Date Approved

5-20-2019

Embargo Period

6-3-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Higher Education

Department

Educational Services and Leadership

College

College of Education

First Advisor

McCombs, Tyrone

Second Advisor

Walpole, MaryBeth

Third Advisor

Tinnin, Andrew

Subject(s)

Lesbian college students--Rowan University; Gay college students--Rowan University; Transgender college students--Rowan University

Disciplines

Higher Education

Abstract

This study explores feelings of marginality and mattering as defined by Schlossberg (1989) in LGBTQIA undergraduate students at Rowan University. The study used a modified version of the College Mattering Inventory (Tovar, Simon, and Lee, distributed via email to students utilizing the university's LGBTQIA Center. The study provided an opportunity for LGBTQIA undergraduate students to give feedback regarding their experiences at Rowan. A total of 39 students responded to the survey.

The study found that LGBTQIA undergraduate students at Rowan University are experiencing feelings of mattering and marginality simultaneously. These students feel that they matter as students, and that they matter as LGBTQIA individuals, but there is dissonance between these identities that is creating feelings of isolation, loneliness, invisibility, and marginality. Overall, the LGBTQIA undergraduate population is struggling as a marginalized group, but is having some positive experiences indicative of feelings of mattering as well.

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