Transcript practice resources: Name changes, disciplinary actions, and more

April 6, 2020
  • AACRAO Publications
  • Competencies
  • Disciplinary Notations
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Gender
  • Records and Academic Services
  • Student Academic Records and Academic Policy

Adapted from AACRAO’s 2020 Academic Record and Transcript Guide, Chapter One, authored by Susan Hamilton, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic & Student Affairs, Rutgers University

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a host of issues to record and transcript practices that many institutional policies didn’t anticipate, and for which best practices are still being created and debated. 

Although this crisis has overshadowed other conversations, academic recordkeepers must still navigate many questions that predated the pandemic and will exist when it passes, including issues around whether and how to document information such as:

✦ name changes, 

✦ gender identity, 

✦  academic standing, and

✦  non-academic information (i.e. disciplinary actions or extracurricular activities). 

Below find current guidance on a couple of these topics, as well as resources for deeper explorations. 

Disciplinary actions differ from academic actions in that they are typically defined as violations of an institution’s code of conduct. They may include, but are not limited to, infractions such as plagiarism, cheating, harassment, sexual misconduct, substance abuse, etc. Current debate about the inclusion or exclusion of such actions on the transcript weighs the importance of sharing pertinent behavioral information against protecting a student’s privacy rights.

Possible language used to notate disciplinary action on the transcript includes:

✦ May not register for non-academic reasons

✦ Student has been expelled (effective mm/dd/yyyy)

✦ Student is on disciplinary suspension (effective mm/dd/yyyy until mm/dd/yyyy)

✦ Dismissed for cause by Dean of Students

✦ Fall 2019—Suspended (or Dismissed) for Disciplinary Reasons

✦ Fall 2019—Suspended (or Dismissed) for Academic Code Violation

>>> For more guidance, download AACRAO’s 2017 Transcript Disciplinary Notations Report. <<<

Name changes present several factors to consider when reviewing institutional policy, including the status of the student (currently enrolled or former student), the desire to accommodate student wishes, the need to safeguard the integrity of the transcript, relevant state laws, and the configuration of the student information system.

AACRAO recommends that all students currently enrolled at the institution should be granted the opportunity to change their names on institutional records upon the production of legal evidence indicating the name change.

>>>Read AACRAO’s Student Identity Report for recommendations on this topic, as well as gender identity documentation. <<<

2020 Academic Record and Transcript Guide

These issues and much more are explored in depth in AACRAO’s 2020 Academic Record and Transcript Guide, released last week. Recommendations in the Guide were informed by the results of a 2019 AACRAO survey, and survey results are included as an appendix. 

While various recommendations and conclusions are put forward in the text, any decision on how to best manage these matters primarily resides within each institution in accordance with federal and state laws.