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SPCL Department | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 3000 LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts (Greytak)

Prof. Emily Greytak OER

Course Description

This course is a critical and broad study of the social, cultural, and community factors that contribute to the psychological, sociocultural, educational and holistic well-being, mental health, and resiliency in LGBTQ youth, from childhood to emerging adulthood. Consideration of special challenges, risk and protective factors, and coping resources relevant to this population in education and community contexts. The course is interdisciplinary in that it pulls from fields of child development, education, sociology, and psychology, and draws from the frameworks of critical race theory and queer studies. The course is designed to provide a balance of structure and flexibility, providing a number of opportunities for students to choose both individual content focus and timing.

This is an Online Mixed course, meaning it has both synchronous ("live") components and asynchronous components. We will meet "live" virtually via Zoom approximately half of the weeks in the semester. During the asynchronous weeks, students will meet virtually in small group "study groups."

Course Goals

  • Deepen knowledge, awareness and understanding of LGBTQ+ youth in schools and communities.
  • Become more familiar with the language, culture, and history of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Identify and examine the stressors and challenges that LGBTQ+ youth face in school and community contexts, while also coming to appreciate the strength, resiliency, and solidarity these youth develop through their life experiences.
  • Critically analyze current educational practices from an intersectional LGBTQ+ lens and to identify specific ways that education systems and those within these systems can become more inclusive
  • Examine the intersections of race, class, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity among LGBTQ+ youth from childhood to emerging adulthood within family, school and community contexts.
  • Develop multicultural competencies by actively engaging in critical self-reflection based on course content, individual examination, and interactions with fellow students; while also developing community skills to respectively engage in significant, difficult conversations about privilege, oppression, and difference.
  • Further engage in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and providing support to LGBTQ+ youth and develop as an advocate, activist, and/or ally.

Course Outline & Schedule & Full Syllabus


Professor Emily Greytak

Instructor Note

As the instructional leader of SPCL 3000, it is important to me that the classroom environment be an emotionally affirming and creative learning space for each of us at all times. If at any point, you feel anything less fully welcome and included in the class, please let me know. If you see a way for me to enhance your educational experience of this course, please don’t hesitate to say so. My pedagogical style invites engagement and participation by all students in the course. I ask each of you is to come to every class fully prepared to discuss the assigned reading, videos, and assignments. I will also provide you with the feedback necessary to help you achieve your goals as you move throughout this course. I will do my very best to support you, and facilitate the process; however, it is up to you to complete the work, and own the work. Students who are prepared with the readings and videos, attend class and participate in class discussions and activities, participate and demonstrate responsibility, and complete course assignments can anticipate successfully completing SPCL 3000. Remember, I am here to help. Please reach out with questions or concerns. I look forward to working with you all!

  • Instructor: Prof. Emily Greytak (pronouns: she/her)
  • Email:
  • Phone: Texting is great! (see Blackboard for mobile #, will also give in class)
  • Course Number/Section: SPCL 3000 
  • Course Name: LGBTQ Youth in Educational Contexts
  • Course Time/Day: 
  • Course Location: 
    • Office Hours: Sundays 10am-12pm, or upon request (see Blackboard for zoom link)

Other Important Requirements and Considerations

  • You will get the most out of this class when you engage and invest, and so will the rest of the members of the class. I will ask that you participate but participation comes in many forms. I ask that you to engage and participate in the ways that you are able. I will also strive to create a class community where you feel you can bring your whole selves. I encourage you to speak up in class as it really does help foster a collaborative environment where we can better get to know each other. But you are not required to speak up verbally and I will provide multiple different methods for participation. II will ask for your engagement and your respect for all members of the class community.  
  • In order to be as responsive to the unique needs and interests of students to address other necessary modifications to the curriculum or schedule, assignments in this syllabus may be added, changed or modified to accommodate the flow of the course. However, I will never make an assignment due any earlier than it is currently listed on the syllabus. Thus, it will not benefit you to work ahead on assignments or readings. If for some extenuating circumstance you need work on an assignment earlier than the week it is assigned, please let me know so that I can advise you of any potential changes, etc.

CUNY Support Services

Brooklyn College offers a wide variety of supportive services for students.  These include:

Note from Professor: As an educator, I support the rights of undocumented students to an education. If you have any concerns in that regard, feel free to discuss them with me, and I will respect your wishes concerning confidentiality.

