Higher Education Coordinating Commission: Agency Subdivisions

 Office of Academic Policy and Authorization

Address: 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem 97310
Phone: 503-378-5690
Fax: 503-378-8395
Web: www.oregon.gov/HigherEd/PPS
Contact: Veronica Dujon, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS Chapter 345,
348.594–348.615, ORS Chapter 350, 350.085

Duties and Responsibilities: This office oversees two primary areas: the quality, integrity and diversity of private postsecondary programs in Oregon for the benefit of students and consumers; and public university academic policy and program approval. The private postsecondary units consist of the Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) and the Private Career Schools Licensing Unit (PCS), responsible for policy and regulatory action that affect private institutions serving Oregonians.

The ODA authorizes degree-granting private institutions, offering academic programs in Oregon or to Oregon students from outside the state. The PCS Licensing Unit licenses private career schools in Oregon. Both units also provide educational leadership, technical assistance, student and consumer protection and serve as conveners of private institutions and partners in Oregon. The office is also the portal entity for distance education offerings in Oregon through the multistate State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. The public university academic policy unit provides academic coordination related to Oregon’s seven public universities, including coordination of the academic program approval process, student complaints, statewide initiatives and legislative directives to enhance postsecondary pathways and student success.

Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development

Address: 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem 97310
Phone: 503-378-8648
Fax: 503-378-8434
Contact: Patrick Crane, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 326.051

Duties and Responsibilities: The office provides coordination, leadership and resources to Oregon’s network of 17 locally-governed community colleges, as well as adult basic skills providers, high school equivalency program providers and other partners. It has responsibility for coordinating community college programs and services, developing biennial budget recommendations for the community college funding and capital projects, allocation of state funding, coordination of the academic approval processes, and reporting to the Legislature. The office provides statewide administration of the Adult Education and Family Literacy components of the federally funded Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act; the Carl Perkins Career and Technical Education Act programs; and the Oregon High School Equivalency General Educational Development (GED®) programs.

Office of Postsecondary Finance and Capital

Address: 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem 97301
Phone: 503-378-5690
Fax: 503-378-8395
Contact: Jim Pinkard, Director, HECC
Statutory Authority: ORS Chapter 350

Duties and Responsibilities: This office provides fiscal coordination related to Oregon’s public postsecondary institutions, including financial planning, biennial budget recommendations for the Public University Support Fund, Public University State Programs, Public University Statewide Public Services, capital investments, fiscal reporting and analysis, capital bond funding administration and the allocation of state funding to public post-secondary institutions.

Office of Research and Data
Address: 255 Capitol St. NE, Salem 97310-0203
Phone: 503-947-5701
Fax: 503-378-8395
Contact: Amy Cox, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 351.735

Duties and Responsibilities: The office collects, analyzes and reports research and data on postsecondary education including data on students, courses, demographics, enrollments, academic performance, completion and academic pathways to comply with state and federal reporting requirements and to inform decisions on the postsecondary education enterprise.

Office of Student Access and Completion

Address: 1500 Valley River Dr., Suite 100, Eugene 97401
Phone: 541-687-7400; Toll-free: 1-800-452-8807
Fax: 541-687-7414
Contact: Juan Báez-Arévalo, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS Chapter 348
Duties and Responsibilities: The HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) administers a variety of state, federal and privately funded student financial aid programs for the benefit of Oregonians attending institutions of postsecondary education. OSAC administers Oregon’s largest state-funded, need-based grant program, the Oregon Opportunity Grant, which assists students with financial aid to attain a postsecondary education at an Oregon community college, public university or four-year private nonprofit institution; the Oregon Promise grant program for recent high school and GED graduates planning to attend an Oregon community college; and a number of publicly funded programs serving targeted groups of students, including former foster youth, students with childcare expenses and children of deceased and disabled public safety officers.

OSAC’s Scholarship Program works in partnership with the state’s largest foundations, private individuals, financial institutions, employers and membership organizations to administer scholarships for the benefit of Oregon students. OSAC also offers outreach and mentoring programs that help create a college-going culture in Oregon, including Oregon ASPIRE, the state’s mentoring program to help middle school, high school and college students access education and training beyond high school with the help of trained volunteers.

Office of Workforce Investments

Address: 875 Union Street NE, Salem 97311
Phone: 503-947-5949
Fax: 503-947-1246
Contact: Karen Humelbaugh, Director
Statutory Authority: ORS 660.300–660.364

Duties and Responsibilities: The Office of Workforce Investments (OWI) is one of several state entities focused on employment opportunities, skill attainment and work-related training statewide. OWI is a collaboration between the HECC and the Oregon Employment Department and is responsible for convening partnerships in the workforce system, supporting and providing technical assistance to the Workforce and Talent Development Board (WTDB) and Local Workforce Development Boards and implementing the governor’s vision and the WTDB strategic plan. The HECC is the administrative entity for federally funded programs authorized by the U.S. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), including the WIOA Youth, Adult, Dislocated Worker programs and Federal Discretionary grants, providing program and fiscal oversight and accountability, as well as policy direction and technical assistance to state and local partners. The OWI also administers the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, providing grant funding, training and resources to youth-serving agencies; Oregon Volunteers, supporting statewide service and volunteer efforts and providing funds for the state-based AmeriCorps program; and the STEM Investment Council, supporting STEM education initiatives.