Campus Climate


In 2017, the Tyler Clementi Center partnered with the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University, the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, the SERU-AAU Consortium led by UC-Berkeley and U-MN, the American College Health Association, and Rankin & Associates on a study of queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum student experiences in higher education.

We reviewed the queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum student responses on the National Survey of Student Engagement (2017), the Undergraduate Student Experience at the Research University Survey (2016), the American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment (2016), and the four surveys conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute, including The Freshman Survey (2016), the Your First College Year Survey (2016), the Diverse Learning Environments Survey (2016), and the College Senior Survey (2017). Combined, these analyses included the responses of 66,208 queer-spectrum students and 6,607 trans-spectrum student at 918 unique 4-year institutions across the U.S.— the largest study of this population ever undertaken.

Scholars from four leading research centers, Center for Postsecondary Research, American College Health Association, SERU-AAU Consortium, Higher Education Research Institute, in addition to The Tyler Clementi Center came together to highlight the experiences of queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum students in higher education. Using data from various instruments that capture student experiences in higher education, the scholars published a white paper about their findings on the impact of campus climate on queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum students in higher education.

Local and national survey instruments used to measure student experiences struggle with the parameters to operationalize sexual and gender identity. In recent years, key national research institutes have initiated the incorporation of these variables into their respective instruments, providing unprecedented data on the experiences of queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum students across higher education. In 2017, the Tyler Clementi Center partnered with the Center for Postsecondary Research (Indiana University Bloomington), the Cooperative Institutional Research Program (University of California – Los Angeles), the SERU Consortium (University of California – Berkeley & University of Minnesota – Twin Cities), and the American College Health Association to conduct a meta-analysis of campus climate indicators, health disparities, and academic outcomes for queer-spectrum and trans-spectrum student populations who responded to their respective surveys. This analysis represented the responses of 78,798 queer-spectrum students and 8,361 trans-spectrum students from 902 institution.

Presentations on this study have been  made at the following conferences:

  • 2018 NASPA Annual Conference (Philadelphia)

  • 2018 AAC&U Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Democracy: The Inconvenient Truths conference (San Diego, CA)

  • 2018 NADOHE Annual Conference (Washington, D.C.)

  • 2018 AERA Annual Meeting (New York, NY)

  • 2018 American College Health Association Annual Meeting (Washington, D.C.)

Funding for this project was provided by Rutgers University- New Brunswick and the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

To Download the White Paper Click Here

To Learn More Click Here