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Higher Education Coordination Commission

Introducing the Office of Academic Policy and Authorization – Private Postsecondary Education

We’re pleased to introduce our statewide work as the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Office of Academic Policy and Authorization (APA), Private Postsecondary Education unit. This includes the Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) and the APA Private Career Schools (PCS) Licensing unit. We are responsible for policy and regulation that affects private institutions serving Oregonians, with a focus on student and consumer protection. 

The information here explains our responsibilities and how to reach us.

Our Regulation, Licensing, and Authorization Role

The HECC is the state regulator that approves private degree-granting institutions, private career schools, and distance education providers to operate in this state. Without HECC approval or explicit exemption from regulation, a school cannot legally operate in our state, or offer valid degrees or certificates or college credit to Oregonians. Institutions must meet rigorous authorizing standards in Oregon and comply with the necessary laws and regulations that protect consumers. As a regulatory, licensing, and authorizing state office, we do the following.

  • Support student and consumer protection
  • Provide educational leadership and technical assistance to schools and colleges
  • Convene private institutions and partners in Oregon
  • Authorize distance education offerings in Oregon

For more information on HECC authorities, see Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) and Administrative Rules (OARs), specifically ORS 345 and OAR 715-045. Our office is not an accrediting agency.

Institution Resources – Requirements and Authorization Processes

School Resources: Private Career School LicensingInstitution Resources: Office of Degree Authorization

Check if a Private Institution is Authorized in Oregon

Our office maintains lists of schools or programs authorized to operate in the State of Oregon:

Student and Consumer Protection

Our office provides consumer alerts regarding the status of schools, and guidance for students considering private institutions in Oregon.

Contact the Office of Academic Policy and Authorization 

The APA office is led by Veronica Dujon, director. The Office of APA is responsible for private postsecondary licensing and authorization and for public university coordination.  Find the public university coordination directory here.

Public Processes

Our public processes are conducted at public meetings of the HECC. We also convene a Private Career School Advisory Committee. Learn how to stay engaged with us, or subscribe to public meeting notice here. We work closely with institutions, as well with the state’s occupational licensing boards, workforce partners, and numerous other state and national partners.


Additional Resources

Oregon Occupational Licensing Boards:These boards license graduates of authorized private postsecondary schools to practice their professions.

Accreditation: Determine if a school is accredited or if an accrediting agency is legitimate. For accreditation verification, visit the U.S. Department of Education database for relevant up-to-date information on the authorized accrediting agencies and individual schools they accredit.

  • Note: Even if an institution is accredited, it may not be authorized to confer degrees or certificates in Oregon, so it is important to check our lists of licensed schools as well.

Partner Organizations

HECC Resources