Oregon Higher Education Goals

HECC Vision 

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.​​

Oregon’s Education Goal

Oregon has one of highest-reaching state goals for education in the country.  In 2011, the State of Oregon enacted legislation (ORS 350.014) that created this aspirational goal for Oregon’s educational achievement that by 2025:

  • 40% of Oregonians will complete a 4-year degree,
  • ​40% of Oregonians will complete a 2-year degree or certificate, and
  • 20% will earn a high school diploma or the equivalent.

Known as the “40-40-20”, this goal established a clear target against which to gauge the state’s educational progress. 

Education Attainment Rates 

The data above applies to young adults age 25 to 34.  With the passage of House Bill 2311 in 2017, Oregon clarified its 40-40-20 educational goal to focus it strategically on young Oregonians rising through the education system. As of January 1, 2018, the 40-40-20 was refocused as a pipeline goal, applying to the expected high school class of 2025 (and beyond), rather than to all adult Oregonians. House Bill 2311 also clarified the state’s commitment to ambitious educational outcomes for working-age Oregonians by requiring that HECC work with the Oregon Workforce Investment Board and institutional partners on creation of a new set of goals for the adult population. 

Find more data on Oregon educational attainment here.

HECC Strategic Plan to Achieve State Goals

HECC is the single state entity responsible for ensuring pathways to higher educational success for Oregonians statewide, and serves as a convener of the groups and institutions working across the public and private higher education arena.The HECC’s 2016-20 Strategic Plan charts a path forward to make progress for all Oregon’s current and future students. ​

It describes the HECC’s plans to take a lead role in convening partners to further align programming and supports for underrepresented and underserved student populations—and to improve connections between Oregon’s education and workforce systems.  

Find links to and a summary of the full 2016-20 Strategic Plan here.

The plan draws on three primary aspirations for Oregon higher education outlined in the HECC's chartering statutes, including:

  1. improving educational attainment and completion;
  2. improving Oregon’s economic competitiveness and quality of life; and
  3. ensuring resident students have affordable access to colleges and universities.

The HECC’s plan to improve higher educational success for all Oregonians is anchored by the Equity Lens​​, which commits the commission and agency to ensure its policy and resource allocation decisions advance equity.