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A New Benchmark: Successful Policies, Programs & Practices for Supporting LGBT Students.

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Presentation on theme: "A New Benchmark: Successful Policies, Programs & Practices for Supporting LGBT Students."— Presentation transcript:

1 A New Benchmark: Successful Policies, Programs & Practices for Supporting LGBT Students

2 Shane L. Windmeyer, MS Ed. Executive Director, Campus Pride Sue Rankin, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Higher Education/College Student Affairs Senior Research Associate, Center for the Study of Higher Education Pennsylvania State University Special Guest Angela C. Nichols Director - Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Services University of Minnesota Duluth Presenters

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7 The Q Research Institute for Higher Education (QRIHE) Founded in 2008 by Campus Pride, the Q Research Institute for Higher Education (QRIHE pronounced - queery) is a national center for the scholarly study of LGBT people in higher education. The QRIHE’s primary purpose is to conceive, administer and support national research for LGBT issues in higher education. The QRIHE works to bring visibility and positive change addressing the needs of LGBT people at colleges and universities. The Research Director is Dr. Susan R. Rankin of The Pennsylvania State University and Associate Research Director is Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld of The Iowa State University.

8 Overview of National Research & Findings Campus as Social Systems Campus Climate Defined Climate Research Value of Campus Climate on Enhancing Learning Outcomes LGBTQQ Campus Climate Lack of Empirical Data Lack of Generalizability

9 Campus as Social System College campuses are complex social systems. They are defined by the relationships between faculty, staff, students, and alumni; bureaucratic procedures embodied by institutional policies; structural frameworks; institutional missions, visions, and core values; institutional history and traditions; and larger social contexts (Hurtado, Milem, Clayton- Pederson, & Allen, 1998).

10 Campus Climate Defined For the purposes of our work, campus climate is defined as current attitudes, behaviors, and standards and practices of employees and students of an institution (Rankin & Reason, 2008). Campus climate is operationalized through the: Personal experiences of people who are LGBTQQ on campus; Perceptions of people who are LGBTQQ and heterosexual campus community members regarding the climate for people who are LGBTQQ; and Institutional efforts to address the needs and concerns of people who are LGBTQQ in the campus community

11 Climate Research How students experience their campus environment influences both learning and developmental outcomes (Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991, 2005). Discriminatory environments have a negative effect on student learning (Cabrera, Nora, Terenzini, Pascarella, & Hagedron, 1999; Feagin, Vera & Imani, 1996; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991).

12 Value of Campus Climate on Enhancing Learning Outcomes Numerous studies and publications have confirmed the pedagogical value of a diverse student body and faculty on enhancing learning outcomes. Selected research references include: –Frank W. Hale, Jr. (2004). What Makes Racial Diversity Work in Higher Education, Diversity Digest, Sterling, VA: Stylus. –Harper, S.R., & Quaye, S.J. (2004). Taking seriously the evidence regarding the effects of diversity on student learning in the college classroom: A call for faculty accountability. UrbanEd, 2(2), –Harper, S.R. & Hurtado, S. (2007). Nine themes in campus racial climates and implications for institutional transformation. New Directions for Student Services, 120, –Hurtado, S. (2003). Preparing college students for a diverse democracy: Final report to the U.S. Department of Education. Ann Arbor, MI: Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education.

13 LGBTQQ Campus Climate Some studies have documented the perceptions of campus quality of life for people who are LGBTQA and those who work and study with them (Brown, Clarke, Gortmaker, & Robinson-Keilig, 2004; Evans & Broido, 2002; Garber, 2002; Malaney, Williams, & Geller, 1997; Waldo, 1998). Other studies have documented experiences of harassment and violence (D’Augelli, 1992; Herek, 1993; Waldo, Hesson- McInnis, & D’Augelli, 1998); related consequences of harassment and violence (D’Augelli, 1992; Herek, 1994, 1995; Hershberger & D’Augelli, 1995; Norris & Kaniasty, 1991; Savin- Williams & Cohen, 1996; Slater, 1993) Still others examined the success of and best practices for programs to improve campus climate (Draughn, Elkins, & Roy, 2002; Little & Marx, 2002; Louvaas, Baroudi, & Collins, 2002; Sausa, 2002; Yep, 2002).

14 Lack of Empirical Data Much of the academic writing about people who are LGBTQA is not empirical, but, rather, takes the form of advice or personal reflections based on lived experiences; this is particularly true for minorities who also identify with LGBTQA communities, such as people with disabilities, transgender people, and people of color (Draughn, Elkins, & Roy, 2002; Ferguson & Howard-Hamilton 2000; Louvaas, Baroudi, & Collins 2002; Schreier, 1995).