Brooklyn College is committed to fostering a safe, equitable and productive learning environment. Students experiencing any form of prohibited discrimination or harassment on or off campus can find information Page 5 of 7 about the reporting process, their rights, specific details about confidentiality, and reporting obligations of Brooklyn College employees on the Office of Diversity and Equity Programs. All reports of sexual misconduct or discrimination should be made to Michelle Vargas, Title IX Coordinator (718.951.5000, ext. 3689), and may also be made to Public Safety (719.951.5511), the New York City Police Department (911 or a local NYPD precinct), or Melissa Chan, Associate Director of Judicial Affairs, Division of Student Affairs (718.951.5352), as appropriate. The CUNY Equal Opportunity and Non-discrimination Policy and Complaint Procedures includes additional information regarding reporting discrimination and/or retaliation. 

CUNY Policies

Note from Professor:

I am committed to creating a course that is inclusive and accessible for all students, including those with disabilities that may impact learning in this class. If anyone believes the design of this course poses barriers to effectively participating and/or demonstrating learning in this course, please meet with me (with or without a Student Disability Services accommodation letter) to discuss reasonable options or adjustments. I am always happy to consider creative solutions. I welcome feedback that will assist me in improving the usability and experience for all students. 

If you have already registered with the CSDS, please let me know and discuss your specific accommodation with me as soon as possible. 

The Brooklyn College Center for Student Disability Services is back to working in-person on campus, though you can still reach out via email and phone. Please email them at for assistance.

Location: 138 Roosevelt Hall
Phone: 718.951.5538
FAX: 718.951.4442
Department Office Hours:

  • Monday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 9 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
  • Thursday: 9 a.m.–6:45 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m.–4:45 p.m.

Note: Office hours during summer and winter intersession breaks varies.

Students should inform the professor if they have a disability or any other situation that may require Section 504/ADA accommodations.  The faculty and staff will attempt to work out whatever arrangements are necessary.

Please provide your professor with your course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with your professor as soon as possible to ensure accommodations are met in a timely fashion.

In order to receive academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or who suspect that they might have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell or the Assistant Director, Josephine Patterson or their general email

Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS) Mission:
It is the mission of the Center for Student Disability Services (CSDS) to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to all campus facilities, curricula, and activities. The program’s objective focuses on providing students with reasonable disability-related accommodations and the opportunity to maximize their academic success at Brooklyn College. The goal is to ensure an inclusive environment while maintaining and enhancing the college’s academic excellence by providing students with disabilities the opportunity to achieve their highest possible academic potential.

Academic dishonesty of any type, including cheating and plagiarism, is unacceptable at Brooklyn College. Cheating is any misrepresentation in academic work. Plagiarism is the representation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as your own. Students should consult the Brooklyn College Student Handbook for a fuller, more specific discussion of related academic integrity standards.

Academic dishonesty is punishable by failure of the “…test, examination, term paper or other assignment on which cheating occurred” (Faculty Council, May 18, 1954).

In addition, disciplinary proceedings in cases of academic dishonesty may result in penalties of admonition, warning, censure, disciplinary probation, restitution, suspension, expulsion, complaint to civil authorities, or ejection (Adopted by Policy Council, May 8, 1991).

NOTE: If you have a question about how to cite correctly ask your teacher BEFORE submitting your work.

  • The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism.
  • Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both.
  • View complete text of CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and Brooklyn College procedure for policy implementation.
  • If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member must report the violation.
  • Please read the section entitled “Academic Regulations and Procedures” in the Brooklyn College Undergraduate Bulletin or Graduate Bulletin for a complete listing of academic regulations of the College.

Bereavement Policy:

  • Students who experience the death of a loved one must contact the Division of Student Affairs, 2113 Boylan Hall, if they wish to implement either the Standard Bereavement Procedure or the Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure. The Division of Student Affairs has the right to request a document that verifies the death (e.g., a funeral program or death notice). Contact Email:
  • Typically, this death involves that of a family member, in parallel to the bereavement policy for faculty and staff. However, it is up to the discretion of the Division of Student Affairs to determine if a death outside of the immediate family warrants implementation of the student bereavement policy.
  •  As an option, and in consultation with the Division of Student Affairs, students may take the Leave of Absence Bereavement after the Standard Bereavement.
  • Reference to the Student Bereavement Policies will be noted on course syllabi.
  • Students requesting a religious accommodation should contact the Division of Student Affairs as well. The chief student affairs officer, or a designee, and the student will engage in an interactive process with the goal of finding an acceptable accommodation.

Bereavement Procedure:

  • Upon approval from the Division of Student Affairs, the student is allowed one week, commencing from the day of notification to the Division of Student Affairs, of excused absence.
  • Should the student feel that he/she needs additional days, these should be discussed with individual course instructors and/or the Division of Student Affairs.
  • The Division of Student Affairs will contact the student’s faculty and academic staff of the student’s courses.
  • Faculty and academic staff will be advised that extensions must be granted to the student for the period of one week of excused absence.
  • Further extensions may be negotiated with the student when he or she returns to campus.
  • Students are encouraged to discuss options with their instructors.

