Oregon Higher Education Goals

HECC Vision Statement

Dedicated to fostering and sustaining the best, most rewarding pathways to opportunity and success for all Oregonians through an accessible, affordable and coordinated network for educational achievement beyond a high school diploma.

Oregon’s Education Goal

Oregon has one of highest-reaching state goals for education in the country. The state goal is for every Oregonian to earn at least the equivalent of a high school diploma, and for 80% of Oregonians to earn a postsecondary credential to prepare them for success in the global economy.

In 2011, the State of Oregon enacted legislation (ORS 350.014) that created this aspirational goal for Oregon’s educational achievement that by 2025:

  • 40% of Oregonians will complete a 4-year degree,
  • 40% of Oregonians will complete a 2-year degree or certificate, and
  • 20% will earn a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Known as the “40-40-20”, this goal established a clear target against which to gauge the state’s educational progress. 

Education Attainment Rates 

Find more data on Oregon educational attainment here.

HECC is the single state entity responsible for ensuring pathways to higher educational success for Oregonians statewide, and serves as a convener of the groups and institutions working across the public and private higher education arena.

HECC Strategic Plan to Achieve State Goals

The HECC’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan charts a path forward to make progress for all Oregon’s current and future students.

It describes the HECC’s plans to take a lead role in convening partners to further align programming and supports for underrepresented and underserved student populations—and to improve connections between Oregon’s education and workforce systems.  

Find links to and a summary of the full 2016-20 Strategic Plan here.

The plan draws on three primary aspirations for Oregon higher education outlined in the HECC's chartering statutes, including:

  1. improving educational attainment and completion;
  2. improving Oregon’s economic competitiveness and quality of life; and
  3. ensuring resident students have affordable access to colleges and universities.

The HECC’s plan to improve higher educational success for all Oregonians is anchored by the Equity Lens, which commits the commission and agency to ensure its policy and resource allocation decisions advance equity.