15 Lack of Generalizability The few existing empirical studies generally include small participant numbers, from 10 for the smallest qualitative study, which only included lesbian and bisexual women, to almost 2,000 for an extensive study of one university, which included both heterosexual and LGBTQA students (Stevens, 2004; Waldo, 1998). Further, none of these studies is national in scope; most include one or two campuses and thus are geographically non-generalizable.

16 Rankin Project, 2003 To address many of these limitations, a national study to investigate the campus climate for people who are LGBTQA was undertaken (Rankin, 2003). This national study was the first to examine a full range of experiences of campus life for people who are LGBTQA. The study included 1,669 respondents. It was also the first to include a significant number of People of Color (n=237) and people who are transgender (n=67).

17 Rankin, 2003 Summary Findings One-third of students and one-quarter of employees in the sample reported having experienced some form of harassment, and 11 respondents indicated they had experienced physical violence enacted on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation. Other findings noted that both LGBTQA-identified students and employees reported the overall campus climate as homophobic and indicated that they hid their sexual orientation to avoid discrimination and harassment.

18 Rankin, 2003 Summary Findings LGBTQ-identified students and employees reported that they were uninformed about procedures for enacting institutional responses and actions on their own behalf. LGBTQ-identified students and employees were unaware of rapid response systems intended to address anti-LGBTQ acts of intolerance on their campus. Very few respondents agreed that their colleges addressed issues related to sexuality and gender identity. Many felt there was a lack of visible leadership regarding LGBTQ issues and concerns. Respondents suggested that educational programming should be more inclusive of LGBTQ issues and that LGBTQ content should be integrated into the curriculum.

19 National LGBT College Climate Survey Campus Pride’s National LGBT College Climate Survey is a comprehensive assessment to document bi-annually the experiences of students, faculty, staff, and administrators who identify as LGBT at America's colleges and universities. The survey examines emerging issues, trends and changing demographics of LGBT people in higher education.

20 The “Call for Participation” was extended to undergraduate and graduate students, staff, faculty, and administrators who identify as LGBT people to participate in the National LGBT College Climate Survey. The project was approved by the Office of Research Protections at The Pennsylvania State University National LGBT College Climate Survey

21 National Gay & Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Consortium of Higher Education Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Professionals (Consortium American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA) Human Rights Campaign (HRC) National Youth Advocacy Coalition (NYAC) Research Allies

22 Since 2000 significant increase in the number of campuses with LGBTQ centers/advocacy units Since 2000 significant increase in the number of campuses with more inclusive sexual identity, gender identity, and gender expression policies One wonders…Has the climate changed with increase of visibility/support? Why now?

23 Process to Date May - December 2008 Survey tool development Development of Communication Plan IRB Proposal February – June 2009 Survey administration

24 Process Forward July – September 2009 Data Analysis February 2010 Initial Results Reported

25 Survey Sections & Sample Questions Personal Experiences Have you ever seriously considered leaving your campus? Have you personally experienced any exclusionary (e.g., shunned, ignored), intimidating, offensive and/or hostile conduct (harassing behavior) that has interfered with your ability to work or learn on your campus? Perceptions of Campus Climate The climate of the classes I have taken is accepting of: Women who are Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Queer; Men who are Gay/Bisexual/Queer; People who are Gender Variant

26 Curricular Issues My school’s general education requirements represent the contributions of people who are LGBTQ. Campus Responses The University/College positively responds to incidents of LGBTQQ harassment. Demographic Information Race/Gender Identity/Sexual Identity/Gender Expression/Birth Sex/Disability Status/Institution/SES Status/First Generation/Academic Major/Citizenship Status/Spirituality Status/”Outness”/ Survey Sections & Sample Questions

27 Survey Limitations Self-selection bias Response rates Method Limitations Data will not be reported for groups of fewer than 5 individuals so as not to compromise identity

28 Given the increase in LGBTQQ visibility on college/university campuses in the past 10 years and given the increase in institutionalization of LGBTQQ issues/concerns, what is the State of Higher Education for LGBT People? The State of Higher Education for LGBT People

29 Questions..?

30 The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index

31 Purpose of Index The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index is a vital benchmarking tool for assisting campuses in learning ways to improve their LGBT campus life and ultimately shape the educational experience to be safer, more LGBT-Friendly. All campuses participating are acknowledged for their active interest in LGBT issues and how to make their campus more LGBT-Friendly. LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index

