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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Transforming Campus Experiences for LGBTQ+ College-Enrolled Students in a Southern State
by Kepler, Irene, D.S.W., Capella University, 2020, 143; 28089002
Abstract (Summary)

For college students who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ+), many barriers exist to a positive campus climate, including social exclusion, the threat of physical violence, relationships with faculty, mental health issues, and institutional othering that social workers need to take into consideration when working with LGBTQ+ clients. Through this qualitative action research study, guided by social norms theory, one central research question, and four sub-questions, the experiences and attitudes of LGBTQ+ students were studied by gathering qualitative data from a sample of student members of a nonprofit that serves LGBTQ+ youth. Data was collected in the form of one focus group of six individuals and 15 interviews ranging from 45 to 60 minutes. The findings of this study contribute to the field of social work and education by serving as a basis for policy development or modification to address the needs of LGBTQ+ students. The participants gave concrete solutions to what would make them feel safe, welcome, and, affirmed on their campus. These solutions were presented to a board of directors, with the researcher’s recommendations. The board will then decide how to address and disseminate the findings and recommendations. The findings of this study have brought new knowledge to campus leaders regarding both positive and negative aspects of expressing their gender or sexual identity on campus.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Palloff, Rena
Commitee: Ersing, Robin, McLaughlin, Thomas Chalmers
School: Capella University
Department: School of Public Service Leadership
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: LGBTQ studies, Higher education, Social work
Keywords: Campus culture, Higher education, LGBTQ+, Safety, Social work, Welcome
Publication Number: 28089002
ISBN: 9798664739251
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