Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students in engineering: Climate and perceptions

Kathryn F. Trenshaw, Ashley Hetrick, Ramona F. Oswald, Sharra L. Vostral, Michael C. Loui

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Few studies of the climate in engineering for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students have been conducted. According to these studies, LGBT students are often forced to cope with hostile climates in engineering. To address the question of how LGBT students experience the climate in engineering, we interviewed a total of 16 students at two institutions in the Midwest. We analyzed the interview transcripts using open coding based on a combination of Meyer's Minority Stress Theory and Tinto's Theory of Student Departure. Preliminary results indicate that LGBT students experience more situations of exclusion within engineering than in other areas of their campuses. Based on their experiences, students advocate increased visibility for LGBT students in engineering and a mentoring program to provide support from engineering faculty and graduate students who also identify as LGBT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationEnergizing the Future, FIE 2013 - Proceedings
Number of pages3
StatePublished - 2013
Event43rd IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2013 - Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2013Oct 26 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other43rd IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOklahoma City, OK


  • Climate study
  • Engineering
  • LGBT
  • Mentoring program
  • Student interviews
  • Undergraduate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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