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SPCL Department | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 3000 LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts (Greytak)

Prof. Emily Greytak OER

Course Requirements General Info

Requirements for SPCL 3000 are divided into three types:

  1. Engagement
  2. Reading & Media
  3. Papers & Projects

Student Forms


Parts of Engagement

Attendance & Preparation (30 points)

Students’ committed engagement to all aspects of SPCL 3000 is critical to the successful accomplishment of course goals. Due to the pedagogical approach used in this course, consistent attendance and preparation is required.

Class Attendance:

Students are expected to attend all class sessions. However, to account for illness or other issues that might arise, students are allowed two excused absences. To receive an excused absence candidates must notify the professor by email or text before the start of class and review the class slides and other related materials on the Course Site before the next class (see below for excused absences for religious reasons or death of a loved one). 2 points will be deducted for each unexcused absence and for each excused absence beyond two. Students who anticipate missing a class are encouraged to identify one or two peers in the course who would be willing to provide updates on classroom activities and assignments. This means that class attendance accounts for 26 points of your grade (no points deducted for missing or late for 1st class). Lateness: after a ten-minute grace period, students are counted late, 3 lates= 1 unexcused absence. Leaving early: leaving more than 5 minutes before the class ends will result in student being counted as leaving early; 3 leaving early = 1 unexcused absence. If you are concerned that you are not able to attend consistently for the full class, please see me (professor) to discuss before the second week of class.

Religious Observances and Bereavement Policy:

In accordance with New York State Law, students who are unable to attend class on a particular day because of religious beliefs or observances will be excused. Please consult the calendar and let me know in advance so that we can make arrangements in cases of absences due to religious reasons. For more information, see the front matter of the Undergraduate Bulletin and Graduate Bulletin, found on the Academic Calendars, Course Schedules, and Bulletins page. In the case of a death of a family member or loved one, contact Division of Student Affairs to request excused absence. For more information, consult the Brooklyn College Bereavement Policy.

Study Groups:

Students will participate in "Study Groups," of 3-5 students each. Groups will meet weekly virtually approximately 30 minutes – in synchronous weeks during the beginning of class (5:05) and during asynchronous weeks at a time mutually agreed upon by group members. Agendas and discussion prompts and tasks will be provided for Group meetings, and Group meeting "minutes" will be submitted at end of each meeting - via form provided by the professor. Students are expected to attend all of their Group meetings, missing meetings will result in point reduction. 2 points will be deducted for each unexcused absence and for each excused absence beyond two. An excused absence is one where you notify both the professor and your study group member before the schedule meeting. Students are expected to notify both the professor AND this Study Group members if they are not able to attend a Group meeting.

Class Preparation:

Students must come to class meetings fully prepared to discuss readings, films, podcasts or other assigned texts or tasks. Completing readings and audio-visual assignments are required, and it is not possible to meaningfully engage in the class without having done them. Readings, films, and all class assignments are listed in the course outline. Assignments are due on the date listed in the course outline, written assignments are detailed on specific 2-4 assignment sheets. Lack of preparation and/or late submission of assignments can result in a reduction of the student’s final grade if you do not make prior arrangements. However, please reach out as soon as possible if you are facing challenges or have extenuating circumstances and I will try and work with you. I am here to help you learn and do your best work in this course.

Participation & Collaboration (30 pts)

Active student discussion and participation is a significant component of this course. Participation in class is highly valued and students are expected to contribute to class discussions (both verbal and written) and Study Group meetings on a regular basis. Participation is not only about talking in class or in your Groups, as different methods of interaction are valued, and various participation opportunities will be provided and diversity of types of engagement are valued. This includes both speaking up and making space for others to speak up in class discussions, being an active and inclusive member during small group work, and meaningfully participating in activities. Collaboration also includes upholding the class’s Group Agreements.

Group Agreements:

During the first class, we- together as a class community – will develop the Group Agreements we want our class to function under. Once agreed upon, all students and the professor are responsible for doing their best to adhere to these agreements and hold themselves and each other accountable for maintaining a welcoming and effective space for learning. Agreements can be added to or revisited as a full group at any point during the semester.

Readings and Media

Completion and Consideration of Readings and Media Assignments (e.g. films, podcasts etc.)

It is expected that students will complete all assigned readings and media for the week prior to class. In order to provide you with ways to develop your understanding and analysis of the readings and audio-visual material, as well as identify ways to apply the concepts in the your world, students are required to provide brief written responses to these assignments (see below) most weeks. Class discussion and engagement will also rely on completion of the reading and media assignments and will be reflected in the “class preparation” and “weekly responses” grade.

