Private Postsecondary

Office of Private Postsecondary Education (PPS): Our Regulatory and Coordinating Role

The HECC Office of Private Postsecondary Education (PPS) oversees the quality, integrity, and diversity of private postsecondary programs in Oregon for the benefit of students and consumers. We support the success of private higher education institutions in achieving their missions to educate and train Oregonians for career success, and to provide quality and relevant certificate and degree programs. Serving as the lead regulatory office, the PPS guides policy and regulatory action that approves programs and institutions serving Oregonians.

To learn more about HECC-Office of Private Postsecondary Education statutory responsibilities, see HECC Authority and State Structure or HECC Statutes and Administrative Rules. ​

Our office consists of the following:

RegulatIon, Licensing, and Authorizing

​​The Private Career School unit and Office of Degree Authorization serve as the state regulators that approve degree-granting institutions, private career schools, and distance education providers to operate in this state. Without approval or explicit exemption from regulation from the HECC, a school cannot legally operate in our state, or offer valid degrees or certificates to Oregonians. In the U.S, it is the state government that authorizes degree granting institutions with only a few exceptions. ODA and PCS are governed by independent statues and administrative rules.

​Note: Our office is a regulatory, licensing and a​uthorizing state office, not an accrediting agency. Even if an institution is accredited, it may not be authorized to confer degrees or certificates in Oregon since they must meet rigorous authorizing standards in our state and comply with the necessary laws and regulations that protect consumers in this state.

​Coordination with Institutions and Partners

The Office of Private Postsecondary Education 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, and the NW Career Colleges Federation. The Office also convenes the Office of Degree Authorization Advisory Committee and Private Career School Advisory Council.

Licensing Boards 

The HECC/PPS work collaboratively with many licensing boards in our state. These boards license graduates of authorized private career schools to practice their desired profession. 

Portal agency for the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA)

The PPS is responsible for administering distance education offerings in Oregon through State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), a multistate agreement, entered into by the HECC. HECC serves as the portal agency in Oregon for institutions participating in this agreement.​

Approval and Monitoring of Schools, Educational Institutions, and Training Establishments for Veterans 

The PPS also approves and monitors postsecondary institutions and training establishments participating in veterans’ education benefits administered by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws. These authorities reside with the HECC through Oregon’s federal contract with the Veterans Administration Education Program Approval and Compliance Monitoring contract.


More Information

How do I know if a school is authorized in Oregon?

Our office maintains lists of schools and programs authorized to operate in the state of Oregon.

How do I know if a school is accredited or if an accrediting agency is legitimate?

While our office is not an accrediting agency, we encourage consumers to check accreditation status on the U.S. Department of Education site here for relevant up to date information on the authorized accrediting agencies and individual schools they accredit.​