Update on Closure of Pioneer Pacific College
On July 20, 2020, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) was formally notified that Pioneer Pacific College in Springfield, Beaverton, and Portland, including Oregon Culinary Institute in Portland, would close as of July 31, 2020. Please see the Questions and Answers (Q&A) below for more information.
HECC Q&A on the Closure of Pioneer Pacific College
Last updated October 23, 2020
Q: What is the Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s (HECC’s) role in school closures?
A: The Oregon Office of Degree Authorization, a unit of the HECC Office of Academic Policy and Authorization, is the state entity that authorizes degree-granting colleges like Pioneer Pacific College to operate in Oregon. The HECC-Office of Academic Policy and Authorization provides a supporting role when authorized schools close, working with the institution and partners to facilitate information-sharing so that students can get their financial and/or academic questions answered, and serving as a repository of transcripts in some cases. HECC aims to provide students with up-to-date information specific to the closure of Pioneer Pacific College. Please email HECC at Info.PPS@state.or.us or call 503-947-5716. In addition, the HECC Office of Workforce Investments is responsible for WARN notices and works with state workforce partners to support businesses and individuals experiencing layoffs.
Q: What are my options for continuing my education after the closure of Pioneer Pacific College?
A: HECC strongly encourages current students to transfer to other schools to complete their postsecondary education goals.
Prior to deciding where to transfer, we recommend that you have your transcripts reviewed at all of the schools that you are interested in attending. The schools can conduct a transfer of credit analysis, and provide you with a program completion outline and a full cost estimate. You should review all your options to select the best school that meets your needs.
HECC is taking steps to assist Pioneer Pacific College students that were enrolled at the time of closure by compiling a list of educational institutions that have similar programs and are interested in providing transfer opportunities for Pioneer Pacific College students. HECC is also assisting schools with the development of articulation and transfer agreements with Pioneer Pacific College to streamline the transfer process for students affected by the closure.
The choice of the best transfer decision should be made by the student after thoroughly exploring all options. The list below shows Oregon schools that have expressed interest to the HECC in providing transfer opportunities to Pioneer Pacific students and have developed transfer pathways for similar educational programs. This list will be updated as we learn of more options.
Transfer Options for Pioneer Pacific College Students
Q: What is a surety bond and how can I file a claim?
A: A key step in supporting students is ensuring that their tuition payments have some protection in case the private institution fails to provide the contracted instructional services due to some abrupt closure. Authorized regulated degree granting institutions under HECC are now required to maintain a surety bond or letter of credit to protect student tuition payments for unearned tuition should the institution have an abrupt closure and not deliver the instructional services that have been prepaid.
Students may only submit a claim for a refund based on prepaid tuition where the school did not deliver the contracted educational services.
To file a claim, contact the bond holder:
Phone: Main No: 615-553-9500 (ask for claims department) or 615-553-9418.
Q: How can I get a copy of my transcripts?
A: If you transfer to another school to continue your education, you will need to provide an official copy of your transcripts to your new school. Transcripts might also be useful if you decide to apply for a loan discharge.
Q: How can I get information about loan forgiveness or discharge?
A: The U.S. Department of Education's (USDOE) office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) is the federal agency that manages federal financial aid. If your school closes while you’re enrolled or soon after you withdraw, you may be eligible for a discharge of your federal student loan. Learn about the eligibility requirements for closed school discharge and how you can apply on the USDOE website.
Loan discharges are not automatic with the closure of a school. You must apply for a loan discharge to the holder or servicer of your loan. If you don’t know who your loan servicer is, visit the USDOE Who is my Loan Servicer page.
A Pioneer Pacific College student has a choice to either:
(1) seek federal student loan forgiveness through the U.S. Department of Education or,
(2) transfer Pioneer Pacific College credits/coursework into a comparable program at another institution. A student cannot do both.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If a student transfers to another school to complete their education, but the school does not accept Pioneer Pacific College credits, the student can apply for loan discharge for those specific credits that will NOT be used as transfer credits.
For Non-Federal Loans contact the holders of your loan to inquire about what relief may be available to you concerning these loans.
Q: Where can I find additional information and updates on the Pioneer Pacific College closure?
A: For more information about the closure of Pioneer Pacific College, please email HECC at Info.PPS@state.or.us
or call 503-947-5716.
Students are encouraged to check this web page regularly for up-to-date information specific to the closure of Pioneer Pacific College.