AB620: Inclusion of Gender Identity, Transgender & Sexual Orientation Questions in CCCApply

The specification below was implemented in CCCApply in September 2013.  In 2015, the current implementation was reviewed by a sub-committee of the CCCApply Steering Committee, which was formed to review specific change requests pertaining to Gender and LGBT issues as they affect CCCApply. As of January 1, 2017, CCCApply is still awaiting guidance from the CCCCO regarding the data storage and handling of the AB620 data.

Problem Statement

California law (AB620) requires the California Community Colleges to collect aggregate demographic information regarding the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of students. It also requests annual transmittal of summary demographic reporting to the Legislature and posting of such summary information on the CCC Chancellor’s Office web site.

Solution Request & Specifications

{Modify the Gender question to include the California Ed Code definition established by AB620}


This information will be used for state and federal reporting purposes. It is optional and voluntary and will not be used for a discriminatory purpose.  "Gender" in this context, means a person’s sex, or a person's gender identity and gender expression.


M = Male

F = Female

X = Decline to State.

{New Sexual Orientation / Transgender Section placed adjacent and below the Gender question}


Sexual Orientation / Transgender

By California law, the California Community Colleges collect voluntary demographic information regarding the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of students.

  • This information is only used for summary demographic reporting.

  • Your responses are kept private and secure.

  • Providing this information is optional.

  • It is not available to admissions personnel and will not be used for a discriminatory purpose.

Please indicate your sexual orientation:
Straight/Heterosexual, Gay or Lesbian/Homosexual, Bisexual, Other, Decline to State 

Do you consider yourself transgender?
Yes, No, Decline to state

{Hover Help text for sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression is same as links popup}

Links popup the following dialog box.

“Sexual Orientation” Sexual orientation describes an enduring pattern of attraction—emotional, romantic, sexual, or some combination of these—to persons of the opposite sex, the same sex, or to both sexes, as well as the genders that accompany them.

“Gender Identity” means one’s private sense of being male or female.

"Gender Expression" means a person's gender-related appearance and behavior, whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth.

“Transgender” is the state of one's gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one's assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex).

Implementation Approach

The CCCApply steering committee has decided that a phased approach should be taken concerning presenting Sexual Orientation / Transgender questions to minors.

  • Beginning Spring Term 2014 application cohort, the AB620 questions will not appear for minors in the first release.  (Shown only to 18 or older at the time of application).

  • For the Fall Term 2014 application cohort, the CCCApply Steering Committee will revisit the issue of minors.  The project team and steering leadership will ask for a legal position concerning AB620 and minors from CCCCO. If steering in consultation with CCCCO legal decides to move forward, the AB620 questions will be shown to minors who will be 18 as of the RDD (day before start of term).

  • For the Spring of 2015 application cohort, if no significant challenges have prevented further implementation with minors, the AB620 questions will be shown to minors who will be 18 as of the last day of term.

NOTE: On September 22, 2015, the CCCApply Steering Committee reviewed a new change request to update the current implementation of the Gender & AB620 fields in CCCApply. No change is proposed to the data storage, reporting or downloads requirements in place (see below); however, a steering sub-committee - including members of the CCC Academic Senate and the CCC LGBT community - are discussing revisions to the description, the response options, and the layout of the Gender, Transgender, and Sexual Orientation fields. The objective is to collect better, more accurate data from this population, and present the questions in a way that is logical and sensitive to all students.  Steering is still waiting for guidance from the CCCCO regarding the governance of the data sharing, storage and reporting. 

Data Storage Requirements

As campus information security policy, processes, and controls are currently lacking and breach of this highly personal information may contribute to the targeting of students for intimidation, harassment, and violence, precautions should be taken.  To protect the privacy and safety of students and to address current security concerns across the system, this data will be encrypted and will only be kept centrally within the OpenCCC secure data center architecture.  

Data Reporting & Download

For reporting of outcomes and research purposes, this data will be securely linked to individual student records in the CCCCO MIS database.  Download and direct reporting of data within the CCC Report Center by colleges will be restricted until appropriate security policy, procedures, and controls can be implemented.