Private Postsecondary

Office of Academic Policy and Authorization: Our Role 

This Office of Academic Policy and Authorization oversees two primary areas of work:  1​) the quality, integrity, and diversity of private postsecondary programs in Oregon for the benefit of students and consumers, and 2) public university academic policy and program approval. 

Our office consists of the following:

The Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) and the Private Career Schools (PCS) Licensing unit are responsible for policy and regulatory action that affect private institutions serving Oregonians. The ODA authorizes degree-granting private institutions offering academic programs in Oregon, or to Oregon students from outside the state. The PCS Licensing Unit licenses private career schools in Oregon. Both units also provide educational leadership, technical assistance, student and consumer protection, and serve as conveners of private institutions and partners in Oregon. The office is also responsible for administering distance education offerings in Oregon through the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA).

The Public University Coordination unit provides academic coordination related to Oregon’s seven public universities, including coordination of the academic program approval process, student complaints, statewide initiatives and legislative directives to enhance postsecondary pathways and student success.  

Each unit of the Office of Academic Policy and Authorization (Public University Academic Policy, ODA and PCS) is governed by independent statues and administrative rules.​​ To learn more about statutory responsibilities, see HECC Authority and State Structure or HECC Statutes and Administrative Rules. ​ 

​Coordination with Institutions and Partners

The Office of Academic Policy and Authorization also serves as a liaison to regulated and non-regulated (private) institutions, college and university presidents, and member associations such as the Alliance of Independent Colleges, the NW Career Colleges Federation, Council of Oregon University Presidents, and the statewide public university Provosts Council. The Private Career Schools unit also convenes the Private Career School Advisory Committee.​

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More Information

New Office Name:
Please note: the ODA and PCS were previously housed in the HECC Office of Private Postsecondary Education,  and the Public University Policy unit was previous housed in the HECC Office of University Coordination. The names of these offices changed in 2018.​