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 high-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.
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.