Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational Administration and Foundations: Educational Administration

First Advisor

Mohamed Nur-Awaleh


A vast amount of research has been devoted to the persistence and retention of college students since the 1970s. Recent research has focused on targeted populations such as first year students, racially minoritized, students with low social economic status and students at the developmental/remedial level. Nevertheless, limited scholarly research has been conducted on the persistence and retention of another category of students, sexual and gender minorities. This qualitative study examined the experiences that promote persistence among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community colleges students. Interviews with eight LGBTQ students from three community colleges in the state of Illinois were conducted and institutional documents analyzed to explore students’ experiences that contributed to their persistence. Findings indicate that campus climate; social integration; academic integration; faculty and student interaction; norm congruence; respect for diversity, equity and inclusion; enhancing the education on and awareness of the LGBTQ community; and grit all play a role in promoting the persistence of LGBTQ community college students. Moreover, the study’s results reveal that the experiences reported by LGBTQ community college students could be used to build upon William Spady’s 1970 Sociological Model of Student Departure and Vincent Tinto’s 1975 Model of Student Integration and 1993 Interactionalist Model of College Student Departure. Based on the findings, implications for practice and recommendations for future research are presented to support the persistence of LGBTQ community college students.


Imported from ProQuest Robinson_ilstu_0092E_11384.pdf


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