Since the passing of the first GI Bill in 1945, the community college, now two-and-four-year college, has provided access to veterans in pursuit of postsecondary education. As the college system has grown and expanded during the second half of the 20th Century, online learning has become increasingly important to the development of four-year colleges. Research into online learning has yet to reach an agreement on its effectiveness compared to traditional face-to-face instruction. Additionally, little research into the academic outcomes of veterans taking courses through use of the online instructional modality has been conducted. To address this gap, the current study used the Theory of Student Integration (Tinto, 1975) and three research questions to explore these gaps. A quasi-experimental design was applied to investigate three research questions: (a) how do the academic outcomes of veterans, as measured by final grades, of veterans enrolled in an online version of English I (ENC 1101), compare with veterans enrolled in a face-to-face version of the same course with and without consideration of gender? (b) How do the academic outcomes, as measured by final grades, of veterans compare to nonveterans in both online and face-to-face versions of the course English I (ENC 1101) with and without consideration of gender? (c) What ability, if any, do instructional modality, veteran status, and age have in predicting final grade outcomes in the course English I (ENC 1101)? Archival data were gathered from a public, four-year state college in Florida of final grade outcomes and student demographics for course ENC 1101 for academic years 2012-2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015. Demographic data included: (a) age, (b) veteran status, (c) gender, and (d) instructional modality. Participants examined for this study were veteran and nonveterans enrolled in the course English I (ENC 1101) in two instructional modalities: online (n = 2,080) and face-to-face (n = 17,415). Additionally, participants were examined as groups of veterans (n = 544) and nonveterans (n = 18,951). Quantitative analysis utilizing independent samples t-tests of the archival data revealed that veterans earned statistically significant different final grade outcomes between the two instructional modalities t(55.65) = 2.18, p = .03. Veterans enrolled in the face-to-face version of ENC 1101 performed significantly better (M = 2.44, SD = 1.48) compared to veterans in the online version (M = 1.90, SD = 1.67). No significant differences were found when comparing final grade outcomes within gender across instructional modalities. Independent samples t-tests of the data revealed no statistically significant differences between the final grade outcomes of veterans and nonveterans within the face-to-face, t(17,413) = 0.25, p = .80, or online instructional modality, t(2.078) = 0.94, p = 0.35. Statistically significant differences were found between male veterans and nonveterans within the face-to-face modality, t(8,086) = -2.56, p = .01. Male veterans in the face-to-face instructional modality had statistically significant higher final grade outcomes (M = 2.48, SD = 1.47) compared to male nonveterans (M = 2.28, SD = 1.48). Additionally, statistically significant differences between female veterans and nonveterans within the face-to-face instructional modality were found, t(9,138) = 2.16, p = .03. The final grade outcomes of female nonveterans were significantly higher (M = 2.60, SD = 1.46) than those of female veterans (M = 2.30, SD = 1.50) in the face-to-face modality. No statistically significant differences were comparing the final grade outcomes from the online modality of veterans and nonveterans by gender. Multiple linear regressions were used to determine what relationship age, veteran status, and instructional modality had on final grade outcome. Analysis revealed that age and instructional modality were statistically significant in predicting final grade outcome, while veteran status was not, F(3, 19,491) = 85.07, p lt& .001. The model predicts that older students will earn higher final grade outcomes than younger student in the face-to-face instructional modality regardless of veteran status. Throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries, the four-year college has continued to grow in both number and program offerings. This growth has helped the four-year college to remain a leading source of postsecondary educational opportunities for veterans. With the development of online learning technology in the late 20th Century, four-year colleges have utilized this new technology to provide opportunities to larger groups of students than they had previously been able to reach. However, the effectiveness of this instructional modality has yet to be fully ascertained when compared to face-to-face instruction, especially for veterans, a population that has demonstrated at-risk characteristics (Kasworm, 2005). The findings of this study provide implications for four-year college administrators, instructors, and educational researchers to continue working to support veterans as they enter higher education.


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Graduation Date





Taylor, Rosemarye


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education and Human Performance


Child, Family, and Community Sciences

Degree Program

Educational Leadership; Higher Education









Release Date

May 2020

Length of Campus-only Access

3 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)