Preferred First Name FAQ - Student

Central Oregon Community College recognizes that many individuals prefer to use first names other than their legal first names to identify themselves. In support of our commitment to creating and sustaining a welcoming, safe, and supportive environment COCC provides students the option to use a preferred first name.

What is a preferred first name and why is it important?
A preferred first name is a name that you commonly use that is different from your legal first name. Consistently referring to people using the names with which they identify is a basic matter of respect. This can be particularly helpful to some transgender and gender non-conforming students, international students, or anyone with a desire for a casual name reference.

How do I indicate a preferred first name?
Providing a preferred first name on the COCC admissions application is the best way to ensure the consistent use of your preferred first name by college instructors, academic advisors, etc. However, students may provide, edit or remove a preferred name following admissions by emailing welcome@cocc.edu from your COCC email address.

Where is preferred first name used?*
Once a preferred first name is provided to the College it will be displayed in the following areas:

  • Class rosters
  • GradTracks degree audit
  • Blackboard online learning environment
  • Email account
  • Student identification card
  • Commencement Ceremony and Program

*Please Note: Indicating a preferred first name only updates the COCC systems listed above. All other academic records will reflect legal name. However, COCC is committed to ongoing work to update College systems and communications to display preferred name.

Can I use my preferred first name for everything at the college?
Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as official transcripts, enrollment verification and financial aid documents.

What do I need to know about my ID card?
You may choose to utilize preferred first name on your COCC ID card. However, this will impact your ability to use it as a form of legal identification.

Can I use any preferred first name that I wish?
Students are free to determine the preferred first name that they want to be known by as long as they act in good faith. Inappropriate use of the preferred first name procedure including attempts to avoid a legal obligation via misrepresentation, or the use of inappropriate or vulgar language, will result in the denial and/or reversal of the request. Students may contact the Director of Admissions/Registrar regarding any concerns. Additionally, preferred names must adhere to database character standards used by COCC data systems.

How do I change my legal name?
Students wishing to change their legal name may do so by submitting the Legal Name Change Form to the Admissions and Records Office with the appropriate supporting documentation.

How do I change my gender?
Students wishing to formally change their gender may do so by submitting supporting legal documentation to the Admissions and Records Office.