HECC Collaborations | June Update, 2016

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Oregon State University
Upcoming HECC Meetings

Full Commission Meeting:
August 11 2016, Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles

Funding and Achievement Subcommittee:
Possible July meeting to be announced.
August 10 2016, Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles

Student Success and Institutional Collaboration Subcommittee:
August 10 2016, Columbia Gorge Community College, The Dalles

Please note a tentative schedule for 2016 meetings has been posted here. All final meeting dates will be confirmed through public meeting notices. To sign up for notices, click here.

To join the HECC email list for this newsletter and meeting notices, click here.
Portland State University
Commission approves mission statements for OIT and WOU
At its June commission meeting, the HECC approved the revised mission statements of Oregon Institute of Technology and Western Oregon University. The approval of university mission statements is a statutory responsibility of the HECC. READ MORE HERE.
Legislative update: recent policy reports, May Legislative Days testimony
The HECC completed several policy reports and provided testimony during May Legislative meetings. The Oregon Legislature in 2015 charged the HECC with research on a number of higher education policy questions of critical interest to the state. After months of work group discussions, collaborative activity and agency research, the HECC approved the following three reports at its May meeting, and submitted the reports to the Oregon Legislature:  

House Bill 3308 (2015) focusing on addressing disparities in higher education through continuing education.  

House Bill 3335 (2015) updating information on college completion initiatives and Oregonians with “some college, no degree”.

Senate Bill 473 (2015) regarding collecting sexual orientation information and preferred names at Oregon’s community colleges.

The Legislature held a series of hearings May 23-25, and HECC agency staff participated in hearings related to the Oregon Promise, youth employment, community college student success, and more. READ MORE HERE.
Congratulations to STEM Grant Awardees

The HECC is pleased to announce award of nearly $2M in grants to recruit, retain and support underserved students for programs offered at community colleges and public universities that lead to high wage and high demand jobs related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Congratulations to
Portland Community College; Oregon State University; Oregon Health & Science University; Clackamas Community College; Rogue Community College; Western Oregon University; Oregon Institute of Technology; Klamath Community College; and Chemeketa Community College. READ MORE HERE.
Academic Program Appovals

At its May and June commission meetings, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission approved the following academic programs at Oregon community colleges and universities:

University approvals:
Oregon State University:
M.Eng/M.S./Ph.D, Bioengineering
M.S., Data Analytics

University of Oregon:
B.A./B.S. Arts Management
M.S. Sports Product Design
Community college program approvals:
Chemeketa Community College:
A.A.S., Robotics
Oregon Coast Community College:
A.A.S, Accounting
A.A.S., Administrative Assistant

Portland Community College:
Certificate, Healthcare Careers
Certificate, Sterile Process Technology 
Certificate, Medical Administrative Assistant
Certificate, Pharmacy Technician

Rogue Community College:
Certificate, Medical Insurance Coding Specialist/Coder
Certificate: Sterile Processing Technician
HECC is Hiring
Communications resources

HECC WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT: The HECC is currently developing a new and expanded website to fully represent the mission and scope of the Commission and agency work. Thanks to all partners who have helped us with feedback through our recent tests and surveys!
HECC NEWS CLIPS SERVICE: The HECC offers a regular email communication including a selection of news clips primarily related to Oregon postsecondary education. To sign up for this email, subscribe here.  This service is occasional at this time due to a staff transition, but we will resume regular emails in the near future.

COLLEGE AND CAREER READINESS EVENT CALENDAR: The HECC Office of Student Access and Completion is pleased to share the College and Career Readiness Event Calendar and welcomes submissions of events for students, parents, and educators. To submit an event for consideration, please email us.  
Partner updates
Governor Kate Brown Announces ‘Graduate Cap Challenge”
On June 9, Governor Kate Brown announced the inaugural "Graduation Cap Challenge." Oregon's 2016 graduates from high school and college are invited to submit pictures of their decorated mortar boards worn during graduation ceremonies. READ MORE HERE.
Chief Education Office Releases Absenteeism Report Featuring Student and Family Perspectives
In May, the Chief Education Office announced release of a report on chronic absenteeism that examines barriers to regular school attendance from the perspective of students and families. READ MORE HERE.
Attorney General Symposium on Student Debt Burden
On May 24, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum hosted a national symposium in Portland to address student debt burden, entitled: ”Educational Debt – The Obligation of a Lifetime?”READ MORE HERE.

