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State Educational Attainment Goals and Equity Lens​

Significantly improving equitable educational outcomes is critical to achieving the State of Oregon's two attainment goals: the 40-40-20 Goal and the Adult Attainment goal. To achieve the 40-40-20, Oregon aims to improve and transform educational opportunities so that all young adult Oregonians complete a high school diploma or the equivalent, and significantly more Oregonians complete a postsecondary credential. To achieve the adult educational goal, Oregon aims to train and educate more adults, particularly underserved populations, to earn new credentials to meet workforce demands.  ​

For a quick summary of state goals and current status, see below. 

Oregon HECC 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 Eq​uity 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. In addition, we affirm our longstanding commitment to partnership on urgently addressing inequities across the education systems in Oregon.​​

Oregon’s 40-40-20 Education Goal

Oregon has one of highest-reaching state goals for education in the country.  Known as the “40-40-20”, this goal established a clear target for educational attainment of Oregonians. The 40-20-20 goal is that, by 2025,

  • 40% of Oregonians​ will complete a 4-year de​gree,
  • ​40% of Oregonians will complete a 2-year degree or certificate, and
  • 20% will earn a high school diploma or the equivalent.

In 2011, the State of Oregon enacted legislation (ORS 350.014) that created this aspirational goal for Oregon’s educational achievement​. With legislation passed in 2017 and effective in January, 2018, Oregon clarified the 40-40-20 educational goal to focus it strategically on young Oregonians rising through the education system.   ​

Oregon’s Adult Education and Training Goal

In 2018, Oregon established a separate goal for the education and training of working adults. This goal is connected to job opportunities and industry needs​, and is stated as follows:

  • Oregon anticipates more than 120,000 additional jobs requiring post-secondary training or education between now and 2030. In order to meet this need, 300,000 additional adult Oregonians should earn a new degree, certificate or credential valued in the workforce during that time. Because Oregon has substantial attainment gaps among minority, low income and rural Oregonians, the state will also commit to reducing those attainment gaps by half during the decade.

​As directed by ​2017 legislation, the HECC worked with the Oregon Workforce Talent and Development Board and partners on this new goal, and it was approved in November, 2018.  ​ ​