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OCCA DIGEST - December 22, 2016

Legislative Days Recap

The Oregon State Legislature held its final “Legislative Days” of the year this month, teeing up issues the body expects to work through in the 2017 legislative session.

Members in the House Higher Education committee received an update on the Oregon Promise from Ben Cannon, the Executive Director of The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). The report showed, among other things, that about 60 percent of Oregon Promise dollars go to families who, based on their federal financial aid application, have annual Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $8,674 or higher. Fall 2016, 6,745 students received the Oregon Promise award.

To view all of the updated Oregon Promise information, including a summary of descriptive statistics of recipients, please click here.

The Senate Education Committee looked at a number of education-related topics which will likely come up next session including LC 3083, introduced by Senate President Peter Courtney. The bill would allow a community college and state university to merge if both boards agreed to the merger.

The legislature will next meet for organizational meetings Jan. 9-11, their last meeting before the full legislative session begins on Feb. 1.

House Committee Assignments Announced

The House committee assignments for the 2017 Legislative Session have been announced. For a full list of House committee assignments, please click here.

Higher Education and Workforce Development Committee
Jeff Reardon, Chair
Teresa Alonso Leon, Vice Chair
Gene Whisnant, Vice Chair
Janelle Bynum
Brian Clem
Dallas Heard
Mark Johnson
Werner Reschke
Janeen Sollman
Education Committee
Margaret Doherty, Chair
Diego Hernandez, Vice Chair
Carl Wilson, Vice Chair
Paul Evans
Susan McLain
Julie Parrish
Janeen Sollman
Sherrie Sprenger
Richard Vial
Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee
Paul Evans, Chair
Deborah Boone, Vice Chair
Sal Esquivel, Vice Chair
John Lively
Mark Meek
Julie Parrish
Bill Post
Joint Ways and Means Committee
Nancy Nathanson, Co-Chair 
Dan Rayfield, Co-Vice Chair
Greg Smith, Co-Vice Chair
David Gomberg
Paul Holvey
John Huffman
Mike McLane
Barbara Smith Warner
Duane Stark
Gene Whisnant
Jennifer Williamson
Ways and Means - Capital Construction Subcommittee
Paul Holvey, Co-Chair
John Huffman
Tina Kotek
Greg Smith
Jennifer Williamson
Ways and Means - Education Subcommittee
Barbara Smith Warner, Co-Chair
Diego Hernandez
John Lively
Julie Parrish
Gene Whisnant
Legislative Policy and Research Committee
Tina Kotek, Co-Chair 
Cliff Bentz
Mitch Greenlick
Bill Kennemer
Nancy Nathanson
Sherrie Sprenger

Brand Elected to Advising Leadership Committee

Dr. Elizabeth Cox Brand, Executive Director of the Oregon Student Success Center, has been elected to the position of Vice President of the Oregon Academic Advising Association (OAAA).  OAAA is a professional organization with members from 2- and 4- year institutions both public and private and is associated with NACADA, the “Global Community for Academic Advising.” This is the inaugural leadership committee for OAAA as the association is just being reinvigorated; the first Oregon advising conference to be held in 14 years was sponsored by OAAA in 2016 at Western Oregon University. Finalizing the OAAA bylaws shall be among the initial tasks of the Leadership Committee. Dr. Brand assumes the position at the 2017 OAAA conference on June 23 at Oregon State University.
For more information, please contact

Success Center Listening Tour Update

The Oregon Student Success Center listening tour was on the road again this time doing a Southern Oregon swing! Executive Director, Elizabeth Brand, visited Southwestern Oregon Community College on Monday, Dec 12th and then Rogue Community College on Tuesday, Dec. 13th. Dr. Brand was a guest at the SOCC Student Retention Group report out and learned about several projects underway, like mentoring for new students, in a variety of venues on campus. At Rogue, Dr. Brand met with several different staff members to learn about initiatives like the recently implemented Student Engagement Committee and the SOHOPE program. Portland Community College was originally on the calendar for a visit on Friday but due to inclement weather, that visit is being rescheduled.

For more information or to schedule your campus visit, contact

PCC Launches New Foster Success Program

In an effort to build a support network for foster youth at Portland Community College (PCC), PCC has created the new Foster Success Program. Lisa Féinics, a former foster child herself, was chosen as the program coordinator.

To read more about Ms. Féinics' background and the new Foster Success Program, please click here.

OCCA Legislative Summit Registration Open

Registration for the OCCA Legislative Summit on March 22-23, 2017 at the Salem Conference Center, is now open! This is your opportunity to learn how to advocate effectively for your college and have conversations with legislative leadership and representatives from the Governor’s office. You’ll walk away from this summit with the tools you need to maximize your effectiveness during the 2017 legislative session.

Click HERE to register online for the 2017 OCCA Legislative Summit

Registration Fee: The registration fee is $95 per person, which includes lunch and dinner on March 22, 2017.

Registration Deadline: March 13, 2016

Hotel Room Availability: A block of hotel rooms has been reserved for summit participants at a rate of $129 per night using the code “Oregon Community College Association”. Please contact the Grand Hotel at 877-540-7800 by February 19, 2017, to reserve a hotel room with the discounted rate. After February 19, 2017, rooms may be available at the discounted rate but it is not guaranteed.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017
11:00 - 11:30 a.m.:  Check-In/Registration                                                       
11:30 – Noon:  Welcome/OCCA Update                                                  
Noon - 1:00 p.m.:  Luncheon                     
1:00 - 5:00 p.m.:  Summit Sessions                                                                  
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.:  Hosted Reception                                                                      
Reception hors d’oeuvres will be provided by students in the culinary arts programs at Southwestern Oregon Community College. Wine will be provided by the viticulture programs at Chemeketa and Umpqua Community Colleges.

Thursday, March 23, 2017
8:00 - 11:00 a.m.:  Appointments with Legislators                                                                                                          
REMINDER:  Each college makes their own appointments with their legislators.

Happy Holidays from OCCA Staff

Happy holidays and warm wishes for 2017!
~ Andrea, Karen, John, Megan, Elizabeth, Katie and Lisa


January 19, 2017
OCCA Board Meeting
Chemeketa Community College, Salem

January 20, 2017
OPC Meeting
Chemeketa Community College, Salem

February 1, 2017
2017 Legislative Session Begins

March 2-3, 2017
OPC Meeting
Chemeketa Community College, Salem

March 22-23, 2017
OCCA Legislative Summit
Salem Convention Center, Salem

March 23, 2017
OCCA Board Meeting
Chemeketa Community College, Salem

March 24, 2017
OPC Meeting
Chemeketa Community College, Salem



Andrea Henderson
Executive Director

John Wykoff
Deputy Director

Karen Smith
General Counsel

Megan Jensen
Director of Member Services

Elizabeth Cox Brand
Oregon Student Success Center, Executive Director

Katie Archambault
Research and
Fiscal Operations Director

Lisa Wolfson
Executive Assistant

Oregon’s 17 community colleges are a vital part of the state’s education system and serve roughly 313,000 students a year, or about 1 in 11 Oregonians.

The OCCA Digest updates members and the public about recent news affecting community colleges and efforts by the association to enhance student success and workforce development.

Do you have links to local stories or other items of interest? Please forward them to katie

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