VIS Research

Pave the way for future Veterans.

Bring colleges up to speed on supporting students who are Veterans.

Veterans in STEM: Critical Analysis of the Factors Affecting Pathways to STEM Career is a research study funded by the National Science Foundation and led by the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development. This national study asks Veterans and Service Members who are in the process of transitioning out of the military about the critical factors that influence their decisions about post-secondary education. Findings from the study will have implications for post-secondary institutions as well as community-based organizations that connect with and serve a veteran population.

The qualitative study will interview Veterans and Service Members about their decisions to enroll in post-secondary education. Participants will also use cards to map out the resources and supports that would be most important for them, personally, to reach their academic goals. This interactive process will invite participants to apply directional and weighted numerical values that quantify the relationship between various supports and resources. The research team will compute the weight and direction and use the data to test possible scenarios for higher education to better support military Veterans who are students, especially those pursuing STEM degrees and careers.

A group of college students who are Veterans representing the national sample will review the scenarios and validate the data. Dissemination of the findings will occur through journal articles and at national conferences.

Research Question: What are the critical factors reported by veterans influencing their decisions to enroll and persist in STEM post-secondary undergraduate programs?


  • Missouri Veterans Commission
  • University of Hawai’i Manoa
  • University of Maryland Baltimore County
  • University of California Riverside
  • Missouri Science and Technology at Ft Leonard Wood
  • Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley
  • New London Submarine Base

More information: VIS General Information