Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

Higher Education Coordination Commission

About Oregon's Statewide Work to Streamline Student Transfer

The State of Oregon and public institutions are working together to streamline the transfer of credits between Oregon’s 17 community colleges and seven public universities. This work is intended to save students time and money and support their success. Here you can learn about the background for this work in Oregon, and find information on collaborative work underway.

Oregon's Statewide Transfer Agreements – Streamlining Student Transfer

Through faculty-led collaboration, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and community colleges and public universities are working to create numerous statewide transfer policies and agreements. 

Guided by legislative mandate and state priorities in the HECC’s Strategic Roadmap, Oregon educators and policymakers have been working to improve transfer pathways. The faculty collaboration, public processes, and consensus-building work needed to develop statewide transfer articulation policies is currently performed by the Transfer Council, a 15-member committee that advises the HECC on establishing transfer agreements. This work is intended to accomplish the following.

  • Save students time and money: maximize credits to apply toward students’ degrees and certificates, decrease time-to-degree completion, and save students time and money
  • Reduce barriers to completion: remove obstacles and barriers that delay or derail transfer students who currently take longer to graduate and who graduate with more credits than students who do not transfer, despite being similarly prepared
  • Improve equitable pathways for underserved groups: better support underrepresented students of color, low-income students, and students from rural areas who often start at a local community college

Transfer work at the HECC is supported by staff from the HECC Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development and the HECC Office of Academic Policy and Authorization.

Resources for Students

On the page linked to below, students can find tips on starting the transfer process, as well as introductions to the resources in the Oregon Transfer Compass (Core Transfer Maps, Major Transfer Maps and other tools).

Plan to Transfer  The Oregon Transfer Compass

Legislation and Rules Driving Current Statewide Transfer Work

The key legislation driving transfer work includes the following.

  • Senate Bill (SB) 233 (2021):  This legislation built upon the work previously completed under House Bill 2998 (described below), establishing the Transfer Council. The Council was charged with developing recommendations to the HECC on a common course numbering system, Major Transfer Maps, and other credit and transfer-related concerns.
  • House Bill (HB) 2998 (2017):  This legislation streamlined transfer among Oregon’s higher education institutions, simplified the process of transferring, and reduced the loss of credit. It directed the HECC to convene community colleges and universities to establish statewide "foundational curricula," now called Core Transfer Maps, and major-specific "unified statewide transfer agreements," now called Major Transfer Maps (MTMs), that prepare students for transfer in a particular major.

The above legislation was codified into statute in Oregon Revised Statutes 350.395 to 350.429.

In addition to the authorities defined by legislation, in August 2024, the HECC approved administrative rules defining institutional participation and the process for creating Major Transfer Maps. These are in Chapter 715, Division 25, Common Course Numbering and Credit Transfer. 

Implementing Legislation – The Oregon Transfer Compass

Oregon Transfer Compass logo

The Oregon Transfer Compass is the marketing name for a growing set of statewide agreements and tools to help students navigate the transfer process at Oregon’s public institutions, including Major Transfer Maps, Common Course Numbering, and other initiatives and agreements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQs on Transfer Maps

The intention is to support student success by decreasing the time it takes to complete a degree and the cost for that degree. Both the Core Transfer Maps and Major Transfer Maps should help students find their degree path sooner, spend less time and money, and complete degrees at higher rates.

A Core Transfer Map (roughly 30 credits) is part of each Major Transfer Map (typically 90 credits). Many Major Transfer Maps will require students to take specific courses to complete the Core portion of the Major Transfer Map. Students who know what they want to major in should follow a Major Transfer Map and see an advisor to pick the specific Core Transfer Map courses that fit within their Major Transfer Map.​

If a student successfully completes a Core Transfer Map, all of the credits from that Map are guaranteed to transfer to any Oregon public university and count toward its core bachelor’s degree requirements. While Core Transfer Maps are great starting points for college, they are NOT complete first-year course plans. For information on specific majors or complete general education requirements, students should talk to their advisors for guidance on the next steps they should take.

Students should ask their advisors about Major Transfer Maps. A Major Transfer Map is a course plan for the chosen major that, when completed, will allow a student to transfer all of their credits to any Oregon public university, and count all of those credits toward a bachelor’s degree in the specific major. Students should talk to their advisors about the list of available Major Transfer Maps.

A Major Transfer Map is right for Oregon community college students who plan to transfer to a four-year public university and think they know what they want to major in.​

Any Oregon public university will accept all of the Major Transfer Map credits and count them all toward a bachelor’s degree in the specific major when a student successfully completes a Major Transfer Map. Following one of these Maps should save students time, money, and stress because Major Transfer Maps are streamlined course plans for each major and all credits will transfer and count toward their degree.

Students should talk with advisors at their home institutions. A Major Transfer Map is a course plan for a major that, when completed, will allow students to transfer credits from any Oregon community college to any Oregon public university, and count all of those credits toward a bachelor’s degree in a specific major. They can also see the following student-focused pages on our website:

FAQs on Common Course Numbering

Common Course Numbering (CCN) is a process for aligning course information for the most transferred lower-division courses in Oregon. These courses are usually transferred between community colleges and public universities (vertical transfer), but students also transfer between institutions for other reasons (for example, community college to community college, university to university). ​The intent of CCN is to streamline transfer by reducing excess credit accumulation (or credits that don’t apply toward a degree or program) by ensuring that course information is exactly the same at all Oregon public colleges and universities According to the Education Commission of the States (July 2022), 20 states have CCN.

In Oregon, courses that end in a "Z" are part of CCN (for example, MTH 111Z, WR 227Z). When transferring to an Oregon public college or university, CCN courses will be accepted as if they were taken at the institution students transfer to (that is, the receiving institution).

Only the most transferred lower-division courses are part of CCN. The process of aligning course information (for example, course title, number, description) requires a great deal of time and collaboration between public college and university faculty, which is very labor intensive. Additionally, not all institutions offer degree-specific coursework. Therefore, the most popular, most transferred courses are part of CCN—not all courses at all institutions.

No. If a student took a course before it went through CCN alignment, they do not need to retake the course. Receiving institutions (public) will accept the course with or without a "Z."​ Remember, accepting a course for credit and having that course apply toward a degree or program are not the same thing.

For questions about CCN, please contact Transfer Council at

Other Initiatives

In addition to the efforts described above, there are numerous other initiatives underway to streamline transfer pathways.

HECC staff work closely with campus representatives on articulation and transfer, including through Oregon Transfer and Articulation Committee (OTAC), a cross-sector group of administrators and researchers dedicated to supporting statewide transfer degrees.

Stay Engaged

Transfer Council meetings and CCN subcommittee meetings are open to the public.

Subscribe to the Transfer Hub, a regular HECC email newsletter on transfer strategies.