​​​Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Vision Statement 

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 the Commission's Strategic Plan here.​

About the Commission and State Agency

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 a listing of key functions and authorities of the HECC, click on the categories 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)
  • Making budgetary recommendations for state institutions and programs:
    • Developing a comprehensive higher education budget request linked to the strategic plan (ORS 350.075)
    • Recommending a consolidated higher education budget request to the Governor and Chief Education Officer (ORS 350.075)
    • Developing the biennial budget request for community colleges and public universities, and allocating legislatively approved resources (ORS 341.626, 350.075, 350.090, 350.095, 352.089)
    • Approving resident tuition increases greater than 5% for public universities (ORS 352.102)
  • Approving mission statements and significant changes in academic programs at public universities (ORS 350.085, 352.089)
  • Approving new certificate and degree programs at community colleges (ORS 341.465, ORS 350.075)
  • 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)​
  • 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)
  • Administering the Oregon Opportunity Grant and other student success programs through the Office of Student Access and Completion (ORS 348)
  • Developing dual credit standards, transfer standards, and credit for prior learning standards (ORS 340.310, 341.430, and 350.110)​
  • Conducting data collection, analysis, research, and reporting across all sectors of higher education (ORS 350.075)
  • Conducting annual institutional evaluations for public universities (ORS 352.061)​

Established in 2011 and vested with its current authorities in 2013, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission is a 14-member volunteer commission appointed by the Oregon Governor, with nine voting members confirmed by the State Senate. 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 HECC develops and implements policies and programs to ensure that Oregon’s network of colleges, universities, workforce 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.​

Agency Mission and Values

Agency Mission Statement

By promoting collaboration and coordination between Oregon’s education and workforce partners, as well as through our own programs and policy leadership, HECC staff ensure that Oregonians experience increased access, equity, and success in completing their higher education, training, and career goals.

Agency Values

Transparency, Equity, Integrity, Trust, Collaboration, Accountability, Lifelong Learning


To engage with our work:

Attend a public meeting
Keep informed
Contact us

Find HECC staff contact info by frequent topics of interest. 

Find HECC staff by name or office.