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LGBQ+ Students' College Search Processes: Implications for College Transitions

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While much research has examined lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ+) students' high school and college-going experiences, few studies have explored what LGBQ+ students consider during their college choice process. Utilizing Hossler and Gallagher's (1987) three-stage college choice model, this study analyzed 14 semistructured interviews with LGBQ+ students to investigate the specific factors influencing their college choice process. Our analyses identified that participants sought a diverse environment, LGBQ+-specific resource availability, and academic fit as prominent features in their search process. By expanding current understanding of the college choice process, the results of this study can inform practitioners' approach to recruiting and supporting LGBQ+ students. We conclude with implications for improving LGBQ+ student transitions to postsecondary education and for future research.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ohio University 2: Indiana University 3: Michigan State University

Publication date: March 1, 2022

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition is a semiannual refereed journal providing current research on the first college year and other significant student transitions. The primary purpose of the Journal is to disseminate empirical research findings on student transition issues that inform practice in all sectors of postsecondary education, such as explorations into the academic, personal, and social experiences (including outcomes related to success, learning, and development) of students at a range of transition points throughout the college years; transition issues unique to specific populations (e.g., non-traditional, traditional, historically underrepresented students, transfer students, commuters, part-time students); and explorations of faculty development, curriculum, and pedagogical innovations connected to college transitions.
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