photo of students walking

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Equity and Student Success​

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission envisions a future in which all Oregonians—and especially those whom our systems have underserved and marginalized—benefit from the transformational power of hi​gh-quality postsecondary education and training. 

Our commitment to improving equitable outcomes is rooted in the state’s high-reaching educational attainment goals, the Oregon Equity Lens, and the goals established by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission's Strategic Plan. The HECC is committed to improving success and ensuring environments are conducive to optimum learning for all students, with a particular focus on those who are historically underrepresented in higher education, including students of color, low-income and other underserved populations. ​

While education outcomes statewide are trending slightly upward, Oregon continues to see significant disparities. Low-income and students of color experience less opportunity and success throughout the education continuum, including higher education. ​Our commitment to closing equity gaps informs policy decision-making, funding recommendations, ongoing programs as well as special initiatives to effect change. ​

Featured Resources

Statewide Listening Tour: Joint Legislative Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education

The HECC encourages participation in the historic statewide listening tour of the  Joint Legislative Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education. View the Task Force website for details.

Real Opportuity video

We encourage viewing and sharing this short inspirational and informational video on the ​need to dramatically improve support for the equitable success of underserved students of color in higher education and workforce training. Real Opportunity: Supporting College Success for Underserved Students of Color will Move Oregon Forward.​​

This approximately eight min​ute video is part of a suite of efforts to broaden understanding of the critical importance of closing equity gaps, building equitable access, and increasing completion rates for historically underrepresented students of color in higher education and training. ​​

From 2018-2021, HECC worked to advanced a suite of leadership work supported by a Talent, Innovation, and Equity (“TIE”) partnership grant from Lumina Foundation to help eliminate disparities in postsecondary success rates between Oregon’s overall student population and historically underrepresented students of color. Learn more about the recent work supported by the TIE grant here.  ​

Centering our Work with Oregon's Equity Lens

The Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission Equity Lens​ is a cornerstone to the State’s approach to postsecondary education and training policy and funding, with a focus on Oregonians who are currently and historically underserved in access to and success in postsecondary education and training. The Equity Lens is used to assess how current and proposed policies, programs and practices benefit and/or burden underserved learners and communities; make intentional equity-informed decisions, actions, targeted interventions, investments and enact systemic change​​; strengthen public involvement; clearly articulate our shared goals of an equitable education system; and create clear accountability structures. 

The HECC adopted the original Oregon Equity Lens in 2014, and has applied the lens as a cornerstone to postsecondary education and training policy and funding since its first year as an agency.  In 2021, HECC staff updated the Equity Lens, now titled the Oregon HECC Equity Lens with a renewed focus on application in postsecondary education and training. This update draws on the State of Oregon Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Action Plan: A Roadmap to Racial Equity and Belonging for the State of Oregon published by the Governor’s Office in Fall, 2021, as well as the 2021 Strategic Roadmap for Postsecondary Education and Training. While the HECC Equity Lens focuses on postsecondary education and training, we affirm our longstanding commitment to partnership on urgently addressing inequities across the education systems in Oregon.​​

HECC Welcomes Engagement with Diverse Partners Statewide

In its equity initiatives and efforts, the HECC welcomes the involvement and collaboration of campus communities, students and families, community-based organizations, tribal partners, agencies and additional stakeholders to achieve mutual education goals and build lasting relationships to improve the futures of all Oregon students. The HECC regularly meets on a Government-to-Government basis with tribal education leaders, collaborating to better serve Native students. In addition, HECC regularly convenes an Equity Advisory Council ​to advise the agency in our work.

Here are a few ways to stay engaged with us:

HECC Agency Equity Goals and Strategies

The HECC is both a Commission and an agency. The agency has established four equity goals detailed here to guide our work. ​

In addition, each of the eight offices of the HECC are making progress on office-specific goals and strategies.

Diversity and Affirmative Action Plan

Equity, diversity, and inclusion are at the core of our work at the HECC. The HECC is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer Committed to Workforce Diversity Employment Opportunity Commission under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The HECC does not discriminate in admission or access to our programs, services, activities, hiring, and employment practices. 




Equity-Related Data and Research:

Reporting to steer progress is one of the HECC’s four strategic action areas, and the agency has prioritized the production and accessibility of data related to our equity goals.

  • Equity Briefs: ​In January 2022, the HECC Office of Research and Data released a new series of research publications, Equity Briefs, providing an in-depth look at data on the challenges and successes of public college and university students of color​​.​​

  • Find data on e​ducational attainment in Oregon here​. 
  • Explore additional Public Postsecondary Student Data,​including disaggregated data by age, gender, and ethnicity. 
  • HECC's Key Performance Metrics measure our progress toward the HECC goals of equity, affordability, student success, and economic and community impact, and they include measures disaggregated by race/ethnicity.
  • Statewide Higher Education Snapshots: Since 2018, HECC has clearly reported disaggregated data through the Statewide Higher Education Snapshots, providing a high level overview of data on enrollment, affordability and outcomes for resident students in Oregon's public institutions.

Pursuant to legislative directives, the HECC has also developed numerous policy and research reports related to equity topics. Formal HECC reports submitted to the Legislature can be found here.​ 

​For information on the most recent state investment and legislation recently passed related to equity and student success, see the budget fact sheet and legislative summary here. 

More information on recent legislation can be found in our most recent Legislative Resources page here.

Contact Us

Staff directory for Office of the Executive Director.

Rudyane Rivera-Lindstrom, HECC Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.​​​​​​