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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Public University Academic Program Approval

Oregon’s seven public universities regularly develop new academic programs to keep up with emerging fields and to fulfill local, state, and global needs. The information here can help you learn about the program approval process and, if you are a university partner, find guidelines.

Program Approval Process

Obtaining approval from the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is the final step in the process of new program approval at Oregon public universities. The HECC's approval is needed for "significant changes" (Oregon Revised Statute 350.085) to Oregon public university academic programs, including new programs and new locations of existing programs.

Prior to approval by the HECC, the universities work with their institution leadership and governing boards on new program proposals at the individual institution level. The Provosts’ Council for the seven public universities also works together to consider these proposals from a statewide perspective before they are presented to the HECC. Staff in the University Coordination unit of the HECC Office of Academic Planning and Policy work with provosts on the process and policy guidelines for submission to the Commission.

After the institution processes are complete, programs are proposed to the Commission for their consideration for approval. This is done at regular public meetings of the Commission.

How to Stay Engaged in Program Approval

See the HECC public meeting materials for information on commission agendas and minutes. Recent program approvals are also announced in the HECC Collaborations e-newsletter on a regular basis.

Public Institution Resources - Process and Forms

Public Institutions seeking program approval should download and utilize these documents to provide policy, guidance, and format for the review and program approval processes.