Creating Trauma-Informed Higher Education Classrooms

Exploring Undergraduate and Graduate Student Perceptions


  • Tommy Wells Bellarmine University



trauma-informed practices, classroom environment, student perspectives


Colleges and universities may desire to become more trauma-informed in light of our growing understanding of the impact that trauma can have on student outcomes. However, there has been little research on what strategies and practices colleges and universities should implement to become more trauma-informed. One approach to this work could be to start in the college classroom to determine which trauma-informed strategies and practices are most beneficial to students with an understanding that undergraduate and graduate students may have different needs. In this study, I surveyed 60 School of Education students, including both undergraduate and graduate students, to evaluate their perceptions of the importance of specific trauma-informed strategies and practices in the classroom, as well as their perceptions of how trauma-informed the host university is overall. Both undergraduate and graduate students believed the host university is moderately trauma-informed. However, there was a perceived significant difference between undergraduate and graduate students as to how important specific trauma-informed classroom strategies and practices were. I discuss the importance of faculty reflecting on various trauma-informed strategies and practices they could implement in the classroom.