Subscribe to the OCCA newsletter
(Check your email/spam folder for a confirmation link after submission)

* indicates required
Email Format

Higher Education Coordinating Commission

The Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is dedicated to fostering and sustaining the best, most rewarding pathways to opportunity and success for all Oregonians through an accessible, affordable and coordinated network for educational achievement beyond high school.

HECC Agency Organization 

The Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) is dedicated to fostering and sustaining the best, most rewarding pathways to opportunity and success for all Oregonians through an accessible, affordable and coordinated network for educational achievement beyond a high school diploma. Oregon’s higher education and workforce system serves hundreds of thousands of learners through seven public universities, 17 public community colleges, private and independent colleges and universities, workforce programs, and private career and trade schools.

As the State of Oregon’s single, comprehensive portal to all sectors of higher education, HECC is uniquely positioned to provide strategic focus in areas such as: investing resources to maximize student success, increasing postsecondary affordability, improving pathways to and within postsecondary institutions, and connecting job-seekers with employment.
 
Established in 2011, HECC is a 14-member volunteer commission responsible for advising the Oregon Legislaturethe Governor, and the Chief Education Office on higher education policy. Its statutory authorities include the development of biennial budget recommendations for public postsecondary education in Oregon, making funding allocations to Oregon's public community colleges and public universities, approving new academic programs for the public institutions, allocating Oregon Opportunity Grants (state need-based student aid), authorizing degrees that are proposed by private and out-of-state (distance) providers, licensing private career and trade schools, overseeing programs for veterans, and implementing other legislative directives. The Commission is supported by an executive director, who oversees the work of the HECC agency. For additional information on the Commission, including public meetings, click here. 

The executive director oversees the work of seven offices described below, all of which support the statutory responsibilities of the Commission.
  • The Office of the Executive Director, Policy, and Communications carries out the central executive role of the agency, as well as communications, legislative affairs, human resources, policy initiatives, and other roles for the integrated agency. 
  • The Office of Student Access & Completion (OSAC), formerly the Oregon Student Access Commission, administers a variety of state, federal, and privately funded student financial aid programs for the benefit of Oregonians attending institutions of postsecondary education, including the Oregon Opportunity Grant and the Oregon Promise. OSAC also administers other student outreach programs, such as Oregon ASPIRE, and works in partnership with foundations, private individuals, financial institutions, and employers.
  • The Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development (CCWD), formerly the Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, provides coordination and resources related to Oregon’s 17 community colleges, 18 adult basic skills providers, and nine local workforce areas. CCWD also provides statewide administration of workforce and education programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), the General Educational Development (GED), and other workforce and education programs for the benefit of Oregonians.
  • The Office of University Coordination provides academic and fiscal coordination related to Oregon’s seven public universities, including coordination of the academic program approval process, statewide initiatives and legislative directives to enhance postsecondary pathways and student success, biennial budget recommendations for the Public University Support Fund, Public University State Programs, and capital investments, fiscal reporting and analysis, and the allocation of state funding.
  • The Office of Private Postsecondary Education oversees the quality, integrity, and diversity of private postsecondary programs in Oregon for the benefit of students and consumers. The Office includes the Office of Degree Authorization, which authorizes private degree-granting institutions and distance education providers, Private Career Schools which licenses and supports private career and trade schools, and Veterans Education which provides oversight of programs for veterans.
  • The Office of Research and Data collects, analyzes, and reports research and data on postsecondary education including data on students, courses, demographics, enrollments, academic performance, and academic pathways to comply with state and federal reporting requirements and inform decisions on the postsecondary education enterprise.
  • The Office of Operations provides accounting, budget, procurement, payroll, and informational technology support for all HECC offices.
Higher Education Coordinating Commission