Community College and Workforce Development

Academic Program Approval

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is responsible for the approval of new Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs at Oregon’s 17 community colleges. The HECC Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) staff work with community colleges on the standards and processes for program approval, and proposed programs are considered by the Commission at public meetings.

Community college programs and courses require state approval. However, the procedures vary according to the program and award. There are three levels of approval:

  1. Local community college approval
  2. Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD) approval
  3. Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) approval

See the HECC current meeting materials and past meeting materials for information on commission agendas and minutes. Recent program approvals are regularly included in the HECC Collaborations e-newsletter.​

Handbook and Planning Guide

The Oregon Community Colleges Handbook & Planning Guide is a comprehensive resource for Oregon community colleges to assist in planning. The Handbook is designed to assist both experienced staff and those new to Oregon community colleges with the state requirements and procedures governing community college operations, including program approval. 

Guiding Principles: Approval of CC Career and Technical Education Programs

These Guiding Principles characterize the philosophy and objectives underpinning community college career and technical education programs and the program approval standards and process. The process is:

  • Effective and efficient
  • Consistent, adaptable and flexible
  • Aligned with other systems
  • Clear and easy to understand
  • Responsive

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