32 Philosophy Every student has the right to a safe learning environment where they can grow academically and socially. As a result, campuses have the power and responsibility to enact policies, programs and practices that work to enhance the campus climate for all students -- including LGBT and ally students. Every campus has the choice to make campuses safer, more LGBT-Friendly. LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index

33 Impact Goals 1.Set forth a national standard – a benchmark of LGBT-Friendly campus policies, programs and practices. 2.Offer an ongoing, effective measurement tool to improve LGBT quality of campus life and assist campuses in becoming more LGBT-Friendly. 3.Advocate nationally for further LGBT progress on campus by highlighting positive efforts. LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index

34 Testing (2001-present) National Gay & Lesbian Task Force Human Rights Campaign National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education Individual Campuses/Higher Education Professionals in the LGBT field of study.

35 Basic Overview of the Tool The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index includes 50+ self-assessment questions in the areas of eight different LGBT-Friendly factors, as follows: 1.LGBT Policy Inclusion 2.LGBT Support & Institutional Commitment 3.LGBT Student Life 4.LGBT Academic Life 5.LGBT Housing 6.LGBT Campus Safety 7.LGBT Counseling & Health 8.LGBT Recruitment and Retention Efforts.

36 Methodology Questions were weighted in order to emphasize and add value to specific LGBT components which contribute to a safer, more LGBT-Friendly campus. Certain weights were applied to compensate for varying campus demographics (e.g. size, type of institution, etc.). All eight LGBT-Friendly factors receive the same weight in the overall score. Significant testing and analysis went into determining the weights for the appropriate questions.

37 STAGE ONE: Self-Assessment The Process for Campus Officials Step One: A campus official with responsibility for LGBT issues asks and,or is invited to take the online assessment tool. Step Two: Appropriate campus official takes the 50+ item assessment at his/her own pace, seeking the most accurate answers.

38 Step Three: When finished and reviewed by campus official(s), the assessment is submitted to Campus Pride. Step Four: Completed assessment is reviewed for errors, accuracy and any questions. Then a confidential report is generated for the campus official(s) highlighting all responses, scoring as well as notable strengths, areas for improvement and additional resources. Note: Confidential report is only available to your campus official(s); however, general data and scoring is available for index purposes.

39 STAGE TWO: Public View The Information Available Search Function -- Filter by Region, by Size of Institution, by Index Score, by Size/Locale, and, or a combination of all the above

40 Basic profile listing campus region, city/state, general size/description, type of institution, size, and tuition. Key Features -- Public Access Basic Profile

41 Basic profile listing “Need To Know” highlights from campus responses in general areas of policies, programs and practices. Key Features -- Public Access Basic Profile

42 My Bookbag allows each public user to add campuses to an individual listing and then submit personal contact information for future follow-up by the campus. An automated is sent to campus official(s). Key Features -- Public Access Basic Profile

43 Key Features -- Premier Profile Any campus has the opportunity to upgrade to an annual premiere membership for a nominal fee. In addition to the basic profile, the additional benefits allow campuses to personalize information by adding LGBT campus commitment, LGBT offerings, photos, personal quotes, event highlights, student organizations, campus resources, admissions office, etc. In addition, these campuses have the “Premier” logo beside name.

44 Special Guest Angela C. Nichols Director - Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Services University of Minnesota Duluth

45 Copyright Campus Pride. By penalty of law, not for reprint or duplication. All rights reserved. Limitations The LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index is NOT a replacement or substitute for campus climate research which looks more holistically at campus attitudes/perceptions of LGBT campus life. The index is one means of measuring LGBT-Friendly policies, programs and practices and will lay the foundation for a national standard for campuses across the United States.

46 2008 Participation 188 colleges & universities since launch in September 2007 (16 months in operation) Participation Breakdown 181 colleges & universities (online) 7 colleges & universities (opt out) 60 colleges & universities (incomplete)

47 2008 Site Usage Web Traffic: 43,000 avg hits per month 4 avg page views per visit most frequent pages – homepage, search, events Google Adwords -- avg 38,000 impressions per day Referrals: 1670 referrals (generated s) Max. 3 in 10 frequency per month

48 2008 Geographic Representations Mid-Atlantic n= % Midwest n= % New England n= % South n= % Southwest n= % West n= % Note: 41 States Represented

49 2008 Institutional Type Demographic Data Public 4 Year Colleges & Universities n= % Private 4 Year Colleges & Universities n=6635.1% Community Colleges n= %

50 2008 Institutional Size Demographic Data Under 2500 n=3418.1% 2501 to 10,000 n=5227.7% 10,001 to 15,000 n=2814.9% 15,0001 to 25,000 n=3619.1% 25,000 and above n=3820.2%

51 2008 Observations based on Overall, SO, GI/GE Responses Majority (106 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score overall responses. 131 participating colleges score above 60% on SO areas of concentration compared with only 77 participating colleges which score above 60% on GI/GE responses % variance SO vs. GI/GE inclusion efforts.

