Perceptions of campus climate : rural LGBTQ+ student experiences at a rural midwest university
Rural lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ+) high school students face harassment, lack connection to their schools, and have low college aspirations (Palmer, Kosciw, & Bartkiewicz, 2012). Studies focused on LGBTQ+ students in college do not address the needs of rural students, often painting a wide brush of campus experiences for all LGBTQ+ students. This study focused on LGBTQ+ college students from rural areas studying at a rural Midwestern university. The study included nine interviews, a document analysis, and a literature review exploring the experiences of rural LGBTQ+ students and campus climate at Midwest University. This qualitative study addressed the gap in literature concerning perceptions of campus climate for rural LGBTQ+ students in college and the impact of sexual identity development in college (Zubernis, Snyder, Mccoy, 2011). It is imperative institutions work to provide opportunities for LGBTQ+ students to connect with one another and offer a variety of inclusive events promoting the value of all students.
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