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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Updates and Consumer Alerts

The Higher Education Coordinating Commiss (HECC) Office of Academic Policy and Authorization: Private Postsecondary Education team is committed to student and consumer protection. On this page, you can find important updates on the regulatory status of private postsecondary colleges and institutions serving Oregonians, including school closures. We play a supporting role in the event of sudden school closures.

Click on the school name or topic below for the most recent update.

Last updated
2024
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Status Update
Description

The HECC has recommended License Suspension per OAR 715-045-0065 and Required Corrective Actions to: Epicodus Inc. (Private Career School License #2002). This is a Portland-based private career school offering training programs in computer programming and software development. License #2002 is for Epicodus’ Portland school located at 400 SW 6th Avenue,  Portland, OR 97204​

The HECC learned from students that Epicodus cancelled some classes that it intended to start in January.  The school communicated to students in those classes that the cancellations were because the  school plans to close.  Epicodus has confirmed to HECC that it plans to close, however the closing date has not been determined and Epicodus currently remains open with other classes still underway.

The HECC issued a Notice of License Suspension on January 22, 2024.  License Suspension would prevent the school from advertising for, enrolling new students in, or collecting payment for future classes.  Please note that Epicodus has a 21-day period during which it can appeal this Suspension per OAR 715-045-0065(5)(c).  The notice also included requirements that Epicodus do the following:

  1. Follow the required school closure process outlined in OAR 715-045-0067;

  2. Provide all required tuition and fee refunds for students who were enrolled in the January classes that it cancelled, per HECC’s refund rules such as OAR 715-045-0036; and

  3. Provide detailed financial information to the HECC showing the extent to which it can meet its financial obligations including completing classes underway and providing refunds for any students.

Questions regarding refunds or school closure should be directed to the following contact at Epicodus: Rachel Bussert, phone: (503) 420-0275, E-mail: rachel@epicodus.com.

Tuition Protection Fund (TPF):

While Epicodus remains open and continues to operate, it is the school’s responsibility to teach students to completion or provide any refunds due to noncompleting students, per its enrollment         contracts, HECC rules, and Oregon law.  The school should not refer students to the HECC to seek TPF refunds. 

However, if Epicodus ultimately fails to provide refunds to students because it has closed or ceased instruction, the HECC will permit students affected by any closure to submit claims for unpaid refunds against the state’s Tuition Protection Fund (TPF).  The TPF is a fund of last resort, funded entirely by fees from licensed career schools, including Epicodus.  Any TPF claim process would not begin before Epicodus ceases all instructional services. HECC will work to determine what options are available for students.​

Last updated
2024
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon, LLC, a Portland-based CDL training program has closed. Under Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 715-045-0029(9)b, students who enrolled in the school prior to July 8, 2023, and were attending Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon at the time of its closure on August 7, 2023 had the ability to file a claim for unreimbursed tuition against the Tuition Protection Fund (TPF) for a refund. 
To file a TPF Claim, please do the following:
If you have questions about the Tuition Protection Fund claim process, email SchoolClosure.Info@HECC.oregon.gov.​  

Western Pacific Truck School of Oregon, LLC can be contacted about the following:


Last updated
2023
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
6/5/2023 Update​​

Alchemy Code Lab, a Portland-based software development training program, has closed. Under Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR)715-045-029(9)(b), Alchemy students attending Alchemy Code Lab at the time of its closure on February 1, 2023, can file a claim for unreimbursed tuition against the Tuition Protection Fund (TPF) for a refund. You must file a claim by July 1, 2023. Please note that CLAIMS RECEIVED AFTER JULY 1, 2023 WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED by THE HIGHER EDUCATION COORDINATING COMMISSION.

To file a TPF claim please do the following:

  • Read this notice to students​ which explains the terms and conditions
  • Download a Tuition Protection Fund Claim form​ and submit the form along with any supporting documents to SchoolClosure.Info@HECC.oregon.gov
  • Submit the claim before July 1, 2023
  • Please note that claims will only be accepted from students who were attending Alchemy Code Lab at the time of its closure on February 1, 2023

If you have questions about the Tuition Protection Fund claim process, please send them to: SchoolClosure.Info@HECC.oregon.gov. Please also see our Frequently Asked Questions ​document.

Students needing to request a transcript:

You can contact Alchemy Code Lab for your transcript. If you are unable to obtain your transcript directily from the school, you can request one from the HECC. In order to obtain your transcript from the HECC, please click on the Transcript Request Form on the HECC's website: State of Oregon: Private Postsecondary - School Closures and Transcript Requests​.The HECC will waive the $12 transcript request fee for all Alchemy Code Lab students until July 1, 2023​. Any transcript requests submitted by Alchemy Code Lab students after July 1, 2023 will require the $12 fee.

Please contact Alchemy for more information about the following:

  • Students needing to request transcripts or verify attendance dates, please contact admissions@alchemycodelab.com
  • Teacher's assistants needing employment information or verification, please contact finance@alchemycodelab.com
  • Current students will be contacted as the school has more specific transition plan activities for their cohort. They are welcome to reach out to the school in the meantime. Please direct message the school from "Slack," or email the school at info@alchemycodelab.com

Any new updates will be posted on this HECC webpage, so please check back. Please note that we are working with Alchemy to help facilitate a smooth transition for Alchemy’s students.​​​​

Last updated
2023
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Operating without a License
Description
Updates Related to Myco-Method, 2023

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission has issued a Cease and Desist order against Myco-Method Psilocybin Facilitator Training Program on May 18, 2023.

