Gender Identity Expression

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Gender Identity Expression in Higher Education

As campuses navigate the complex issues that surround gender identity and gender expression, AACRAO supports both members and the students they serve. AACRAO Values promote inclusiveness within the expected Principles and Standards of Behavior.  Working through this conversation with members will serve the associations goals by

  • addressing this emergent issue [SF1],
  • identifying and promoting best practices [SF2],
  • advancing engagement in federal policy development [SF3], and
  • promoting access and success for the impacted student population [SF4]

As the work group addresses this issue, we encourage members to reach out to U.S. Senators and Representatives to do the same by updating their contact forms to make the selection of a prefix optional. Learn more at the AACRAO Advocacy Center.

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Practice & Policy Resources

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Term Glossary

While not exhaustive, this glossary provides definitions for some of the most common vocabulary necessary to understand the layered world of gender.

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Work Group

The Student Identity Work Group will develop guidance for AACRAO members and their institutions on serving transgender students and students who wish to update their gender marker, change their legal name, use a preferred name, or designate a pronoun.  In addition the Work Group will develop guidance on appropriate methods of collecting, recording, and reporting of name and gender identity in student record systems.  The guidance should address practices in the student admissions process as well as those in student records and registration.  In addition, the guidance will consider impacts for other campus offices including but not limited to student financial aid, identity management (CIO), student housing, and student life

James Miller, University of Washington - Bothell (Chair)
Jacqueline Carter*, Washington University in St Louis 
Cody Garrison, Neumont University
Karen Goodell, SUNY Ulster
Tammy Johnson, Marshall University
Jon Jump, Wabash College
Annette Lott, Houston Community College
*AACRAO Board Member
Jack Miner*, The Ohio State University
Melissa Nunn, University of Florida
Bruce Oates, Oakton Community College
Tiffani Robertson, Governors State University
Katharine Johnson Suski, Iowa State University
Brenda Selman, University of Missouri
Juanita Womack, Philadelphia University

OCR Instructions - Complaints Involving Transgender Students


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ED Secretary DeVos' statement on New Title IX Guidance


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DOJ & ED Guidance - Institutional Responsibility to Transgender Students


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ED Examples of Policies and Emerging Practices for Supporting Transgender Students


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November 8, 2017
Germany must create a third gender category for people who do not identify as either male or female or were born with ambiguous sexual traits, the country's constitutional court ruled. Read more.

July 27, 2017
Joint Chiefs to troops: 'No modifications' to transgender policy from Trump Tweet. Read more.

July 26, 2017
Trump bans transgender individuals from U.S. military service. Read more.

June 19, 2017
Education Dept. closes transgender student cases as it pushes to scale back civil rights investigations. Read more.

March 6, 2017
High court sidesteps ruling on transgender rights. Read more.

March 2, 2017
Michael Reilly responds to new Title IX guidance. Read more.

February 15, 2017
Trump Administration Signals Shift on Transgender Policy. Read more.

October 3, 2016
In California a "New law requires private colleges to disclose potentially anti-LGBT policies."

April 26, 2016
The Common App and the Universal College Application move beyond male/female.

November 8, 2015
Usage of gender neutral pronouns on campus covered by NPR in the story entitled, "More Universities Move to Include Gender Neutral Pronouns."

October 15, 2015
Gender neutral pronouns covered in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, "Colleges Consider Adopting Inclusive Language in Their Systems.

February 3, 2015
AACRAO referenced in New York Times article "A University Recognizes a Third Gender: Neutral."