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Higher Education Coordinating Commission


The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) envisions a future in which all Oregonians—and especially those whom our systems have underserved and marginalized—benefit from the transformational power of high-quality postsecondary education and training. Learn more about our vision​ and Strategic Plan here.​  

About the Commission 

The State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is the primary state entity responsible for ensuring pathways to postsecondary education success for Oregonians statewide, and serves as a convener of the groups and institutions working across the public and private higher education arena. 

Read a short introduction to the HECC here. For details on upcoming public meetings of the Commission, see our meeting materials here.​ Additional resources:

For the major duties, authorities and functions of the Commission,​ click on the links below:​​ ​

  • Developing state goals for the postsecondary system, including community colleges, public universities, and student access programs (ORS 350.075)
  • Adopting a strategic plan for achieving the state’s postsecondary goals (ORS 350.075)
  • Developing a comprehensive, biennial higher education budget request linked to the strategic plan (ORS 341.626, 350.075, 350.090, 350.095, 352.089)
  • Advising the Governor, Legislative Assembly, institutions, and other governmental entities on higher education policy issues. (ORS 350.075)​

  • Adopting formulas for the distribution of state funding to community colleges and, separately, public universities (ORS 350.075)
  • Developing, awarding, and monitoring grants and contracts for the distribution of state and federal funding to higher education and workforce partners (ORS 350.075)
  • Adopting methodologies for the distribution of state financial aid to Oregon students (ORS 348)​​

  • Approving mission statements for public universities (ORS 350.085, 352.089)
  • Approving new certificate and degree programs at public universities and community colleges (ORS 341.465, ORS 350.075)
  • Approving statewide transfer pathways, a common course numbering system, and policies and procedures related to the movement of students between community colleges and public universities (ORS 350 and TBD when 2021 public laws are codified)
  • Authorizing degrees for some private and out-of-state schools (ORS 348.594 to 348.615)
  • Managing licensure and teacher registration for private career schools (ORS 345.010 to 345.450, 341.440, 342.197, 348.070, 687.011)  
  • Developing dual credit standards and credit for prior learning standards (ORS 340.310, 341.430, and 350.110)
  • Approving resident tuition increases greater than 5 percent for public universities (ORS 352.102)​

  • In conjunction with the Oregon Workforce Investment Board and the Oregon Employment Department, managing state implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (ORS 660)
  • Operating a youth employment program, youthoriented conservation corps programs, and federal service programs through the HECC’s Office of Workforce Investments (ORS 418.653 to 418.658, 458.555 to 458.575 and 660)
  • Administering the Oregon Opportunity Grant, the Oregon Promise, ASPIRE, and other student success programs through the Office of Student Access and Completion (ORS 348, ORS 341.522)​

  • ​Conducting data collection, analysis, research, and reporting across all sectors of higher education (ORS 350.075)
  • Conducting biennial evaluations of public universities (ORS 352.061)​​

​Appointing, evaluating, and overseeing an Executive Director (ORS 350.065)​

​​Established in 2011 and vested with its current authorities in 2013, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission is a 15-member volunteer commission​ appointed by the Oregon Governor and​ confirmed by the State Senate.  The Commission develops and implements policies and programs to ensure that Oregon’s network of colleges, universities, w​orkforce development initiatives and pre-college outreach programs are well coordinated to foster student success. It also advises the Oregon Legislature and the Governor on policy and funding to meet state postsecondary goals.​

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission is supported by the state agency by the same name, comprised of eight distinct offices led by Executive Director Ben Cannon.​ The Commission operates under the publicly adopted policies and procedures in the document below, and all Commission meetings are open to the public.  ​

For more information about the authorities and key partnership of the HECC, also see Convening and Partnership, as well as HECC Statutes and Administrative Rules. ​​​​​

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