Responses Last Confirmed:

Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Agency Contact

Veronica Dujon
503-947-5744
veronica.dujon@state.or.us

Additional Contact

Secretary of State Contact

Bev Clarno
503-986-1523
Topic:

Types of Educational Providers Authorized

2A1.
Institution Types Authorized – Indicate the types of institutions that your agency authorizes. Please provide a short explanation of any ambiguity in the comment section below

____ Public, in-state degree granting institutions
_X__ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
_X__ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
_X__ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
_X__ Religious

2A2.
Clarifying comments:

All degree-granting private post-secondary institutions offering academic programs in Oregon, or to Oregon students from outside the state, must be approved by the HECC Office of Degree Authorization. Any business that offers a training program, including online education, that prepares an individual to enter a licensed occupation in the State of Oregon must first apply for a private career school license with the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). A tribally-controlled institution would not be subject to ODA or PCS jurisdiction, but would most likely seek authorization or

2B1.
Is accreditation required for an institution to be authorized in your state? Yes or No.

Accreditation is a requirement for authorization of degree-granting institutions but not for licensure of non-degree granting institutions.

2B2.
Clarifying comments:

Accreditation is a requirement for authorization of degree-granting institutions but not for licensure of non-degree granting institutions.

  • Regional or National accreditation recognized by the United States Department of Education is required for degree program authorization of out-of-state schools.
  • The HECC does not require regional accreditation as a pre-condition for full authorization of degree-granting institutions located in Oregon because ODA has a thorough review and evaluation process in place.
  • We have a number of small religious or narrowly focused arts degree programs in the
2B3.
If yes, what type of accreditation is required? Please, check all that apply as appropriate.

Regional Accreditation Required for:
_X__ Public, out-of-state degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, in-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, out-of-state, not-for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, in-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
_X__ Private, out-of-state, for-profit degree granting institutions
____ Public, in-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Public, out-of-state, non-degree granting institutions
____ Non-degree, not-for profit institutions
____ Non-degree, for-profit institutions
_X__ Religious institutions
_X__

2B4.
Clarifying comments:

Some of our rules specifically cite Regional Accreditation as the acceptable standard; however, we are currently re-assessing the references to accreditation in our rules for consistency, and changes may be proposed in the near future.

  • Accreditation by a USDOE-recognized accreditor is acceptable in most cases.
  • Programmatic accreditation may be required for authorization if the state licensing board requires graduation from a degree program with programmatic accreditation.
2C1.
Does your agency authorize specific academic programs offered by institutions, only institutions themselves, or both?

____ Institution   __X___ Program   _____ Both

2C2.
Clarifying comments:

The Office of Degree Authorization approves academic programs offered by the institutions and their corresponding placement programs in the state. The approval is for the degree program with or without placement, or with placement alone, not the institution as a whole. Approval letters list degree programs approved with and without placement.

2D1.
Does your state require a Surety Bond for authorized out-of-state institutions? Yes or No.

Please see clarifying answer below

2D2.
Clarifying comments:

Degree-granting institutions must have a surety bond or letter of credit based on

Non-degree institutions must make an initial deposit based on projected first-year gross tuition income plus semi-annual payments based on actual gross tuition income to a Tuition Protection Fund.

2E1.
Does your state have a Tuition Refund Policy Requirement? If so, for which types of institutions?

Yes. Degree-granting institutions must modify their tuition refund policy to comply with OAR 583-030-0035 (18) (c ) for all Oregon residents enrolled in degree/certificate programs.  Non-degree institutions must comply with cancellation and refund policies in OAR 715-045-0037.

Topic:

Exemptions

3A1.
Are certain institutions or programs exempt by law or policy from your state authorization requirements? If so, for which types of institutions? Which types of programs? Please provide web link.

For degree-granting institutions, an exemption granted to some religious institutions under ORS 348.604 signifies that the state of Oregon recognizes that the institution is offering a very narrow range of theological or religious degrees that are exempt from state oversight.  [https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/348.604]                      

For non-degree institutions, criteria for exemptions are listed in ORS 345.015 [https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/345.015].  If an institution believes they qualify for an exemption, they should call our office and discuss it with the Program Administrator to

Topic:

Authorization of Distance Education

4A1.
Does your agency require purely online programs offered by out-of-state institutions to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No.

Yes

4A2.
If not, does your agency determine whether an institution must be authorized based on a physical presence (“operating”) standard? Yes or No.

No response provided

4A3.
Clarifying comments:

For degree-granting institutions, all actions including online instruction offered to Oregon students must be authorized either through direct authorization by the ODA or participation in an interstate reciprocity agreement per ORS 348.606.

For non-degree granting institutions, all actions including online instruction offered to Oregon students must be licensed through the HECC unless approved for an exemption through ORS 348.015.

4B1.
Does your agency require correspondence study programs to be authorized without regard to physical presence? Yes or No

Yes

4B2.
Clarifying comments:

For degree-granting institutions, all actions including online instruction offered to Oregon students must be authorized either through direct authorization by the ODA or participation in an interstate reciprocity agreement per ORS 348.606.

For non-degree granting institutions, all actions including online instruction offered to Oregon students must be licensed through the HECC unless approved for an exemption through ORS 348.015.

Topic:

Physical Presence Policy - Common Triggers

5A1.
If your agency uses a physical presence standard, how does your agency define physical presence? If available, please provide a link to that policy or a citation to the relevant regulation giving that standard.

There are different standards/rules depending on whether institution is degree-granting or non-degree granting.

