I do not want to create new race categories at my school. The reason is because at this point in time, we are only allowed to report students to the state (at least in my state) and feds as either male or female. I let students self-identify either male or female. I don't question their choice or ask for any verification. And, of course, students have the option of skipping and reporting neither gender. Here's why I think that is the best approach--if I create any other gender categories, I then have to use my own judgement to report those students as either male or female. And I don't think I am the best person to make that choice. I think the student is the best person to make that choice. If there is some ambiguity about a student's gender, then I am going to let the student choose his/her gender. If I were to allow alternate gender choices for my students, then it would be up to me to determine which of those alternate choices I would report as male and which ones I would report as female. Again, this just makes it more complicated when I could just let students say if they are male or female.

If a student leaves the gender blank, I then go by what IPEDS says are common methods. First, I look at names to help me guess the gender. If that doesn't help, I assign gender for reporting purposes based on my school's known gender distribution.

The only reason I can see for me to create new gender categories is if my institution is going to treat some students differently in terms of services offered based on their gender. If my school ever sees the need to offer additional organized services to transgender students, for example, then I would consider asking students to self-identify as transgender. I think even then, though, I would likely ask that as a separate question from the male/female gender question. At this point, we have promoted the various services offered through our Student Success Center in ways that I feel transgender students would feel comfortable seeking any necessary assistance there.

Bonnie Smyth-McGaha | Director
Institutional Research
Arkansas State University-Beebe
1000 Iowa Street, Beebe, AR 72012
(501) 882-8826 | bmsmyth@asub.edu
www.asub.edu | #asubeebe
“Transforming Lives Through Quality Learning Experiences”​

-----Original Message-----
From: Tarji Kinsey [mailto:kinseyt@erau.edu]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 10:04 AM
To: Common Data Set
Subject: [cds] Transgender reporting

Hi et al.
Please lend any guidance re: creating categories (other than male/female/unknown) for transgender students and how they might be rolled up into those categories for reporting.

Scenario: Student A is born a male, yet chooses to identify as a female or as unknown.

Please share: 1) How you would report these students to IPEDS considering IPEDS leaves it to the institution to decide and 2) What category (ex. male/female/other or male/female/unknown) in your data collection would you use to capture this student.

Also, attached (and below) is the only guidance/FAQ I have from the IPEDS help desk:

From: IPEDS Email [mailto:ipedshelp@rti.org]
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 10:51 AM
To: Kinsey, Tarji R. <KINSEYT@erau.edu>
Cc: IPEDS Email <ipedshelp@rti.org>
Subject: IPEDS Gender Unknown 88g2061*

1)My institution has students and/or staff for which gender is unknown. Since there is no place to report "gender unknown" on the IPEDS data collection screens, how should we report these individuals?

These individuals are still to be reported to IPEDS, even though their gender is unknown. It is up to the institution to decide how best to handle reporting individuals whose gender is unknown. However, common methods used are: allocate the individuals with gender unknown based on the known distribution of men and women at the institution for either students or staff; use the individual's name to assign gender; assign gender randomly.

Thanks in advance,
Tarji R. Kinsey
Data Reporting Manager, Institutional Research
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
600 S. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
386.226.6227 (office)

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