Preferred name question

Good morning -

Ever since preferred name was changed to one field instead of three, we've been seeing a significant number of students who simply re-enter their full legal name into the preferred name field. Wondering if anyone else is seeing this, and if it is possible to change the wording in the account creation process to specify that the field is for preferred first name?

This is causing issues for us - for a few years now we have been using the student's preferred name as their display name in many places (Canvas, appointment scheduling, email account, etc) and this is causing some students' names to display with the last name duplicated (First Middle Last Last).


  • Jane Linder
    Jane Linder Member, Moderator

    Hi Lora,

    Thanks for this update on the preferred name field. We've heard this from a couple of other colleges. It's interesting because we eliminated the preferred middle and last name fields because most students just entered a preferred first name, leaving the others blank or repeating their legal middle and last name. :-)

    I'll follow up on this with the dev team. We could rename the field "preferred first name" and then change the help text to instruct students to enter only their preferred first name. I need to follow up on this with other stakeholder groups to get their feedback. I will respond here once I have the proposed change documented.

    Thanks again for posting this discussion Lora.

  • Jason Smith
    Jason Smith Member, Moderator

    Hello Lora,

    I too have noticed that some students place a full name in that field and that can have an awkward result as it gets pushed to other systems. I do agree that a more descriptive label would work. "Prefered first name" might work. On other applications I have seen "nickname" or some give an example, "Ie. Jimmy for James". What do you think?