Already recognized as a national leader in LGBTQ+ inclusion in higher education, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee just announced a new point of pride in its ongoing work to promote diversity and inclusivity for all students. National education researchers at the SR Education Group named UWM Online one of the Best and Most Affordable Online Colleges for LGBTQ Students in the United States.
Analysts with the education research publisher looked at tuition rates and support services provided at nearly 1,000 online colleges and universities in the U.S.
Based on that research, UWM Online was selected as a finalist alongside 59 other accredited institutions. This accolade is based in part on UWM’s high scores on the national Campus Pride Index, which publishes an annual ranking of America’s most LGBTQ+ friendly colleges and universities. UWM has earned consistently high rankings from Campus Pride over the last several years, including being named one of the nation’s top 25 LGBTQ+ friendly academic institutions in 2017.
Physical amenities on campus have also helped shape UWM’s rising profile as a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ students, from the LGBT Resource Center, open year-round on the ground floor of the Student Union, to gender neutral restrooms in many university buildings and an inclusive housing policy for students living in University Housing.
Jen Murray, director of the LGBT Resource Center, said she is pleased that efforts to promote inclusion are positively shaping the learning experience in hundreds of courses offered by UWM Online. These courses enroll students from all over the world and are taught by the same faculty and staff teaching face-to-face classes on campus. More than 25 percent of all UWM students will take an online class during their time at UWM.
“Our mission is to create a welcoming campus community for students across the spectrums of gender and sexuality, with an emphasis on intersectional experience,” Murray said. “To be recognized for meeting the needs of online students affirms and inspires our work.”