52 2008 Academic Life LGBT studies program LGBT specific course offerings Gender-neutral/single occupancy restroom facilities in academic settings New faculty/staff training opportunities on sexual orientation issues New faculty/staff training opportunities on gender identity/expression issues

53 2008 Observations based on Academic Life Responses Majority (102 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on Academic Life Noted Areas for Improvement: Increase in faculty training on inclusion of LGBT course materials and sensitivity for SO & GI/GE issues

54 2008 Student Life Student organization for LGBT & Ally students Resource center/office with responsibilities for LGBT students Paid staff with responsibilites for LGBT & Ally support services Ally program or Safe Space/Safe Zone Regularly plans LGBT social activities Regulary plans educational events on sexual orientation issues Regularly plans educational events on transgender issues

55 2008 Observations based on Student Life Responses Majority (160 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on Student Life responses Strongest area of LGBT responses Noted Areas for Improvement: Discrepancy between SO and GI/GE; Increase transgender services and awareness

56 2008 Policies & Practice Non-discrimination statement inclusive of sexual orientation Non-discrimination statement inclusive of gender identity/expression Health insurance coverage to employees' same sex partner Accessible, simple process for students to change their name and gender identity on university records and documents Standing advisory committee that deals with LGBT issues

57 2008 Observations based on Policies & Practices Responses Less than a majority (84 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on policies and practices responses Noted Areas for Improvement: Need for GI/GE inclusive policies and practices; Need for State Govt. to address areas of health benefits

58 2008 Campus Safety Procedure for reporting LGBT related bias incidents and hate crimes Campus public safety office does outreach to LGBT people and meet with LGBT student leaders/organizations Trains campus police on sexual orientation issues Trains campus police on gender identity/expression issues

59 2008 Observations based on Campus Safety Responses Half (94 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on campus safety responses Noted Areas for Improvement: Formation of BIRTs as methods of prevention; Increased campus police training for SO & GI/GE anti-violence; Outreach to LGBT student populations

60 2008 Housing & Residence Life LGBT housing options/themes Transgender student option to be housed in keeping with their gender identity/expression Gender-neutral/single occupancy restroom facilities in campus housing Trains residence life and housing staff at all levels on LGBT issues and concerns

61 2008 Observations based on Housing & Res Life Responses Less than a majority (65 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on housing and residence life responses Noted Areas for Improvement: Greater housing choices for LGBT students to be safe, comfortable; Fair, equitable treatment for LGBT housing staff; Increased inclusion for housing services/options for Trans concerns

62 2008 Counseling & Health Services LGBT inclusive counseling/support groups LGBT inclusive health services/testing Training for health-center staff to increase their sensitivity to the special health care needs of LGBT individuals Insurance coverage for students transitioning from M to F and F to M to cover hormone replacement therapy

63 2008 Observations based on Counseling & Health Services Responses Majority (159 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on counseling & health services responses Noted Areas for Improvement: Inclusive trans health and counseling practices; Trans supportive insurance policies

64 2008 Recruitment & Retention Efforts LGBT mentoring program to welcome and assist LGBT students in transitioning to academic and college life LGBT and Ally student scholarships Active LGBT alumni group Special Lavender or Rainbow Graduation ceremony for LGBT students and allies Actively participates in LGBT admission fairs

65 2008 Observations based on Recruitment & Retention Effort Responses Less than a majority (66 total) of participating colleges have above 60% score on recruitment and retention effort responses Noted Areas for Improvement: Understanding the importance of R&R efforts; Need for mentor programs to support LGBT student experience, Increased direct LGBT recruitment activities

66 2008 Observations based on LGBT-Friendly Factors Overall Observations Benchmark data supports further LGBT efforts Greater Inclusion of Gender Identity/Expression Highest Scoring Areas: Student Life Health & Counseling Services Lowest Scoring Areas: Housing & Res Life Recruitment & Retention Efforts

67 Questions..?

68 THANK YOU! Shane L. Windmeyer, MS, Ed. Sue Rankin, Ph.D. THANK YOU! We appreciate your support of Campus Pride. More information go online to


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