Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Preferred names at PCC

You can use your preferred first name instead of your legal first name in most systems at PCC. Using preferred first names for each other helps students thrive in a community that supports their identities.

Updating your pronouns

If you also want to update your pronouns, see pronouns at PCC.

What is a preferred name?

Your preferred first name is the name you go by in day-to-day life. It could be a nickname, a shortened version of your name, or a name you self-identify with but haven’t opted to change legally.

How to change your preferred name

You can set your preferred name in the admissions application, by emailing names-pronouns@pcc.edu from your @pcc.edu email, or by using the update name and pronouns form. You can make changes to your preferred name once per term.

Where your preferred name will be used

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

  • MyPCC: display name associated with email, calendar, Google docs
  • Class rosters
  • Optional: PCC ID card. When you get your ID card, you can specify if you want to use your preferred name or legal name. Be aware that if you use your preferred name, your PCC ID card can no longer be used as proof of legal identity (for example, for employment verification or other uses for those who do not have other forms of picture ID).
  • Optional: PCC email address. When you request your name change, let us know if you also want to update your email address.  For example: you can change your address from bartholomew.simpson@pcc.edu to bart.simpson@pcc.edu. If you update your PCC email address, you will still have access to all your messages.

We will use your preferred name whenever possible. However, some records such as official transcripts and financial aid documents require the use of a legal name. In those cases, we have to use a legal name to comply with state or federal law.

Get help or report problems

We have a lot of interconnected systems and sometimes changes can fail to update to all platforms. If your name is not showing correctly, let us try to fix it. Contact names-pronouns@pcc.edu and we’ll do some research to find out if it can be fixed.


PCC reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it is used improperly. Improper use means anything that would be legally improper: for example, changing a name to avoid paying fines, avoid legal obligations, or misrepresent yourself.

Preferred names cannot contain inappropriate or offensive language. Preferred names must adhere to database character standards used by college systems.

Updating your legal name

If your legal name has changed and you need to update your college record, bring the following documents to an Enrollment Services office:

Need help navigating the legal name change process? Check out the PCC CLEAR Clinic: a free legal clinic that can help with legal name changes.