Celebrating graduates and opening doors for future students   
Message from Ben Cannon, HECC Executive Director

Firstly, hats off to the thousands of college and university students across Oregon who recently graduated! On behalf of the Commission and all at the HECC, congratulations to every one of you for your unique successes and accomplishments, and thank you to the faculty, advisors, coaches, campus leaders, families, and so many more who supported you. And keep the graduation pictures coming! Governor Brown announced last week a fun inaugural "Graduation Cap Challenge,” inviting graduates from high school and college to submit pictures of their decorated mortar boards worn during graduation ceremonies.  
Even as we celebrate today’s graduates, the HECC is building pathways for the graduates of the future. The Commission and its staff are in the process of developing the state 2017-2019 budget recommendation for postsecondary education—you can read an update in this newsletter on the Commission’s consideration of key budget items including campus operations, financial aid, and strategic investments. This newsletter also highlights the millions of dollars in financial aid awards that the HECC will award this year to Oregon students through the new Oregon Promise program and the restructured Oregon Opportunity Grant, thanks to investments the Legislature approved in 2015.
One college barrier that stops too many students from enrolling is the complexity of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). We announced in a press release this month that this year Oregon saw the nation’s highest percent increase in FAFSA completion by high school seniors. In 2016, approximately 8.8% more Oregon high school seniors completed a FAFSA than at the same point in 2015, and Oregon is one of only four states to see improvements on this measure.  Oregon’s increases are likely linked with the launch of the highly publicized Oregon Promise program, which requires the FAFSA as a component of the grant application, as well as the success of numerous outreach efforts to support students and families with FAFSA completion, such as the HECC Office of Student Access and Completion’s innovative and nationally-recognized FAFSA Plus+ initiative. 
Last but not least, I am so pleased to be able to share that after a year-long process of public engagement and commission work, we have released our 2016-20 strategic plan for higher education.
As always, I am grateful to all who have provided input and expertise in the development of the work featured here, all aimed toward seeing more and more Oregonians walk across the stage with degrees in hand, and their dreams made real.

Best regards,

Ben Cannon

Increased 2015 investments in college affordability pay off for students
Thousands to receive Oregon Promise and Oregon Opportunity Grant awards

During the 2015 session, the Oregon Legislature approved significant investments to make postsecondary education more affordable for Oregonians. These investments are now paying off for thousands of Oregon students, who are currently receiving notifications of the Oregon Promise and Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) awards that will help pay for college this coming year. 
As of late May 2016, more than 8,700 students had received notice of their eligibility for grants under Oregon Promise to enter community college next year. And the HECC Office of Student Access and Completion (OSAC) is still busy making Opportunity Grants awards, but expects the grant to serve approximately 45,000 students for the 2016-2017 academic year, with highest priority going to those most challenged by college costs.

Textbook affordability through Open Education Resources

The high cost of textbooks is a significant factor in college affordability. The Oregon Legislature and Governor invested in improving textbook affordability through House Bill 2871 (2015), with a specific focus on open educational resources (OERs), that can serve as low or no-cost replacements for textbooks. HECC has launched the OER Grant Program, and institutions across the state have been embracing the OER movement with great enthusiasm. READ MORE HERE.

Portland State University

Final 2016-2020 Strategic Plan released

Oregon's Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) has formally released the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan for higher education after a year of work and collaboration. The plan provides a foundation and scaffolding for preparing more Oregonians with the degrees, certificates, and training they need to succeed in their goals and careers. The plan defines six key priorities that will guide higher education funding and policy decisions within the HECC authority, including:
  • Goal-setting: sharpening state higher education goals in specific areas, including for working-age adults, and better reporting our progress towards meeting them.
  • Public College and University Funding: supporting sustainable state funding linked to student success.
  • Pathways: simplifying and aligning student pathways from cradle to career.
  • Student Support: enhancing student success, safety, and completion.
  • College Affordability: limiting student costs for attending college in Oregon.
  • Economic and Community Impact: contributing to prosperous workforce, economy, and communities.

Agency Request Budget Update 

Commission reviews major higher education funding items for 2017-19 budget recommendation  

