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Higher Education Coordination Commission

About the Higher Education Coordinating Commission

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is the State of Oregon's public commission working to improve equitable access to and success in higher education and workforce training for Oregonians. The Commission conducts its work at public meetings and welcomes engagement. Here you can get an introduction to the Commission’s work and structure.

Public Meeting Materials

If you are seeking public meeting materials and details, go to the link below.

Find details on public meetings of the Commission and subcommittees. 

About the Commission’s Work

The HECC is a State of Oregon commission that works on behalf of all Oregonians to coordinate funding and policy across public and private postsecondary education and training. The Commission convenes partners across the higher education and workforce landscape, and works to improve affordability, equity, student success, and economic and community impact. The public policy and funding decisions made by the Commission are guided by the State’s educational attainment goals and a strategic plan that is anchored in the HECC Equity Lens. The Commission also advises the Oregon Legislature and the Governor on policy and funding to meet state postsecondary goals. 

Find highlights of the major duties, authorities defined in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), and functions of the Commission below.

  • Develop state goals for the postsecondary system, including community colleges, public universities, and student access programs (ORS 350.075)
  • Adopt a strategic plan for achieving the state’s postsecondary goals (ORS 350.075)
  • Develop a comprehensive, biennial higher education budget request linked to the strategic plan (ORS 341.626, 350.075, 350.090, 350.095, 352.089)
  • Advise the Governor, Legislative Assembly, institutions, and other governmental entities on higher education policy issues (ORS 350.075)​​

  • Adopt formulas for the distribution of state funding to community colleges and, separately, public universities (ORS 350.075)
  • Develop, award, and monitor grants and contracts for the distribution of state and federal funding to higher education and workforce partners (ORS 350.075)
  • Adopt methodologies for the distribution of state financial aid to Oregon students (ORS 348)​​

  • Approve mission statements for public universities (ORS 350.085, 352.089)
  • Approve new certificate and degree programs at public universities and community colleges (ORS 341.465, ORS 350.075)
  • Approve statewide transfer pathways, a common course numbering system, and policies and procedures related to the movement of students between community colleges and public universities (ORS 350.390 to 350.432​​)
  • Authorize degrees for some private and out-of-state schools (ORS 348.594 to 348.615)
  • Manage licensure and teacher registration for private career schools (ORS 345.010 to 345.450, 341.440, 342.197, 348.070, 687.011)
  • Develop dual credit standards and credit for prior learning standards (ORS 340.310, 341.430, and 350.110)
  • Approve resident tuition increases greater than five percent for public universities (ORS 352.102)​

  • With the Oregon Workforce and Talent Development Board (WTDB) and the Oregon Employment Department, manage state implementation of the federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) (ORS 660)
  • Operate a youth employment program, youth-oriented conservation corps programs, and federal service programs through the HECC Office of Workforce Investments (ORS 418.653 to 418.658, 458.555 to 458.575 and 660)
  • Administer the Oregon Opportunity Grant, Oregon Promise, Oregon Tribal Student Grant, ASPIRE, and other programs through the HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (ORS 348, ORS 341.522)​​

  • ​Conduct data collection, analysis, research, and reporting across all sectors of higher education (ORS 350.075)
  • ​​Conduct biennial evaluations of public universities (ORS 352.061)

  • ​Appoint, evaluate, and oversee an executive director (ORS 350.065)​

For more information about the authorities governing the Commission and agency programs, see HECC Statutes and Administrative Rules. 

Structure, Membership, and Policies

Established in 2011, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission is a 15-member volunteer commission appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the State Senate.  The HECC is supported by the state agency by the same name, comprised of eight distinct offices led by Executive Director Ben Cannon. 

Learn who currently serves on the Commission.

Policies and Procedures

The Commission operates under the publicly adopted policies and procedures in the document below, and all Commission meetings are open to the public.

Commission Policies and Procedures


The Commission currently has one active subcommittee: the Funding and Achievement Subcommittee. Membership is noted on the Commission roster. Subcommittee meetings are public meetings.

Stay Engaged with the Commission’s Work

Attend a public meeting.

Stay informed.