Masters Thesis

Campus climate: how perceptions of safety and inclusion impact the academic success of LGBTQ Latinx students

This research study explored the perceptions of university campus climate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Latinx students, specifically feelings of safety and inclusion. The purpose of this study was to examine how safety and inclusion affect the academic success of this population by identifying the factors that may hinder their academic success. A criterion sample was utilized to recruit five selfidentifying LGBTQ and Latinx students enrolled in classes at a 4-year public university in California. Participants partook in a semi-structured interview on how their experiences of safety and inclusion played a role in their academics as a sexual minority student in a higher education institution. Interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis to generate common themes. This data analysis identified several themes including the inclusive and exclusive experiences on the university campus, fear of safety on campus, the impact of those perceptions on academics, and the need for improvement to enhance the campus climate for LGBTQ Latinx students. Recommendations for faculty, administrators, and student service professionals are discussed to better serve sexual minority students in post-secondary campuses. These recommendations include having more representation for LGBTQ students of color so they feel supported and continue to achieve their educational and career goals.

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