Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Administration

First Advisor

Dilley, Patrick


Currently, a gap exists in the research on gay and lesbian students in community colleges. In this qualitative study, I examine experiences of gay and lesbian students in a rural, Midwestern community college. The literature review consists of a review of gay and lesbian student emergence in higher education, coming out, the relationship between sexuality and rurality, and a brief overview of two of the first sexual identity models. This qualitative design incorporates primarily phenomenological and narrative research. Data collection includes narratives from the interviews with nine community college student participants. Data from the participant narratives is organized under four major themes: participant demographics, coming out, campus experiences, and suggestions for campus administrators.




This dissertation is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.