Andrew Jay Rock



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LGBTQ+ students, an often overlooked group within our schools’ diverse populations, have unique needs. This action research has been focused on these academic and social-emotional needs and the ways in which they can be addressed at the macro and micro levels. The intended objective of the research project was to explore ways to support LGBTQ+ youth in a heteronormative, and at times, homophobic educational environment. However, upon further investigation it became evident that, in addition to student psychoeducation and LGBTQ+ affirmative care, staff education and professional development are lacking in the schools. These findings have led to the creation of an ensemble of practical resources for students and school staff; a series of professional development workshops, and the initiation of an advocacy-based, fictional novel series for LGBTQ+ adolescents and the adults working with them.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Graduate Research

Primary Advisor

Brenda S. Gerhardt, Layla J. Kurt

Primary Advisor's Department

Counselor Education


Stander Symposium project, School of Education and Health Sciences

The Rainbow Connection: Fostering Inclusivity, Empowerment, and Advocacy for LGBTQ+ Students through Staff Professional Development & Student Psychoeducation