Are you gay, lesbian, or straight? That is just one new question Washington state community colleges will ask enrolling students this fall.
The new registration form will make Washington state the first system of community and technical colleges in the country to track these demographics.
Students filling out their registration form for the fall will see two new questions: What is your sexual orientation? What is your gender identity?
They can choose from six different options for each question or they can choose “prefer not to answer.”
Highline Community College’s vice president of Student Affairs, Toni Castro, says students proposed the idea to gather the data.
“They believe if we had a better tracking mechanism, we could respond to the needs of our students and track their success,” said Castro.
Every community and technical college in the state agreed to do it. Some of them launched a promotional video campaign to educate students on the reasons why.
The schools say the information is confidential and it’ll be used for tracking only. Students can opt out.