Find out about featured events, recent initiatives, and collaborations of the HECC here. Also see News and Updates for more recent announcements.
How to Stay Informed During the Legislative Session
As the state’s single, comprehensive portal to all sectors of higher education, the HECC is responsible for advising the Oregon Legislature, the Governor, and the Chief Education Office on funding and policy recommendations for public postsecondary education in Oregon, working closely with campus leaders and partners. The HECC regularly presents on Oregon higher education and workforce development issues, including assignments from recently passed legislation. Here are a few links and resources to keep you informed:
- For all testimony materials and public records of legislative hearings, see the Oregon Legislative Information System.
- For the schedule of hearings including video access when available go to the Oregon Legislature main site at www.OregonLegislure.gov
- The HECC 2017 Session Legislative Resources Web Page includes key links, fact sheets and documents, and will be populated more as the Session progresses.
- The HECC Reports page is a resource for formal work group and research reports previously submitted to the Oregon Legislature.
- The HECC Budget Development Process webpage provides basic information on the process and submission of a comprehensive and integrated higher education agency budget.
State Funds Completion of Nursing Degrees through PCC for former ITT Tech Students, after Closure:
The Legislature held its December Legislative Days last week, which included a resolution to the issue of support for former ITT Technology Institute nursing students. By unanimous vote of its Emergency Board (the body which meets during session interim periods to consider financial requests that cannot be held until regular session), the Legislature provided a little over $1.4M in new funding, to be combined with $175,000 from the HECC’s existing budget, that will permit former ITT students having already completed their 4th term to finish their nursing studies at Portland Community College (PCC).
With the Legislature’s support, and the significant collaboration between HECC staff, PCC, and the State Board of Nursing, around 150 students will likely be able to continue to resume their studies in the Winter Term through PCC. In return for this support, Oregon will soon benefit from the skills of many new qualified registered nurses. Learn more in our press release here.
Reports on Oregon Promise, student loan financing
The HECC was also called upon during December Legislative Days to participate in several hearings to
update legislators on significant activities that have been undertaken
in the last several months.
The HECC provided an interim update to both House and Senate members regarding the first term of implementation of the Oregon Promise Program.
Executive Director Ben Cannon described the Commission’s preliminary
analysis of the 6,745 Oregon students who are receiving the grant for
the first time this fall, focusing on key data questions: whether the
Oregon Promise changed Oregon high school graduates’ enrollment in
higher education, what are the characteristics of students participating
in Oregon Promise, and what will be the cost to the State for
implementing the program in 2016-17. The report and data were initially
presented by Amy Cox, Director of Research and Data, and approved by the
Commission in December.
Executive Director Ben Cannon and Christian Maynard-Philipp, Policy
Director for the Oregon State Treasury reported results of a
joint HECC-Oregon Treasury study on student loan refinance pursuant to House Bill 4021
from 2016 (also see executive summary
This report studies and explores approaches for lowering interest rates
on student loans for borrowers in Oregon, existing interventions aimed
at student debt relief, and proposes additional policies for further
consideration by policymakers to improve affordability. At the December HECC meeting, the report was
also presented by Susan Degen, State Grants and Government Affairs
Administrator for HECC-OSAC, and discussed in detail.
ESSA Community Forums
ODE Invites Participants in ESSA Community Forums: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides all states and schools in the country with a chance to be innovative, and to strengthen our public education system by providing teachers with more support and districts with more flexibility to address the unique needs facing their communities. The ODE invites input on Oregon’s State Plan through public forums and a survey. See the schedule of forums here.