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Community college student leaders proposed the sexual orientation and gender identity questions to the State Board to increase response to students’ needs while tracking the success of the LGBTQ population as a whole. Implementation of this process serves as testimony of Whatcom Community College's commitment to diversity, academic achievement, and student success. With an improved picture of our campus community, we can enhance the Whatcom experience for all students with opportunities such as:

  • Student, staff, and faculty professional development
  • Mentoring for LGBTQ organizations and clubs
  • Course offerings
  • Funding and scholarships


Whatcom's commitment to diversity

Whatcom Community College proudly embraces and supports our diverse campus community. Whatcom promises to transform lives through education while supporting student growth, respecting student investment, embracing diversity, promoting excellence, and creating opportunities.


Data collection

When you register for classes each quarter, two questions appear online or on paper during the registration process. Each required question provides a “prefer not to answer” or “other” option, allowing students to opt out or self-identify into another orientation or identity.  

1. What is your sexual orientation? 

Prefer not to answer

2. What is your gender identity? 

Gender neutral 
Prefer not to answer


We understand that each student’s experience with the questions will vary. Sexual orientation and gender identity information remains confidential and will not be shared with outside agencies / institutions, peers, instructors, or parents. 



  • Is there a specific reason you are collecting this data?
  • Will you report this information to outside agencies?
  • What if I leave the question blank? Will you require me to select my sexual orientation?
  • Will this information be disclosed to my peers or instructors?
  • Who will have access to this registration information?
  • Will I be able to update and change my status after I register for classes?
  • Does your campus collect this information from faculty and staff?
  • Will this information always be linked to my name?
  • If I transfer schools, will you provide this information to them?
  • If another school or entity asks you for this information, will you provide it to them?
  • If I provide this information, will it be kept private?
  • Does your campus have a clear procedure for reporting LGBTQ-related bias incidents and hate crimes?
More FAQ's »