Independent Colleges

Oversight and Representation

church on seminary campus
The church and bell tower at Mt. Angel Abbey. The campus is the home of Mt. Angel Seminary. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Oregon is home to hundreds of private colleges, universities, and career schools providing a range of college and career training opportunities to Oregonians.

HECC Office of Private Postsecondary Education

Address: 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-947-5716 
Contact: Juan Baez-Arevelo, Director

The Office of Private Postsecondary Education (PPS) oversees the quality, integrity and diversity of private postsecondary programs in Oregon for the benefit of students and consumers.

The office supports the success of private higher education institutions in achieving their missions to educate and train Oregonians for career success, and to provide quality and relevant certificate and degree programs. The office has three parts:

  • Office of Degree Authorization (ODA),
  • Private Career Schools (PCS) unit, and
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs State Approving Agency (SAA).

Serving as the lead regulatory office, the office guides policy and regulatory action that approves programs and institutions serving Oregonians. The PCS unit and ODA serve as the state regulators that approve degree-granting institutions, private career schools, and distance education providers to operate in this state. Without approval or explicit exemption from regulation from the HECC, a school cannot legally operate in our state or offer valid degrees or certificates to Oregonians. A number of private, not-for-profit institutions, including those listed below, are authorized but exempt from ongoing regulation by the HECC because of their longstanding status and having met certain requirements. Other private institutions are regulated and required to renew their authorization on a regular basis. 
For current lists of authorized, licensed private programs and institutions, see
The SAA approves public and private institutions and programs for postsecondary veteran benefits in
Oregon. In order for a veteran, reservist or dependent to use their G.I. Bill Benefits, the educational program must be approved by the SAA. 

Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities

The mission of the Oregon Alliance of Independent Colleges and Universities is to represent and serve its member institutions, all of which are regionally accredited, not-for-profit, independent colleges and universities in Oregon. This is accomplished through public advocacy, institutional cooperation, and strategic collaboration with the public sector, including business, philanthropy and government. The alliance invests in diverse students, committed educators and relevant learning by partnering with leaders from business and industry, philanthropy, and public sector agencies and institutions.