Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2017

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts in International and Multicultural Education (IME)

College/School

School of Education

Department/Program

Education

First Advisor

Susan Roberta Katz, Ph.D.

Abstract

Institutions of higher education are composed of LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and + to be inclusive of all identities) communities that are more diverse, out, and active than ever before. However, studies have shown time and again how institutions are unable to accommodate the changes in their demographics, harming the LGBTQIA+ community and limiting student success. Overall, LGBTQIA+ students experience a very hostile school climate, with many reporting high levels of anti-LGBTQIA+ perceptions and experiences. Generally, the LGBTQIA+ community is ignored by institutions of higher education. When LGBTQIA+ inclusive policies, awareness programs, and other resources are implemented, though, they tend to be problematic in nature as they are centered on the identities of White lesbian and gay students. Therefore, queer students of color, trans folk, and other identities within the LGBTQIA+ community end up with little to no support. This project aims to explore and identify how institutions of higher education are creating hostile school environments for LGBTQIA+ students in addition to steps to create and maintain a more inclusive school climate for these students. Upon exploring these issues, the goal of the project is to identify recommendations for educators on creating and maintaining a school climate in higher education that will better support the LGBTQIA+ community.

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