Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Sarah Kiefer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Liliana Rodriguez-Campos, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Veselina Lambrev, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Lawrence Braue, Ph.D.


Veteran cultural competence, CIPP model, Improvement Science


The University of South Florida (USF) ranks as one of the top 50 public universities in the nation. As of Spring 2022, 14% of the student population identify as military-connected students (MCS). MCS comprises Active Duty, National Guard, Reserve, veteran or military dependents. Many student veterans choose not to embrace their veteran identity due to feeling unaccepted or viewed from a deficit mindset by faculty, staff, and other students. Veteran studies research identifies the significant influence faculty and staff possess when addressing MCS retention and graduation rates (Lim et al., 2018; Vacchi, 2012; Vacchi, 2018). USF’s Office of Veteran Success (OVS) developed the Got Your Six (GY6) Workshop addressing cultural awareness as professional development for faculty and staff. This explanatory sequential mixed-methods study evaluates a redesigned military-connected student cultural competency workshop. The newly revised GY6 Workshop operated over the last year using the continuous improvement model of improvement science to elicit feedback from workshop participants to improve the GY6 Workshop.

As a Scholarly Practitioner who attempts to solve problems in their practice (Perry, 2016), I chose to embrace an issue I faced during my academic journey and a problem the students I serve face daily. I also decided to write an alternative dissertation in a digital magazine format, providing greater accessibility to veteran studies, veteran research, and veteran affairs practitioners. Although my study is not generalizable and the program evaluation intends to inform USF and their OVS, others might find the alternative dissertation as inspiration to rethink dissertation formats to one with more significant applicability.