Weekly Responses (20 points):

Each week there will response prompt or question posted to allow to reflect and engage with the readings and other course content in ways that directly relate to your experiences and identities. Discussion posts will receive 2 points each if they are received on time (1 point) and demonstrate thoughtful and informed responses to the questions (1 point). Responses are due before 5pm on Thursdays during both synchronous AND asynchronous weeks. There are 12 weeks’ worth of responses, but your two lowest graded responses will be dropped (that means you can miss two week's response with no penalty).

Papers and Projects


Each paper will have a 1-2 page Assignment Details Sheet that will provide the specific requirements, purpose, and rubric. These sheets will be on Blackboard in the “Assignment Details” section and in the week of the Blackboard Modules when they are due. I will go over the details in class as well. Please do not start working on these papers until you have reviewed and understand the details.

What I Do (and Don’t) Know About LGBTQ+ Youth & Education (10 points).

SPCL 3000 includes two written self-reflection assignments – one in the beginning of the semester and one at the end. For this first reflection, students will write about their own knowledge, experiences, and perspectives Students are always asked to write in ways demonstrate self-reflection and critical thinking. This assignment should be typed and submitted via Blackboard.

Final Learning Statement (25 points)

which functions as a “final” for this course. Students are asked to write in ways that demonstrate a familiarity and understanding of the course content, demonstrate critical thinking, and true self-reflection. This assignment should be typed and submitted via Blackboard.


All projects will have a 2-4 page Assignment Details Sheet that will provide the specific requirements, purpose, and rubric. I will go over the details in class as well. Please do not start working on a project until it has been discussed in class and you have reviewed and understand the details.

Population Project (20 points):

Each student will choose one a specific LGBTQ youth population of their choosing to focus on, for example, specific racial or ethnic groups (e.g. Black LGBTQ youth, Arab youth, Puerto Rican youth), religious groups (Muslim LGBTQ youth, Jewish LGBTQ youth), LGBTQ youth with disabilities, LGBTQ immigrant youth, or another specific LGBTQ youth population, as approved by the professor. Student will then complete a project to learn more about this population – the project will include the following components: review of an organization or resource designed to support the specific LGBTQ youth population, identification of and reading of 1 additional reading about the chosen LGBTQ youth population, completion of an art piece, podcast episode, paper, presentation, website, video, and/or other medium designed to communicate learnings about the chosen population, including addressing specific required areas of inquiry. There will be short assignments along the way to build up to the project that will have specific required due dates (and will be considered in final project grade). The final outcome of this project will be shared with the class in the form of a “virtual gallery.”

Educator Interview & Analysis Project (20 points):

The experiences of LGBTQ youth are significantly influenced by the educational contexts where they exist – in supportive, challenging, and complex ways. Educators are both shaped by and shape the environments they work in. The purpose of this assignments is for students to deepen their understanding of educator’s roles and perspectives, and gain insight into the various ways schools are (and are not) supportive and welcoming to LGBTQ youth. Students will identify and interview an educator, and either write a paper, create an engaging slide deck, and/or create a video that analyzes their findings according to key questions provided (note: you need do a different type of assignment than what you used for your population project). There will be short assignments along the way with specific due dates to help you stay on track that will contribute to the project (and will be considered in final project grade).

Extra credit

Students can complete extra credit assignments (worth up to 5 points each) at any point throughout the semester and submit via Blackboard. Students may submit up to tow extra credit assignments for up to possible of 10 points. Students will be informed of additional several extra credit opportunities including: participating in educational events or activities, identifying related current event news articles and submitting descriptive response, and other potential opportunities. If you have another idea for an extra assignment that you’d like to do, let me know and we can discuss!

  1. Watch, listen or participate in specific media, event, or activity (some possibilities are at the bottom of this message, and if you know of one you’d like to suggest, let me know) and then...
  2. Either:
    1. Write a 1 page reflection paper describing what you watched/listened/participated in, your thoughts on it, and relate it to what we are learning in the course. 


                        b. Share your experience with the class with a short oral presentation - describing what you watched/listened/participated in,                                your thoughts on it, and relate it to what we are learning in the course.

Extra assignment is worth up to 5 points. Note: you can only complete 2 extra credit assignments during the semester (see me if you’d like to request an exception and do more - the extra credit points on the Educator Interview Assignment do not count towards the limit of the these 2 extra assignments, so you can do the extra points for the Educator Interview Assignment AND up to 2 more additional extra credit assignments).

SOME OPTIONS (if you have another one, reach out to me to get it approved!):

Podcasts (you can find at link or on apple podcasts or spotify, listen to 1 episode):

-     Queer Teen Podcast
-      Rainbow Parenting

-     Making Gay History

-     One From the Vaults - A Trans History Podcast

-     LGBTQ & A


In person OR virtual events at Brooklyn College LGBTQ Resource Center or Brooklyn Pride Center or  The Center

LGBTQ Walking History Tours

You can submit extra credit at any time during the semester (no more than 2 assignments) but all extra credit assignments must be submitted by 5/22/24.