Missouri schools didn't make the cut when Campus Pride announced yesterday the 2015 Campus Pride Top 25 LGBTQ-Friendly Colleges & Universities. For seven years, the listing has highlighted the most LGBTQ-inclusive colleges and universities when it comes to policy, program and practice in higher education.
This is the first year Campus Pride has released a Top 25 list based on the higher LGBTQ benchmarks recently released on the updated version of the Campus Pride Index. The Top 25 listing is based on the final responses to the Campus Pride Index, a national benchmarking tool which self-assesses LGBTQ-friendly policies, programs and practices. The tool is free of charge and can be found online at www.campusprideindex.org.
“As time goes on, the needs of LGBTQ college and university students change,” said Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride and creator of the Campus Pride Index. “Therefore, we have updated our Campus Pride Index assessment to reflect that, with higher standards for campuses and a higher focus on trans and gender nonconforming students.”
Unlike some well-known LGBTQ rankings and other commercial ratings, the Campus Pride Index is based in research on policy, program and practice and is conducted for and by LGBTQ experts in the field of higher education. Each campus updates their index annually and uses the Campus Pride benchmarking tool to make improvements for LGBTQ life on campus.
According to Windmeyer, “there is a lot to be learned” from the Top 25 campuses on this listing. Many of these campuses are specifically addressing recruitment and academic retention efforts for LGBTQ students as well as concerns for transgender student safety, as reflected by their willingness to be the first campuses to take the updated assessment.
Campus Pride also has a new national partnership with Noodle, an education website helping parents and students make better decisions about learning. Starting this fall, college and universities will have the opportunity to have their Campus Pride Index star rating listed as a link on the Noodle search engine. This feature will generate more web traffic for the Campus Pride Index and greater visibility for LGBTQ youth to find LGBTQ-friendly campuses. Additionally, this partnership allows Campus Pride to support Noodle consumers in two ways: 1) Campus Pride will contribute new LGBTQ articles to be published on Noodle.com. 2) Campus Pride will provide answers and advice via the “Ask a Question” feature on Noodle.com.
In order to be in the Top 25 listing, an institution had to score the highest percentages in the LGBTQ-friendly benchmarks. The listing this year includes colleges with student populations from 1600 to over 50,000, public and private schools alike. The Top 25 list is in alphabetical order, as follows:
Indiana University, Bloomington
Montclair State University
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick
San Diego State University
Southern Oregon University
The Ohio State University
The Pennsylvania State University
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Louisville
University of Maine at Machias
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
University of Minnesota Twin Cities
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Vermont
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
For more information about the Top 25 listing or the Campus Pride Index, please contact Campus Pride at (704) 277-6710 or email info "at" campuspride.org.
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and nearly 1400 campuses annually. Learn more online at CampusPride.org.
Press release contributed to this article.