St. Louis, MO, June 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) will hold its annual conference in Dallas, Texas from June 11 to June 15 featuring sessions that will address some of the most pressing issues facing college admissions today, including the challenges facing LGBTQ youth as they transition to college.  

While all students need to consider affordability, culture and academic offerings in order to find the best college fit, youth who identify as LGBTQ face additional concerns. They need to understand if a campus is affirming and whether there are on-campus resources and LGBTQ-friendly organizations that will help them feel like they fit in and that they can safely explore their sexual orientation and gender identity. 

According to Dale Price of Access College America, “LGBTQ students face a huge gap compared with their non-LGBTQ peers because they often lack the support and resources during their high school years that would allow them to consider pursuing a college education.”

In fact, according to a 2015 report from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), LGBTQ students are twice as likely not to report any college/post-secondary plans as compared to their non-LGBTQ peers.

Dale Price will lead a session at the HECA conference on June 12, 2018 from 2:00pm to 3:15pm to try to help close this gap. He will present findings and best practices for college consultants and counselors to work with clients who identify as LGBTQ and successfully guide them through the college admissions process and find the right college fit.

Also attending the HECA conference and presenting opening remarks on June 12 will be Cami Fields,Community Programs Manager of Resource Center in Dallas. Resource Center runs Youth First, the only LGBTQ-focused program in North Texas that addresses the challenges LGBTQ teens face at home, school and in the community. 

According to Cami Fields, “Many LGBTQ youth don’t even think of college as an option. Many have been bullied during high school, face mental health issues like depression or anxiety, and are scared of what might happen if they go off to college. When they do consider college, it is important that they look into the institution’s non-discrimination policy to make sure it includes sexual orientation and gender identity protection. We have also found that students feel much more comfortable if they know there are active LGBTQ groups on campus, like gay-straight alliances.”

About HECA
Founded in 1997, Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) is a 1,000+ member 501(c)(6) not-for-profit professional association representing independent educational consultants from every region of the country and across the globe who focus exclusively on helping students navigate the college admissions process. Guided by HECA’s Standards and Ethics Statement for professional conduct, their members serve the college planning needs of more than 23,000 high school seniors each year. Many of HECA members also assist low-income students through pro-bono advice and volunteer service to non-profit organizations and local schools.

Michelle Morel, President

Confocal Communications

michelle@confocalcommunications.com

(207) 329-6767