Preferred Name Policy
SUNY Jefferson
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Preferred Name Policy

Jefferson Community College recognizes the need or preference for students and employees to refer to themselves by a "preferred name" other than their legal given or first and/or middle name. This is consistent with Title IX federal law which protects against discrimination based off gender identity and expression, and is currently recognized as a best practice for supporting transgender and gender non-conforming members of college communities. This service is not limited to use by transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, however, and is available to anyone who uses a preferred first name on a daily basis other than their legal/primary name.

Where a student seeks to use a preferred name for a significant reason, and such use is not intended for the purposes of avoiding legal obligations, in jest, or for misrepresentation, the College acknowledges that, where possible and practical, a preferred name can be used in the course of College business and education. The College reserves the right to remove a preferred name if deemed inappropriate.

  • Only the first and/or middle name may be changed to a preferred name;
  • Last/family name must remain the same as the full legal last name in the College records system; Students J # will remain the same as assigned with legal given first name.
  • The preferred name may be used in some College communications and informational materials, except where the use of the legal name is required by College business or legal need. This may include but is not limited to financial, medical, and law enforcement documents; transcripts; diplomas; W-4 forms; 1-9 forms; 1098-T forms; payroll documents; Visa/immigration documents; employment applications and related documents; background check documents; insurance documents; and student conduct records;
  • Preferred names are limited to alphabetical characters (a-z).

Development to accommodate use of a preferred name in College systems is ongoing. Not all College information systems, databases, and processes may be able to display a preferred name and many uses of an individual's name require display of the legal name; therefore, individuals who utilize a preferred name should always be prepared to reference their legal name and provide corresponding identification when necessary. A preferred name designation is not a legal name change.

The preferred name will be utilized in the student information system and classroom management system where deemed appropriate by Jefferson Community College. The legal name will appear in all other records and documents. Please note that preferred names cannot appear on the academic transcript, as this is a legal document.


Res. 154-20, October 2020