Policy & Collaboration

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, and transfer student initiatives​.

College Outreach and Mentoring

The HECC leads mentoring, outreach, and financial aid programs, and convenes partners to prepare students across the state for success in college and career:

  • ASPIRE: The ASPIRE program provides information and support to assist students from middle school through community college get on track for postsecondary education success. HECC Office of Student Access and Completion provides participating schools and community-based organizations with volunteer recruitment and training materials, and the expert assistance to build a community-based mentoring program.
  • FAFSA+ high school initiative The 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.
  • 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 programs that offer college credit 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 of Common Core standards 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.

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.​ 

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. Recent efforts:

  • Development of educator equity plans by public university teacher preparation programs (House Bill 3375)
  • Grants to programs that support underrepresented students pursuing STEM degrees (HB 3072).
  • Approaches to better serving students who drop out before completing a degree (HB 3335);
  • Improving college readiness, student transitions, and Oregon Promise student success (SB 418)
  • Expanded outreach and communication on the Oregon GED;​
  • Collaboration with ODE on additional directives focused on high school graduation and success including a plan for African-American student success.