Policy & Collaboration

Recent HECC Equity-Related Initiatives and Programs

The HECC’s commitment to equity informs policy decision making, funding recommendations, ongoing programs as well as special initiatives. The list below describes just a selection of many recent and ongoing efforts.

  • In 2017, HECC hosted an Equity Summit, bringing together leaders from public institutions statewide to share promising practices.
  • HECC staff regularly convene an internal Equity Advisory Group comprised of campus leaders who inform staff on equity initiatives, and promote inter-campus communication, collaboration and innovation as a learning community to improve equity statewide.
  • HECC regularly consults with Oregon tribes, meeting on a Government-to-Government basis with tribal education leaders. HECC is also currently working with tribal leaders to develop a formal tribal consultation policy. 
  • A number of HECC’s financial aid and college affordability programs and initiatives detailed here​ are driven and guided by equity goals, including: ​​redesign of the Oregon Opportunity Grant ​to prioritize support for low-income students; the FAFSA Plus+ program aimed to increase completion of financial aid applications; state efforts to improve textbook affordability, and more.
  • The HECC works with high schools and partners statewide on pre-college mentoring and outreach programs to prepare students of all backgrounds for success in college and career, through Oregon ASPIRE, community outreach presentations and more.
  • In 2015-2016, the HECC began implementing a new formula for the distribution of state resources to public universities that incentivizes support for underserved populations. The Student Success and Completion Model (SSCM) creates state financial incentives for universities to increase the number of resident students who complete degrees, with additional funding weights for students of color, low-income, rural, and veteran students
  • HECC staff are involved in numerous collaborative campus efforts to streamline the community college to university transfer pathway, working to improve affordability and time to degree for students including low-income, first generation, and underserved student groups. 
  • HECC leads policy efforts to improve pathways to earn college credit, including college credit while in high school and Credit for Prior Learning,​ benefitting many returning and adult students.
  • HECC implements federal workforce programs statewide to train returning students, adults, dislocated workers, and all Oregonians with the skills they need for gainful employment.

Recent equity-related legislative directives: 

The Oregon Legislature entrusts the HECC with research and analysis of numerous higher education policy questions of critical interest to the state, including bills and initiatives related to improving equity, a selection of which are described below. All final HECC reports submitted to the Legislature can be found here, and more information on recent legislation can be found our 2017 Legislative Summary here.  

  • House 2864 (2017) defines cultural competency and directs public universities and community colleges to establish a process for recommendation and oversight of cultural competency standards implementation for institutions and employees. 
  • Through Senate 182 (2017), among other provisions, HECC was given the authority to award scholarships to culturally and linguistically diverse teacher candidates.
  • In 2015-17, with the support of an investment through House Bill 3072 (2015), HECC awarded grants to support underrepresented students pursuing STEM degrees.
  • In 2017, the Oregon GED program​ completed a communications and outreach campaign aimed to connect diverse Oregonians with the opportunity for the high school equivalency credential, through an investment by the 2015 Legislature.
  • In 2015-17, pursuant to legislation passed in 2015, the HECC developed numerous policy reports on equity topics,​ including development of educator equity plans (HB 3375, 2015), collection and reporting of sexual orientation data for students and employees at public universities (SB 473); addressing disparities in higher education through continuing education (HB 3308, 2015); approaches to better serving students who stop out before completing a degree (HB 3335, 2015).  
  • The HECC contributes to the annual Oregon Educator Equity Report, documenting Oregon's progress in diversifying the educator workforce, working with the Chief Education Office, Oregon Department of Education, and Teacher's Standards and Practices Commission. The 2017 Oregon Educator Equity Report is available here.


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