Inclusive Identity Policy


Columbia College (“College”) strives to be an inclusive community where all are welcomed regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or background. Our mission is to promote and foster a College community that understands, respects, and values diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

A chosen name and gender description can be an important part of a person’s identity. The College recognizes that students and employees may want to use a name and gender description (pronouns and gender identity) that are different from their legal name and the sex listed on their birth certificate. To accommodate these preferences, the College has established this policy that allows students and employees to indicate their chosen first names and gender descriptions to the College community, even if they have not changed their legal name or their sex. 


This policy applies to all members of the College community.  


"Chosen Name" is a name someone wishes to be known by in the College community that is different from the individual’s legal name. The College’s policy covers chosen first names only. Surnames (last names/family names) and primary names can only be changed in the College’s records when a student or employee has obtained a legal name change.  

"Legal Name" is the name that appears on an individual’s government-issued identification (i.e. birth certificate, passport, driver’s license, social security card).  

"Sex" is the designation of ‘male’ or ‘female’, as assigned at birth and used in federal and/or state reporting requirements. 

"Gender" is the social construct used to classify a person as man, woman, or other identity separate from the sex one is assigned at birth. 

"Personal Pronoun" is the non-binary pronoun a person chooses for themselves.


Columbia College students and employees may provide a Chosen Name for the College to use where a Legal Name is not required.  Certain official documents require legal name including, but not limited to, official transcripts, federal aid forms, student account and payment systems, Human Resources and Payroll forms and systems.  Documents where Chosen Name may be used include student rosters, student portal, mailings and emails, housing assignments, etc. Note that certain account configurations, like login names and email addresses will continue to be derived from legal name, while the Email Display Name of such will reflect Chosen Name.   

In addition to or separate from a Chosen Name, students and employees may select a pronoun description and a gender identity. The following options are available for pronoun descriptions:  

  • She/Her/Hers
  • He/Him/His
  • Ze/Hir/Hirs
  • They/Them/Their
  • Use name as pronoun

The following options are available for Gender Identity:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Non-Binary

The chosen name and pronoun description can be provided at the time of application for admission or can be provided/updated on your student/employee MyProfile in myPortal. 


Chosen Names must adhere to the database character standards used by College systems. Names may not be used for purposes of fraud or misrepresentation. The College reserves the right to deny or remove any Chosen Name for reasons including but not limited to: misuse, misrepresentation, attempting to avoid legal obligation, or the use of inappropriate or offensive language.


Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy a student’s name, including one’s Chosen Name, may be disclosed to the public as “directory information” unless the student ops not to permit such disclosure by completing the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form.


Students with questions about this policy should contact:

Student Affairs
1001 Rogers Street
Atkins-Holman Student Commons, Room 215
Columbia, MO 65216
Phone: 573-875-7400
Employees with questions about this policy should contact:
Columbia College Human Resources
1001 Rogers Street
Missouri Hall, Room 123
Columbia, MO 65216
Phone: 573-875-7495

because a future built by you is a future built for you.

Too many people have been made to feel that higher education isn’t a place for them— that it is someone else’s dream. But we change all that. With individualized attention and ongoing support, we help you write a new story for the future where you play the starring role.