Kent State was named one of the top 2017 LGBTQ-friendly online schools by the SR Education Group due to its inclusive and open practices for LGBT students.
The criteria was judged by Campus Pride, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to making universities more LGBT-friendly. Campus Pride created the Campus Pride Index, a tool used to measure the inclusivity of a school, to compare institutions across the country.
Katie Mattise, a program coordinator for the LGBTQ Center, was excited to hear of Kent State’s success.
“It’s cool to be recognized,” Mattise said. “Having our name out there lets other folks know that at least we’re aware that LGBTQ people exist and that we’re working to serve them and make them feel welcome, whether that is online or on campus.”
The Campus Pride Index looks at about 50 potential LGBT inclusive aspects that a university could have, such as support groups, gender-inclusive housing, career services and safe space programs.
Kent State earned a pride score of 3.5 out of 5. The list consists of 57 other institutions, with scores ranging from 3 to 5.
Each school must offer at least 15 online degree programs to be considered.
Mattise is proud of the steps Kent State has made to be a more LGBT-inclusive university, but said there is still plenty to be done.
“I think it’s important to acknowledge the work that we’ve done so far,” Mattise said. “However, it’s also important to acknowledge the work that we still have to do. I think this achievement is a good motivator to continue to build upon the stuff we’re already doing and the institutional support we already have and push forward.”
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story mis-identified Katie Mattise as "Kathleen."
McKenna Corson is a diversity reporter, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.