Building on its reputation for having a welcoming campus climate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender college students, Oregon State University is launching a new program designed to attract LGBT students to its engineering and sciences programs.
OSU is establishing the first West Coast academic chapter of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals.
“Having the program on campus will enhance the university’s ability to attract, recruit, and retain LGBT students into our science, engineering, and Land, Sea, Sun, and Space Grant programs,” said Steven Leider, director of the Office of LGBT Outreach and Services.
The kick-off event for the new program occurred Monday, on National Coming Out Day.
Leider said this new program is part of an ongoing commitment by the university to improve the campus climate for LGBT students, faculty, and staff. The program will include a quarterly speaker series open to the public and mentoring for LGBT undergraduates, graduate students, faculty and staff.
Another LGBT mentoring program targeting non-science and engineering undergraduates incorporating best practices from other universities is currently in development. That program is expected to launch fall term of 2011.
In August, OSU was one of only 19 colleges in the United States to receive a five-star ranking for inclusion and friendliness from Campus Pride LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index. The high ranking was based on the wide variety of programs and resources created to support LGBT students.