High School to College Pathways
The HECC works with numerous state, campus, and community partners to foster improved and seamless pathways during the important transition years of grades 11-14 as students move from high school to college or career.
Current initiatives help high school students to plan for and afford college success, best prepare academically for college coursework, access quality college credit while in high school, and benefit from academic alignment so they enter college ready to succeed. In addition to the resources below, find out about financial aid investments and initiatives, additional equity initiatives, Oregon's GED high school equivalency program, and transfer student initiatives.
College Outreach, Partnership and Mentoring
The HECC leads mentoring, outreach, and financial aid programs, and convenes partners to prepare students across the state for access and success in college and career:
- ASPIRE: The ASPIRE mentoring program assists students from middle school through community college to get on track for postsecondary education success. HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) provides participating schools and community-based organizations with volunteer recruitment and training materials, and assistance to build a community-based mentoring program.
- The HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) administers numerous student financial aid programs for the state of Oregon. To help individuals better understand their financial aid options, OSAC provides in-person financial aid presentations, webinars, mentoring, publications and other resources.
- FAFSA+ high school initiative The HECC's FAFSA Plus+ program aims to increase FAFSA completion rates by providing schools with the data and resources needed to target outreach efforts and support students in this process.
College and Career Readiness Collaborative (C3): The HECC participates in C3, a cross-sector action group working to mobilize counselors, administrators, college advisors, financial aid officers, and mentors across the state to provide every student with viable and affordable pathways to adult success.
- Find out more about resources for student and family resources to prepare, plan and pay for college. Find out more about counselor resources.
College Credit while in High School
Educational experiences that provide high school students with the opportunity to earn college credit while in high school are known in Oregon as “accelerated learning” programs. The HECC works with educators across the state to ensure that students may access quality accelerated learnning programs while in high school.
Academic Pathways and Alignment
The HECC works to promote and coordinate student pathways and academic alignment from high school to college, including coursework and academic assessment.
- College Course Placement: Learn about course placement at Oregon public colleges and universities, including how assessment through Smarter Balanced testing can help students in college.
- High School Course Approval: Read about the course approval process for Oregon high schools. Oregon high school counselors and administrators use this process to ensure that courses considered college preparatory are recognized as such by the seven Oregon public universities according to their admissions standards.
- Career and College Readiness Professional Development: HECC is collaborating with Oregon Department of Education and partners on professional development for educators around career and college readiness in 2017-2018, through the Go Alliance.
- Career Pathways at Oregon community colleges offer a series of connected education and training programs and student support services to help secure a job or advance in a demand industry or occupation.
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and opportunities in Oregon link high schools and community colleges to labor market demand and provides students of all ages with technical, academic and job skills needed for success.
Recent Legislation to Improve High School to College Pathways
The Oregon Legislature has entrusted the HECC with research and analysis on numerous higher education policy questions related to improving student pathways from high school to college. All final HECC reports to the Legislature can be found here. Information on the results of the 2017 Legislative Session are detailed here. Recent efforts:
- With the passage of SB 207 (2017), public institutions of
higher education in Oregon are given specific requirements related to the
awarding of credit to students who take Advanced Placement (AP®) classes and
- With the passage of SB 395 (2017), HECC will work with Department
of Human Services (DHS) to annually report information related to foster
children and former foster children in Oregon colleges and universities.
- With the passage of HB 2147 (2017), each postsecondary institution will provide to HECC the number of high school
graduates from each Oregon school district who are enrolled at the institution, and the
graduation rates for students by
school district. HECC will then submit the information to the Department of
Education, who will provide annual updates to school districts.
- 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.
- In 2015-17, pursuant to legislation passed in 2015 and 2016, the HECC developed numerous policy reports on topics related to secondary-postsecondary pathways, including development of educator equity plans (HB 3375, 2015); Oregon Promise student support (House Bill 4077, 2016), collaboration with ODE on additional directives including a plan for African-American student success, and more.
- In 2015-17, with the support of an investment through House Bill 3072 (2015), HECC awarded grants to support underrepresented students pursuing STEM degrees.