Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

Spring 6-6-2019


Transgender college students -- Social conditions, College student development programs, Leadership -- Study and teaching (Higher), Resilience (Personality trait)


Transgender students have always existed in communities of higher education yet are just now beginning to be acknowledged and included within the context of academia. This has primarily led to the development of campus resource centers intended to protect these students and provide safe spaces on campus. While this is a crucial support system for universities to provide, the framework described herein envisions a future where transgender students can practice resilience and feel a sense of belonging anywhere within their college community. Through a comprehensive review of the literature, this paper highlights the need for a sustainable and campus-wide approach in order for universities to improve transgender student success rates. This requires educational leaders to take an active and holistic approach to their leadership and engagement with students, which can be supported through the practice of sustainable leadership. An example of how this framework can be applied within higher education programming is included, with a specific implementation plan for the Department of Student Activities and Leadership Programs (SALP) at Portland State University (PSU) in Portland, Oregon.


Faculty advisor: Heather Burns

Persistent Identifier