At its June meetings, the Commission closely reviewed the major funding items in its Agency Request Budget (ARB), after reviewing staff recommendations and budget presentations and hearing public testimony over numerous previous meetings. The complete ARB will be presented to the full Commission for final approval at its August meeting, to be held at Columbia Gorge Community College in The Dalles, and public comment is invited at all public HECC meetings (sign up for notices here).
For the 2017-2019 ARB, HECC staff identified new funding requests proposed in discrete policy option packages (POPs), including significant increases to sufficiently fund and sustain institutional operations of the public colleges and universities, key state financial aid programs, and strategic investments. READ MORE HERE and in the highlights below.
  • Community College Support Fund (CCSF): a total of $795M including a proposed increase of $244.8 M in order to support campus operations and improve the ability of colleges to invest in affordability, quality and student success. 
  • Public University Support Fund (PUSF): a total of $943M including a proposed increase of $278M in order to support campus operations, mitigate tuition increases and improve the ability of universities to invest in quality and student success. 
  • Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG):a total of $200M including a proposed increase of $60.6M to help approximately 31,000 additional low-income students afford and complete college through need-based grant support of the OOG.  
  • Oregon Promise: a proposed increase of $34M including $30M in additional funding to continue the existing funding level, and $4M for possible enhancements to the program to promote degree completion.  
  • Workforce Investment: proposed funding at current service level for HECC workforce activities, as well as a proposed policy option package of $15M in new funds for youth employment.
  • HECC agency information technology and infrastructure needs:  a proposal of $1.7M for HECC infrastructure, staffing, and information technology needs.
  • Other Policy Option Packages (POPs): in addition to the funding items above, Executive Director Ben Cannon noted other new state investments, ranging from $151K to $1M, and focused on reporting and tracking of state goals, simplifying and enhancing student pathways, fostering student success, improving affordability, and strengthening community and economic impact. 
Capital funding recommendations for the public institutions:  The Commission considered detailed presentations in May and June on public university capital requests and community college capital requests. On June 8, the Commission received a letter from Governor Kate Brown regarding capital investments, and in light of this guidance, HECC staff will review the current recommendations for further Commission consideration at an upcoming meeting. READ MORE HERE.
Southwestern Oregon Community College

Designing a better youth workforce system  

A total of 13,000 people worldwide, including a team from the HECC Office of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, in the Workforce Investment Division (WID), are embarking on a project known as the Customer Centered Design challenge. This project sponsored by the Department of Labor aims to better design workforce services that places customers’ needs first. The WID has formed the Oregon Youth Services team who are focused on the following challenge: “How might you develop services and programs for out-of-school youth that will engage them and provide great outcomes?”  READ MORE HERE.

Welcome Commisioner Farrera, congratulations to continuing commissioners

HECC is pleased to welcome new commissioner Enrique Farrera, who has been appointed to the non-voting, institutional staff board member position on the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Mr. Farrera is Academic Advisor and Career Coach at Clackamas Community College (CCC), where he also serves as Association President of the Classified Association of CCC, as well as on the Presidents Council and Budgetary Advisory Group. He earned his B.S. in Anthropology and M.S. in Education Leadership & Policy in Postsecondary Adult Continuing Education (PACE) from Portland State University. Mr. Farrera succeeds Rob Fullmer, the former institutional staff representative to the commission, served for his last commission meeting in May. The Commissioners and Director Cannon thanked Mr. Fullmer extensively for his service and commitment to Oregon higher education.

In May, Commissioners David Rives, Duncan Wyse, and Ramon Ramirez were reappointed to continue their service as voting members on the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Their reappointments were recommended by the Governor and confirmed by the Oregon Senate; their new terms are active through June 30, 2020. The HECC is a 14-member commission, including 9 voting members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate.

HECC leadership announcements

Bob Brew hired as Deputy Executive Director 
We are pleased to announce that Bob Brew, current director of the HECC Office of Student Access and Completion, has been hired as Deputy Executive Director for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. The position of Deputy Executive Director was developed to fill important internal leadership and administrative roles within the agency, expanding the current responsibilities of the Chief of Staff. In the new role, Brew will lead the agency’s internal operations and administration, including processes designed to improve internal communications, inter-office collaborations, and organizational efficiency

Cheryl Myers hired as Chief Culture, Diversity, & Inclusion Director
At the May commission meeting, HECC Executive Director Ben Cannon announced that Cheryl Myers, who has served the HECC as Chief of Staff since early 2014, will transition to a new position of Chief Culture, Diversity, & Inclusion Officer in July. Ms. Myers has served as Chief of Staff since the first year of the agency and Commission’s full authorities, and has played a foundational role in supporting the Commission and agency. READ MORE HERE.

Dr. Amy Cox hired as new Director of Research and Data
At the May Commission meeting, Executive Director Ben Cannon reported that Dr. Amy Cox has been hired as the new Director of Research and Data for the HECC. Dr. Cox joins the HECC after serving more than a decade in research and social science positions for the RAND Corporation, where she has led teams conducting research and analysis on public policy and governmental services
Learn More about the HECC at:
Photos: Photos in this issue are courtesy of Oregon State University, Eastern Oregon University, Oregon Institute of Technology, and Sourthwestern Oregon Community College.
Copyright Higher Education Coordinating Commission 2015, All rights reserved

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