Change of Name for Students Policy

Policy Number: SS-3207-2017
Policy Title: Change of Name for Students Policy
Policy Owner: Registrar
Effective Date: January 18, 2017
Last Revised: September 29, 2022

On this page:

  1. Purpose
  2. Application and Scope
  3. Definitions
  4. Principles
  5. Accountability and Compliance
  6. Rules
  7. Policy Revision Date
  8. Attachments
  9. Specific Links

1. Purpose

This policy outlines the process for students and former students requesting to change their legal, preferred, chosen or lived name on their College records and to ensure appropriate processes are in place to maintain the integrity of College records.

As a college community, we endeavor to be equitable and inclusive in all our interactions, practices and processes.  Mohawk College is committed to upholding college members’ sense of belonging knowing this is integral to our collective working experience and well-being.

2. Application and Scope

This policy applies to all students and former students requesting a legal, lived or preferred name change on College records. This policy excludes legal or preferred names as they appear on third party records (OSAP, OCAS, benefits etc.) as it is the individual’s responsibility to engage the appropriate name change process for the respective institution.

Where a current or former student requests a lived name change, records        which require the use of legal names only are excluded and cannot be changed  (i.e. federal and provincial medical documentation).

3. Definitions

“Gender” refers to an individual’s self-identification of their inner and/or individual sense of being male, female, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum. An individual’s self-identified and/or preferred gender may be the same as or different from that which was assigned at birth. Supporting documentation is not required for people to change their gender information.

“Legal Name” for Canadian citizens, is the name an individual is registered under in a province, typically the name assigned at birth. For non-Canadian citizens, the legal name is the name registered in Canada and taken from their immigration documents and passport.

“Lived Name” is a name an individual only identifies with, therefore is not merely a preference. This name will be included on the individuals Mohawk College student record.

“Marital status” describes a person's relationship to their partner or spouse, i.e. married, cohabiting, single, divorced, or widowed.

“Name” is a word or combination of words by which a person is designated, called or known.

“Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP)” is the Ministry of Colleges and Universities program offering financial support to students by a mix of grants and loans.

“Preferred Name” is a name an individual prefers to be called or identified by and not what others prefer to call them. This name will appear on the Class list used by Faculty

“Requestor” includes a current or former Mohawk College student submitting the request for the change of name.

“Social Insurance Number (SIN)” is a Service Canada issued nine-digit number required to work in Canada or have access to government programs and benefits.

“Student Record” means a collection of personal information that is organized and capable of being retrieved using a student’s name or student number.

 

4. Principles

The College understands and supports students’ right to self-identify, therefore their lived name ought to be used throughout the College to ensure a healthy and welcoming environment for all students. The College is committed to maintaining the integrity of its student and former student records. Good governance of College records necessitates a protocol be followed when changing a person’s name.

 

5. Accountability and Compliance

5.1 Accountability Framework

This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.

5.2 Compliance

The Registrar is responsible for monitoring the effectiveness of this policy and revising this policy according to an established schedule or more frequently in response to feedback from the College Community.

 

6. Rules

Students and former students may request a legal, preferred or lived name change as it appears on applicable College records. The employee within the Registrar’s Office will provide guidance and support throughout the name change process.

The College will retain a record of all first, middle and last names as part of the individual’s record. The information will be stored in a secure location with limited access to protect the privacy of the student.

In cases where a lived name change is completed, transcripts, credentials, verifications and other documentation will be completed in the student’s lived name.  Any tax forms will be printed with a student’s legal name. In addition, students are still required to make separate third-party name change requests. The institutions include, but are not limited to OSAP, banks, Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) providers, passport offices, potential work placements and employers, educational institutions, licensing bodies, Canada Revenue Agency, health insurance providers and police.

6.1 Legal Name Change for Current and Former Students

 

Current and former students requesting a legal name change must complete and sign the ‘Student Legal Name Change Form (Appendix B)’. Government issued identification using the new legal name (driver’s license, passport, marriage certificate, etc.) must be submitted with the completed form in person at the Square at any College campus, to initiate changes to College records. The Registrar’s Office will update the student information system accordingly.

If the requestor is unable to submit the documentation in person, they can mail their ‘Student Legal Name Change Request Form’ with a certified copy of their name change that has been attested by a Guarantor to the Registrar’s Office. Students are also able to email their information from their MyMohawk email account to ask [at] mohawkcollege.ca ().

Guarantors include those who are acceptable Guarantors for obtaining or renewing a Canadian passport.

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) may require additional information for the College to update a student’s OSAP application. A government issued document reflecting new name and Social Insurance Number (SIN); copy of marriage certificate; police check; or, copy of Change of Name certificate issued by the province where the legal name change was processed may be required.

6.2 Student Preferred Name Change

Students requesting a preferred name be added to their student record can notify the employee in the Square at their campus.  Their preferred name will be on class lists only. Their legal name will be used in our Student Information System for email, ID card, portal access, transcripts and credentials.

6.3 Student Lived Name Change

Students requesting a lived name to be used by the College, , must complete and sign the ‘Student Lived Name Change Request Form (Appendix C)’. This form applies to first, middle and last names. Documentation received from the individual will be stored in a secure location with restricted access to protect the privacy and rights of the requestor.

