Date of Award

6-2017

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: M.S.

Department

Educational Administration and Higher Education

College

School of Education

First Advisor

Steven McCullar

Second Advisor

Christine Imbra

Third Advisor

Jodi Kuznia

Fourth Advisor

Stephen Philion

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

LGBT, Higher Education, College, University, Students

Abstract

This quantitative study was developed to determine whether involvement in a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Resource Center had a measureable impact on the success, engagement, and retention of LGBTQ students at St. Cloud State University. Success included academic completion and grade point average (GPA); engagement included the number of times and type of participation in the LGBT Resource Center; and retention was measured by the student’s self-reported intention of returning to the university. An online survey was sent to all students (undergraduate and graduate) at St. Cloud State University in the spring semester of 2017. Approximately 500 students began the survey, and 124 were deemed eligible participants by virtue of their self-identification as LGBTQ. Students answered questions about the student status, their involvement in the LGBT Resource Center, their level of outness, and their opinion of the campus climate. Regression tests, one-way ANOVA tests, and correlation tests were used to determine the relationship (and strength of relationship) between engagement in the LGBT Resource Center and students’ GPA and retention. The results of this study indicate that there were positive relationships between ‘outness’ and student involvement. A surprising result of this study was that students who admitted to hiding their gender identity and/or sexual orientation were more likely to have a higher GPA. Overall results of this study indicate there was no significant relationship between involvement in the LGBT Resource Center and LGBTQ students’ GPAs and retention. Based on the challenges that the researcher faced when disseminating the survey, it is difficult to determine the validity of the survey findings, and warrants an opportunity to re-measure this student population and the measurable outcomes of their involvement in an LGBTQ resource center.

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