Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Jon K. Coleman


This study utilized a qualitative approach to analyze gender-inclusive policies amongst four-year public institutions in the Midwest. This study focused primarily on residence life administrators, who are responsible for the creation and implementation of such policies on their campuses. 40 institutions completed a survey inquiring about their policies or practices, and four institutions were interviewed as a follow-up. Several themes emerged from the study, which included: 1) even if an institution did not have a policy, they more than likely have a practice; 2) change in trends are inevitable and professionals must be willing to change with them; and 3) the administrators willingness to support students has far outweighed any resistance or restrictions they encountered. This study recommended Student Affairs professionals to show a care and concern to their students in an effort to provide a supportive living-learning environment, and to constantly research and create policies in order to continue to move forward. Faculty, staff, and administrators have the ability to make a lasting impact on the students that reside on college campuses and providing an outlet where they can feel secure enough to talk about what they want to see out of their experience and environment is important.