Decoding the Digital Campus Climate for
Prospective LGBTQ+ Community Colleges Students
Author(s): Jason L. Taylor, Kari J. Dockendorff, Kyle Inselman
Publisher: Community College Journal of Research and Practice
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LGBTQ+ students are increasingly visible on community college campuses, and a safe and welcoming campus climate is critical to LGBTQ+ students’ academic success and well-being. Campus climate is difficult to assess for prospective LGBTQ+ community college students, and institutional websites may be a source of information about campus climate. This study used content analysis to document and analyze the digital campus climate for prospective LGBTQ+ students in the community colleges context by examining institutional websites. Using a mixed methods approach, website content of nine community colleges was analyzed, and both the quantity and nature of the content were used to make sense of colleges’ digital campus climate for prospective LGBTQ+ students. With the exception of a couple colleges, we found that the digital campus climate was not welcoming to prospective LGBTQ+ students. The results suggest that community colleges need to enhance their website in several ways and expand their overall programming (academic and non-academic) to ensure prospective LGBTQ+ students feel welcomed and safe on community college campuses.