Preferred Names at PCC

PCC recognizes that many students use first names other than their legal names to identify themselves. As long as the use of this preferred first name is not for an improper purpose, is not restricted by state or federal law, and does not have an impact on the ability of the college to comply with state or federal law, the college will use “preferred first name” when possible in the course of college activities.

PCC takes into account PCC’s legal requirements surrounding recordkeeping and would not interfere with records where legal names are required (transcripts, and other official documents), allows PCC to deny requested first names when appropriate, but would allow more flexibility to list students with their preferred name only whenever possible.

Why are preferred names important?

Portland Community College supports the use of preferred names for students in certain instances, while maintaining the official, legal name required for academic records and data integrity.

This effort is in support of:

  • the transgender and gender-neutral population at PCC
  • the desire for a casual name reference from the PCC population at large

Therefore, any current or former student may choose a preferred first name in addition to that person’s legal name listed within the college’s information systems. The student’s preferred first name can be used in some college communications and reporting but not where the use of the legal name is required for college purposes. (Please refer to FAQ for further details.)

The college reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used improperly, including but not limited to, avoiding legal obligations or misrepresentation.

What Is a preferred first name?

A current or former student may prefer to use a first name that is different from their legal name. Also, they may want to have this first name appear instead of their legal first name in online rosters and in other college records and documents. The college allows them to do this by setting a preferred first name.

How do I set a preferred first name?

Please note that from MyPCC email account –

Students can set a preferred first name via the admissions application or by emailing enroll@pcc.edu and it will appear on college records, such as MyPCC and the class roster. Some records, such as official transcripts, and financial aid documents, that require use of a legal name, will not include the preferred first name.

Preferred name display

Currently, the following systems will display preferred name instead of legal name:

  • MyPCC – Display name associated with email, calendar, Google docs
  • Class Roster reports – will display preferred name only

Preferred name data standards

Requests to add or change a preferred name are limited to once per term for students. Preferred names must adhere to database character standards used by college systems.
Although students are generally free to determine the preferred names they wish to be known by, inappropriate use of the preferred name policy (including but not limited to avoiding a legal obligation or misrepresentation) may be cause for denying the request. PCC reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used inappropriately.

Legal name change

Name changes are processed by campus Enrollment Services Offices/Answer Centers. All name changes require one piece of valid photo identification, a copy of an official name change document, and the Student Records Change Form with student’s signature.

Frequently asked questions

Can I set my preferred first name to whatever I want?

Yes, but the college reserves the right to remove a preferred first name if it is used for an improper purpose (such as for misrepresentation).

Can I use my preferred first name for everything at the college?

No. Your legal name will continue to be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as student transcripts.

What do I need to know about my ID card?

If you choose to utilize the preferred first name at the PCC your PCC ID card can no longer be used as proof of legal identity. This would impact its use as a form of ID for employment verification or other uses for those who do not have other forms of picture ID.

How do I correct or change my legal name for college systems?

Name changes are processed by campus Enrollment Services Offices/Answer Centers. All name changes require one piece of valid photo identification, a copy of an official name change document, and the Student Records Change Form with student’s signature.