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Reaching Out to Our Gay and Transgender Students

According to statistics gathered by the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, ten percent of the population is gay, bisexual, or transgender. These students come to school with the needs of any other student. They have a right to feel safe and accepted in order to learn. When a child senses that they are not accepted by their peers, they often seek the advice of someone they can talk to in a confidential setting, and teachers need to be prepared to help a student in this situation. This course is imperative, as it will enable any counselor or educator to be a reliable source for those youth who feel marginalized due to their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. There will be many supplemental sources and websites that will enrich the knowledge of all who take this course.


Carlow University ED 611 • Mercy University EDUT 538

The required text for this course is The Educator's Guide to LGBT+ Inclusion by Kryss Shane.

ISBN: 978-1787751088

Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

Register Here

Course Schedule

  • 2/13/24 - 5/14/24
  • 4/9/24 - 7/9/24
  • 6/11/24 - 9/10/24
  • 8/13/24 - 11/12/24
  • 10/8/24 - 1/14/25
  • 12/10/24 - 3/11/25

Course Schedule





Session/Module 1: Uncovering our Own Biases


  • Understand the link between tacit assumptions and stereotypes
  • Share the Boat Activity which helps us to note the ways that we stereotype others
  • Exame the “isms” that create one to prejudge others
  • Review/explore classroom resources that deal with issues of tolerance and diversity
  • Activity about why we hate, and the violence that ensues
  • Homophobia will be addressed at this time
  • Reflection and web article review

Session/Module 2: Defining the Acronym LGBTQI


  • The following terms will be defined and explored:
    • -Gay
  • Reflection and web article review

Session/Module 3: The Absence of LGBT Education in the Classrooms


  • Famous LGBT people in history
  • LGBT role models in today’s society
  • The history of the movement
  • Status of human rights concerning LGBT population
  • The absence of homosexuality in sex education
  • A glimpse into the history of HIV/AIDS in this country
  • Compare the differences and similarities between the civil rights movement of the sixties and the gay rights movement of the day

Session/Module 4: Sexual Orientation- Nature or Nurture


  • Perceptions of the past
  • Scientific Research- Genetic/Hormonal/ Birth Order
  • The need to know and why should anyone care
  • How to counsel students when asked this question
  • Reflection

Session/Module 5: Bisexuality or Bi-Curious? Understanding the “B” in LGBT


  • The Kinsey report: the study that uncovered human sexual behavior
  • Living in a binary society
  • Understanding bisexuality in the animal kingdom
  • Helping those students who are bi-curious or questioning
  • The need for succinct labels for gender and sexual orientation
  • Viewpoints on society’s discomfort with bisexuality
  • Reflection

Session/Module 6: Transgender 101- Dealing with the Most Marginalized Groups


  • Dissect the terms gender assigned at birth, gender identity and gender expression
  • Scientific research disclosed
  • Latest psychological research that recommends certain approaches
  • Understand binary boxes that are in place for society’s gender roles
  • Crossing gender lines and the bullying that ensues
  • Watch clips from the video “Middle Sex”
  • Research the laws that protect transgender citizens in this country
  • Reflection

Session/Module 7: Reaching Out to a Transgender Youth


  • Pronouns and/or names that differ from school records

    Sensitize the teachers to students who are gender fluid and use unfamiliar pronouns.

  • Sensitizing the staff to the student’s needs and creating a game plan for this person
  • Where does the bullying take place for these youth?
  • Creating a safe school for these students
  • Share a plan that you put in place for a student who is gender non-conforming

Session/Module 8: Reaching Out to Students who are Coming Out


  • The “coming out” sequence of events
  • Sensitive issues that arise for every grade level
  • Support groups that can be organized for their benefit
  • Self-destructive behaviors that are common for this group
  • Script Assignment

Session/Module 9: Creating a Workshop to Educate the Staff


  • Steps to ensure a safe school at every level
  • Educating the Administration
  • Lead a workshop on diversity and this sensitive issue
  • Common objections to LGBT issues and essential strategies to deal with them
  • Programs that are designed specifically for elementary school staff
  • Learn about Gay/Straight Alliances and their structure

Session/Module 10: Support Groups that Deal with the LGBT Community/Final Integration Project


  • Information about PFLAG
  • Find local agencies in your community that offer support groups for teens
  • Explore GLSEN and its website
  • Explore a k-5 approach to LGBT education via Welcoming Schools
  • Uncover one’s district policy concerning harassment and discrimination
  • DASA- the Dignity Act of NYS will be shared
  • Final Integration Project explained - an action plan to create a safer schools
  • Identify and address prejudice, discrimination and stereotypes which exist in our society
  • Discover one’s own biases and realize how tacit assumptions are part of everyday life
  • Define what intersexual is and how it relates to gender non-conforming issues
  • Identify the acronym used for this class and the ways that they are misperceived by many
  • Create lessons that will be inclusive to the gay and transgender population
  • Investigate Federal and State laws regarding the gay and transgender citizens of this country
  • Compare views and opinions concerning the Nature verses Nurture debate that exists concerning sexual orientation
  • Analyze the latest research and scientific findings regarding Nature verses Nurture and come to a conclusion
  • Explore the topic of bisexuality and its history
  • Create dialogues with those students who are bi-curious and/or questioning
  • Identify the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity/expression
  • Identify the binary boxes that exist in our society
  • Explore the plight of those LGBTQI students of color
  • Evaluate resources and websites that deal with gay and transgender youth
  • Propose activities to train staff about the “coming out” process
  • Develop an action plan that will create a safer school environment for all
  • Identify the common slurs that exist and are part of the vernacular heard in the hallways
  • Create a script that will help promote the development of Gay Straight Alliances in all secondary schools
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.