  • Myco-Method appears to operating in the state of Oregon, and/or operating an instructional program targeting an Oregon professional license, without the required Private Career School License or exemption (ORS 345.030). 
  • A “Cease and Desist" order means the school must cease marketing for, enrollment in, and operation of its Oregon instructional program until it completes the licensing process or successfully receives an exemption from licensure.
  • Students should know that the school is not licensed and there may be no mechanism for ensuring that the school is following state rules meant to ensure the minimum standards of ORS 345.325, including financial reporting, fair enrollment contracts, or compliance with financial aid requirements and consumer protection standards that apply to properly licensed Private Career Schools. Also, in the event that Myco-Method school closes, any students enrolled at the closing will be unable to submit claims to the state's tuition protection fund to recover some or all of their tuition and fees.



​​
Last updated
2023
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
Synthesis Digital, LLC, D.B.A Synthesis Insti​tute, has closed. Synthesis Digital LLC, dba Synthesis Institute has provided the HECC with a contact person to handle inquiries after closing: Michelle Heinz,
michelle@retreat.guru​

Before the school's closing, the HECC took the following enforcement actions against Synthesis:

  • ​A notice of license suspension, violations, and an assessment of civil penalties was issued in November of 2023. This notice is subject to appeal.
  • The notice includes a requirement that the school pay full refunds to students who dropped as a result of the School’s unplanned closure/cessation of classes in March of 2023.
​For students who qualify for a refund but are not properly refunded by the school, the HECC also maintains a Tuition Protection Fund (TPF) under Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 715-045-0029(9)b.  Only students who initially enrolled after the school's initial licensing date of October 26, 2022, and who qualify for but have not received a full refund from Synthesis, can submit claims to be paid from this fund. The HECC will administer a TPF refund claim process. More information about this process will be announced on this webpage in the coming weeks. Please check back. The HECC will also send TPF refund claim process information to eligible Synthesis students by email, where possible.  If you have questions about the Tuition Protection Fund claim process, contact SchoolClosure.Info@HECC.oregon.gov.​

Please note that the school has an appeal opportunity before the HECC's enforcement actions become final.

Any new updates will be posted on this HECC webpage, so please check back.​


​​

Last updated
2023
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Program Status Update
Description
The Higher Education Coordinating Commission's Private Career School Licensure is working with PDX Code Guild, LLC to resolve the status of its programs and to provide clear options to students as soon as possible.​
  • Notice of recomm​ended License Suspension has been issued to PDX Code Guild, LLC a Portland-based private career school offering training programs in computer programming and software developmen
  • ​The notice issued on May 8,2023 provides the school with 21 days to contest the agency's action. (715-0045-0065(5)(c). PDX Code Guild LLC has requested an Administrative Hearing.
  • The HECC has not received a formal closure notice from PDX Code Guild, LLC. If HECC is notified of plans for closure or if the agency determines that closure has taken place, we would provide any relevant updates on this Updates and Consumer Alerts Webpage.
  • In the event of a closure or any other change that significantly interrupts instructional activities, PDX Code Guild, LLC is required to notify the Commission and HECC will work to determine what options are available for students.​
Last updated
2021
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
The Office of Degree Authorization (ODA), a unit of the Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Office of Academic Policy and Authorization (HECC APA), is the state portal entity that authorizes degree-granting colleges in Oregon to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (NC-SARA). On August 26, 2021, the HECC was formally notified that Independence University in Utah abruptly closed. This information was provided by the University regarding the closure:
FAQ: Closure of Independence University, Utah - 2021
Last updated
2020
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
On July 20, 2020, the HECC was formally notified that Pioneer Pacific College in Springfield, Beaverton, and Portland, including Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, plan to close on July 31, 2020. Please see the Questions and Answers (Q&A) document below for more information on the closure.​​ ​​
Last updated
2018
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Curriculum
Description
Last updated
2018
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
Last updated
2018
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Discontinuation of Onsite Programs
Description
Last updated
2016
Type of Update or Consumer Alert
Closure
Description
Additional transcripts now available:

Previously, transcripts were available to former ITT students that attended only from the years 2001 until the closing in July 2016.  Transcripts are now available to former ITT students that completed a term or graduated form the years 1994 to 2001.  Former students may request a copy of their transcripts online from Parchment, Inc. on their webs​ite at:

https://www.parchment.com/itt/

Other Resources for Students of Private Institutions

In addition to consumer alerts, we offer numerous other services for private institution students. We provide basic information on approved schools, intervene when a crisis occurs (for example, a sudden school closure), secure transcripts from closed schools, investigate student concerns that are not resolved at the institutional level, and more.

Public Hearings on Proposed Administrative Rule Changes

Many of our responsibilities are detailed in Oregon Statute or in Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs). When our agency proposes changes to OARs, we welcome input at public hearings.