Date of Submission


Document Type



Doctor of Education




Transformative research, Military-connected students, Canadian Armed Forces, Higher education, Veterans, Military


Canadian military-connected students are adult learners who maintain a significant tie to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and who enter higher education without the benefit of purposefully crafted academic and social supports. When CAF service members move from the collective nature of the military to individual pursuits in civilian society, transition difficulties occur. While there is a dearth of Canadian-specific research on military-connected students, the US context can help contextualize this higher education issue for a greater understanding of inclusion difficulties. Based on a transformative research paradigm, this organizational improvement plan (OIP) looks to provide a voice to this underrepresented group of leaners in order to lead to an organization-wide recognition of the heterogeneity of military-connected students. Enabled by a transformational leadership approach at the macro-level of University X and an adaptive approach at the meso- and micro-levels, the OIP presents an interconnected implementation plan. The problem of practice (PoP) that drives the investigation is aimed at recognizing the diverse needs of military-connected students and cultivating a sustainable positive learning environment. The OIP will employ successive quality improvement cycles of a plan-do-study-act strategy to address the PoP. The desired outcome of the OIP is to link military-connected students to a supporting learning environment, peer support, and the local community through a harmonized institutional approach across all levels of University X.