LGBTQ students experience a lower sense of belonging at community colleges. The correlation between campus and classroom climate and academic success, campus involvement, identity, level of outness, and well-being for LGBTQ students contributes to their decreased sense of belonging. Non-LGBTQ-affirming and non-inclusive community college campuses and classrooms lead to feelings of fear, invisibility, lack of validation, mental health challenges, and poor academic performance for LGBTQ students. An extensive literature review was conducted to determine the root causes around the decreased sense of belonging for LGBTQ students enrolled at community colleges. Three themes emerged that explained this decreased sense of belonging: heteronormative and cisnormative campus and classroom climates; a lack of LGBTQ-specific training for administrators, faculty, and staff; and a lack of LGBTQ-specific programming and services on campus. Creating a campus-wide administrator, faculty, staff, and student LGBTQ Task Force and promoting the affirmation, inclusion, safety, and visibility of LGBTQ students may help ameliorate the diminished sense of belonging experienced by LGBTQ students on community college campuses.
Falco, J., & Sparrow, M. (2023). LGBTQ Community College Students’ Decreased Sense of Belonging. New York Journal of Student Affairs, 23(1). Retrieved from https://commons.library.stonybrook.edu/nyjsa/vol23/iss1/3