistant Dean for Research
Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering

College of Engineering & IT
Civil Engineering & Construction Management Department
Georgia Southern University
Statesboro, GA

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N. Mike Jackson Georgia Southern University

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Dr. Jackson is an experienced Engineering Administrator, Educator, and Researcher. He has completed over $5M in externally funded research and has published more than 75 scholarly works related to Civil Engineering and Construction. His academic career includes several appointments in higher education instruction, research, and administration. He is currently Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Management at Georgia Southern University, where he recently received the 2015 Chancellor’s Service Excellence in Leadership Award. He is also a licensed Professional Engineer and actively participates with numerous professional organizations, maintaining an excellent reputation for quality, integrity and ethics.

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Kevin Gavin Finley Georgia Southern University - College of Engineering and Information Technology

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I am a graduate student pursuing my masters degree in applied engineering with a concentration of civil engineering and construction management.

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National studies indicate roughly half of the military veterans that start higher education pursuits using their earned GI Bill benefits will leave school without earning a degree. Veteran student graduation and retention rates in the College of Engineering & IT at Georgia Southern University are compared with national and statewide rates to support the need for a more effective approach to improving the number of veterans who will see a positive return on their earned benefits. The pedagogical concepts supporting the structure and implementation of a mentorship program designed to improve the retention and graduation rates of military veterans pursuing STEM are presented. Social support theory principles defining the structure of the mentorship effort which utilizes military veteran volunteers already serving on the college or university faculty and staff are presented and discussed. The Stress and Coping, Social Constructionist and Relationship perspectives of social support theory are evaluated for their ability to identify the principle issues producing the stress felt by the students and mitigate their impact. Cohen’s Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) is used to measure perceived stress in the mentorship program and identify students in a state of high stress who may require intervention. Data collected from intake and exit surveys, Cohen’s PSS and personal interviews is presented and discussed.

Landry, K. A., & Jackson, N. M., & Finley, K. G. (2017, June), A STEM Mentorship Program to Improve Veteran Student Efficacy at Georgia Southern University - Year 1 Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27514

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