 

Requestors will meet with a member of the Registrar’s Office. They will be provided with information and clarity on how to change their first, middle and/or last names, and offered support in completing the process of using their lived name in College records.

The College will update the appropriate College records to reflect the lived first, middle and/or last names. Such records include: mailing   address, email address, transcripts, credentials, verifications, One Card, portal and learning platform.

Any tax forms will be generated in the students’ legal name.

 

External institutions may not recognize or accept a lived first, middle or last name for legal purposes. The institutions include, but are not limited to OSAP, banks, Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) providers, passport offices, potential work placements and employers, educational institutions, licensing bodies, Canada Revenue Agency, health insurance providers and police.

Current and former students are responsible for resolving first, middle and last name discrepancies with external institutions according to their procedures.

7. Policy Revision Date

7.1 Revision Date

September 2027

7.2 Responsibility

The Registrar’s Office is responsible for ensuring that records of students and former students are maintained and modified in accordance with this policy.

Information Technology is responsible for developing and implementing the workflow and process for name changes to be captured in our systems and previous names to be kept for historical purposes. The information will be stored in a secure location with limited access to protect the privacy of the student.

The privacy and confidentiality of students is important to Mohawk College. Protection of change of name information using appropriate security measures for the information will be instated to minimize the possibility of unauthorized access. Documentation provided by students will be scanned and saved within the Registrar’s Office system with limited employee access. Original documents will be returned to the employee after the requested change has been completed.

The College will make responsible efforts to update and maintain confidentiality when a legal, preferred or lived name change is completed. The College acknowledges that there is the possibility with system upgrades or changes, additional OCAS applications or other changes to a student record, that a student’s initial or legal name may be visible to those outside of the Registrar’s Office.

The Registrar is responsible for reviewing this policy every five years or earlier when required.

8. Attachments

 

9. Specific Links


Appendix A - Student Name Change Procedures

P1. Student self identifies to College employee and is directed to The Square. A unique email account is used for students wishing to complete a name change.

P2. Employee in the Square ask if the student wants to change their Legal Name, Preferred Name or Lived Name in College records.

P3. Legal Name change requests are processed by front-line employee in the Registrar’s Office

Preferred Name change requests are processed by front-line employee in the Registrar’s Office

Lived Name change requests are processed by a Lead Student Services Representative or Coordinator within the Registrar’s Office.

Legal Name Change for Students

P4. The Square front-line staff explain the process for a student to change their Legal Name. The student is provided with the Student Legal Name Change Form to complete and provide appropriate documentation.

P5. Documentation is verified by staff before the staff member updates the student information system with the new Legal Name. Information Technology is contacted to change the student’s email address if requested.

P6. Documentation provided by the student is scanned and securely stored.

P7. Student is advised to visit the ONE Card office for a new identification card.

Preferred Name Change for Students

P8. The Square front-line employee asks the student if they want their preferred name used in the classroom only. If yes, employee will add the preferred name in     Banner.

P9. Students wanting a Lived Name Change will be asked to book an appointment with a Coordinator or Lead Student Services Representative to review information and receive  clarity on the process of using their lived name at the College.

Appointments can also be booked online through The Square website.

Lived Name Change for Students

P10. Employee member meets with the student and explains details on the Student Lived Name Change Request Form highlighting:

  • the College records that will be updated with the change of lived name;  student information system, email, One card, transcripts, credentials, student portal and learning platform. Tax forms will be issued in the student’s legal   name;
  • how to change name prior to Convocation ceremony by reviewing the Application to Graduate process (to update name in Convocation book and credential to reflect either lived name or legal name at the discretion of the student);
  • updates through the OCAS website should be avoided as it will  automatically change Mohawk information back to legal name;
  • external institutions may not recognize or accept preferred names for legal purposes;
  • inconsistency between names used by the College and the names used by external organizations may cause unexpected difficulty;
  • that it will be the student’s responsibility to resolve discrepancies;
  • the individual releases the College from all claims that may result from changing their given first, middle and/or last names to reflect their lived names after signing the waiver; and
  • that the College will take every responsible effort to ensure that all data is updated and confidentiality maintained when a preferred, lived or legal name change is completed. The College acknowledges that there is the  possibility with system upgrades, additional OCAS applications, etc., that a student’s initial or legal name may be visible to those outside of the Registrar’s Office.

P11. Following the student initialing and signing off on the Student Lived Name Change Request Form and providing government issued photo identification with the name as it currently appears in the College records, the employee member will:

  • sign the form and indicate the effective date for the change;
  • scan a copy of the student’s request form and government issued photo identification, and save the documents in a restricted access folder;
  • contact Information Technology to change the student information based on the signed form;
  • provide the student with a letter for the ONE Card office to issue a new identification card; and,
  • send email notification to the student’s faculty if the name change is made after classes have started in the semester and advise the faculty to update the name on their Excel files for importing grades.

Support for Academic Areas

Academic employee requiring support with class lists or other platforms being used (MyCanvas, Teams, etc.) for students who have completed a Lived Name Change or Preferred Name Change can contact studentnamechange [at] mohawkcollege.ca .