Leave of Absence Bereavement Procedure:

  • Students may be allowed to withdraw from the semester in which the death occurs.
  • The Bereavement Leave of Absence is for one semester only.
  • Students who have opted to take the Bereavement Leave of Absence and have already attended classes for the semester of the leave will be allowed to re-enter the following semester without having to reapply to the college.
  • Students who wish to take the leave of absence prior to the beginning of the semester will be required to reapply for the following semester.
  • Students who are in good academic standing will be given the opportunity to successfully complete the credits for the semester in which they return.
  • Students will consult with the Division of Student Affairs, on a case-by-case basis, as to whether they should withdraw from their courses during this leave of absence or to request incompletes from the faculty member.
  •  Given that there may be a potential impact on financial aid, students who receive financial aid and who take the Bereavement Leave of Absence, upon arrangement with the Division of Student Affairs, will meet with a financial aid adviser prior to taking this option.
  • The New York State Education Law provides that no student shall be expelled or refused admission to an institution of higher education because he or she is unable to attend classes or participate in examinations or study or work requirements on any particular day or days because of religious beliefs.
  • Students who are unable to attend classes on a particular day or days because of religious beliefs will be excused from any examination or study or work requirements.
  • Faculty must make good-faith efforts to provide students absent from class because of religious beliefs equivalent opportunities to make up the work missed; no additional fees may be charged for this consideration.
  • If classes, examinations, or study or work requirements occur on Friday after 4 p.m. or on Saturday, similar or makeup classes, examinations, or study or work requirements will be made available on other days, where possible and practical.
  • The faculty and the administration will not allow any adverse or prejudicial effects to accrue to students availing themselves of this regulation.
  • If students have complaints about the application of this policy, they are entitled to bring action or a proceeding for enforcement of their rights in the Supreme Court of Kings County

Technology Requirements & Expectations

This Course is an OER (Open Educational Resources) meaning that course texts, readings, and materials will be provided via or linked from an OER page for the course.

OER, Blackboard, Zoom, Email, & Internet

Although this course will meet in-person, we will utilize both synchronous and asynchronous components. We will use OER (Open Educational Resources) and Blackboard to access course materials, announcements, discussion board, and assignment details, as well as to submit most assignments. If you are not familiar with Blackboard or need a refresher, you can check out the “User Guides” on Blackboard for help and tutorials. You can also contact the Help Desk and consult the Blackboard FAQ document for students (see below).

Office Hours and scheduled meetings with professor will generally be via Zoom. Ideally, you should be able to access your camera and audio functions during professor meetings. Therefore, you should have access to stable wifi and a working microphone, and camera (the internal microphone and camera on your computer or other device are fine) during those meetings, if possible. Please reach out to me (professor) asap if you have any challenges using Zoom for these meetings.

This class will also require you to communicate with the professor using email. You should be sure to have access to the email associated with your email address on Blackboard. It also critical that you plan to check your email at least twice a week for potential messages from me and your fellow students.

You will be need to have access to the internet and at times will be asked to visit various websites or videos online, such as YouTube or online news outlets. If you anticipate any difficulties, please let me know and I will do my best to figure out solutions or alternative means for you to be able to have all the access you need!

If possible, you should bring your device (laptop, smart phone, tablet) to class so that you can access documents, forms, and websites that we might use during class. If you are not able to do this, that is totally fine, just let me know so I can be sure to make other arrangements.

Mission Statement of the School of Education

The School of Education at Brooklyn College prepares teachers, administrators, counselors, and school psychologists to serve, lead and thrive in the schools and agencies of this city and beyond. Through collaborative action, teaching and research, we develop our students' capacities to create socially just, intellectually vital, aesthetically rich and compassionate communities that value equity and excellence, access and rigor. We design our programs in cooperation with Liberal Arts and Sciences faculties and in consultation with local schools in order to provide our students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge, proficiencies and understandings needed to work with New York City's racially, ethnically and linguistically diverse populations. We believe that teaching is an art that incorporates critical self-reflection, openness to new ideas, practices and technologies, and that focuses on the individual learner's needs and promotes growth. Our collective work is shaped by scholarship and is animated by a commitment to educate our students to the highest standards of professional competence. The School of Education’s Conceptual Framework: Collaboration, Critical Self-Reflection, Diversity, Social Justice.