Insufficient research exists concerning why active-duty enlisted noncommissioned officers do not pursue education past a high school diploma. Although higher education is becoming a minimum qualification in the civilian world, only 17% of enlisted servicemembers have higher than a high school degree. The purpose of this study is to explore the lived experiences, beliefs, and awareness of Army education benefits and the disconnect between higher education enrollment and active-duty noncommissioned officers. Two-hundred and sixty-five enlisted active-duty noncommissioned officers participated in an online survey and fifty-two noncommissioned officers participated in a one-on-one interview. Using a qualitative, grounded theory research design, both the survey and one-on-one interview question answers were analyzed to identify themes of Army education benefits awareness, usage, and reasons for not pursuing higher education past a high school diploma. The main themes identified from the interviews were 1) the challenges enlisted noncommissioned officers experienced when trying use their education benefits; 2) work schedule management; 3) allowing for informational sessions on education benefits; and 4) balancing life in pursuing higher education while being on active-duty. Additional work and research are needed to improve engagement, awareness, and use of Army education benefits to influence active-duty enlisted noncommissioned officer to gain higher education and complete their college degrees.
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Dissertation Committee Chair
Houser, Amanda, "HIGHER EDUCATION AWARENESS AMONGST NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS IN THE UNITED STATES ARMY" (2023). Murray State Theses and Dissertations. 299.