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5 LGBTQ College Planning Resources

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5 LGBTQ College Planning Resources

For many students, finding the right university- and the overall college search- can be hard and overwhelming. Everyone wants that perfect “fit,” so imagine the stress when you are trying to hone in on certain school characteristics, like specific majors, religiously affiliated, single sex or even LGBTQ friendly schools. The good news is that there are resources for all of these categories. Today more and more high school and college students are identifying on the LGBTQ spectrum. There are some great college search sites that can help empower, offer resources, and provide support and inclusivity for LGBTQ students.

When it comes to “College 101” for LGBTQ students, be sure to look for LGBTQ friendly colleges, dorms, Queer and Gender Studies Programs, campus associations, athletics and scholarships. All of this information can be found on the web. However, here are a few to get you started:

1. Duke University's LGBTQI List

Duke University’s program in the Study of Sexualities provides a great list (51 pages long) of LGBTQI and Sexuality Studies Programs located in Canada and the United States. Some universities offer these programs as majors and/or minors; some are obtainable through all degree levels; and some have their own departments or are merged within existing departments for those students interested in researching topics under this area of study.

2. It Gets Better Project

The Georgetown University Hoyas created a poignant video of students coming together to share their stories and spread the message of hope for LGBT youth for the It Gets Better Project. The It Gets Better Project advocates for teenagers in the LGBT community and reminds them that they are not alone.

3. Campus Pride Index

If you are looking for LGBTQ-friendly schools, the Campus Pride Index is a campus climate index provider. Sign in to access the index and it will allow you to view an abundance of information as to which colleges and universities are currently ranked the best as it relates to providing a supportive culture for LGBTQ students. This site also provides links for scholarships, athletics, online college fairs and lots of college planning information.

4. You Can Play Project

The You Can Play Project is a great place for student athletes to research colleges and universities who promote respect for all athletes. The Project strives to unite players, coaches and fans to take a stand and create an atmosphere of inclusion. There are wonderfully created videos that resonate strong supportive messages from a host of post-secondary institutions who have committed to take this stance.

5. HBCU Leadership Summit

The Human Rights Campaign’s HBCU Leadership Summit is a program that empowers LGBT Historically Black College and University students to be change-agents on their campus and lead resourcefully through the intersections of race, religion, gender identity, class and sexual orientation. There is a superbly produced video on the site that enables the viewer to learn about the program through student voice.

While it is understood that all LGBTQ students may not desire to utilize these resources or identify with LGBTQ communities once on college campuses, these resources have been shared to help students who wish to affiliate and seek out a supportive environment. Moreover, these resources are just the tip of what supports one can find for LGBTQ high school students as it relates to the college search process.

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Dr. Tracy Jackson has been a school counselor since 1997 with experience at the elementary, middle & high school levels. She earned her PhD in Counselor Education & Supervision from Old Dominion University where she is an adjunct professor. As Coordinator of Guidance Services for Virginia Beach City Public Schools, Tracy oversees the comprehensive school counseling programs for 85 schools & works with over 170 school counselors. Her blog provides resources & information to school counselors.

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