5A2.
URL for physical presence definition

For degree-granting institutions, OAR 583-030-0015 (22):  click here

 

For non-degree granting institutions, OAR 581-045-0006 (13) (b): https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/viewSingleRule.action?ruleVrsnRsn=180941

 

5A3.
Clarifying comments:

For non-degree granting institutions, a physical presence is established when the institution maintains an office within the state, any instructional staff conduct instructional activities from within the state or any part of the instructional program is conducted by or in the state, any agents operate within the state, or any Oregon specific advertising is done for or by the institution [OAR 715-045-0006 (13) (b)].

Topic:

Application Process

6A1.
Description – Please provide a short description of the application process to obtain state authorization. If available, please provide web links to the specific references to all applicable state laws, regulations, manuals, forms, or other pertinent docu

There are separate application forms and process for in-state and out-of-state degree-granting institutions, and for licensure of non-degree granting schools.  Prospective owners and institutional staff are encouraged to contact the HECC at 503-947-5916 or by email at info.PPS@state.or.us for guidance through the licensure or authorization process.  Rule links may be found on the HECC website at:

https://www.oregon.gov/highered/about/Pages/rules-statutes.aspx

6A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Fees Associated with Authorization

7A1.
Application Fee – Is there an application fee to initiate the authorization process? If so, what is the fee or fee schedule? Please provide a web link if available.

Fees are set in statute and rule.

7A2.
URL for Fee Information

For degree granting institutions, ORS 348.606: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors348.html

For non-degree granting institutions, 715-045-0007: https://secure.sos.state.or.us/oard/displayDivisionRules.action?selectedDivision=3260

7A3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Reporting

8A1.
What kinds of information or data must an institution report to your agency as a condition for continued out-of-state authorization?

All degree-granting and non-degree granting institutions must report annual student enrollment and annual completions data, and Fall student enrollments.

Degree-granting institutions must report changes in key administrative staff, new faculty hires, and program changes; all must be submitted for approval and/or reported as they occur during an authorization period.

For non-degree granting institutions, any changes in ownership, instructional staff, legal documents, school catalog, or curriculum must be reported.  Completions, withdrawals, and placement statistics for each program must be

8A2.
URL for reporting

Reporting is conducted over a secure online server requiring a login and password.

8A3.
How frequently do institutions report data?

All degree-granting and non-degree granting institutions must report annual student enrollment and annual completions data, and Fall student enrollments.

8A4.
Is this information published or shared publicly?

This information includes statistics on students served and graduation rates, which are published publicly.

8A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - Non-SARA Participating Institutions

9A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about out-of-state postsecondary institutions or programs?

No response provided

9A3.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

The process for handling complaints is currently being refined towards a centralized process.  Key contacts for types of institutions encourage the student to exhaust all institutional resources before filing a complaint.  Upon submission, a written complaint is distributed to the key staff person for investigation

9A4.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

9B1.
Does this complaint process extend to institutions not authorized by the agency that may enroll residents of the state (such as explicitly distance education programs with no physical presence or exempt institutions)?

Yes. There is a separate complaint process for institutions that are exempted from authorization by the HECC or that participate in an interstate reciprocity agreement.

9B2.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?

Contact Name Sean Pollack

Title Program Administrator

Agency Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Address 255 Capitol St. NE

Email sean.pollack@state.or.us

Phone 503-947-5925

URL https://www.oregon.gov/highered/institutions-programs/private/Pages/private-postsecondary-HECC-role.aspx

9B3.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Consumer Protection and Student Complaints - SARA Participating Institutions

10A1.
Please describe the process for handling complaints about SARA participating Institutions.

Key contacts for types of institutions encourage the student to exhaust all institutional resources before filing a complaint.  Upon submission, a written complaint is distributed to the key staff person for investigation. The ODA works with institutions and the state regulator agency to ensure complaints from students are resolved.

10A2.
Is the process handled all within your agency or do you divide consumer protection and student complaint duties dependent on the type of institution (Public, Private, Technical, etc.)?

There is a separate complaint process for institutions that are exempted from authorization by the HECC or that participate in an interstate reciprocity agreement.

10A3.
URL for student complaints – SARA participating institutions
10A4.
Who is the contact person at your agency for receiving complaints?

Contact Name Sean Pollack

Title Program Administrator

Agency Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Address 255 Capitol St. NE

Email sean.pollack@state.or.us

Phone 503-947-5925

URL https://www.oregon.gov/highered/institutions-programs/private/Pages/private-postsecondary-HECC-role.aspx

10A5.
Clarifying comments:

No response provided

Topic:

Enforcement

11A1.
If your agency has written descriptions of the possible consequence of institutional non-compliance, please provide it (or provide a web link).

For degree-granting institutions, if the school is known to have the legal authority to grant degrees elsewhere but has not obtained ODA approval to offer academic programs to Oregon students, then the ODA administrator would send a warning letter stating that we have received information that the school is offering courses, field experiences, or degree programs without approval. The letter would include the relevant citations and information about obtaining approval.  In cases where there is no evidence of the school’s legal authority to grant degrees, the ODA would investigate further and

Topic:

Records Retention

12A1.
When a school closes, what is the process your state uses to ensure that transcripts/records are kept available?
12B1.
From what agency do students request their transcripts/records from a closed school?
Topic:

Additional Information

13A1.
Is there anything else about the authorization process in your state that we and others ought to know about?

For degree-granting institutions, located outside of Oregon, we expect all schools to seek ODA approval and to do so BEFORE sending students to a placement site or offering degree programs or credit to Oregon students.  All the information and forms pertaining to approval are available on our website.

Any online program with or without a placement must be approved.  Online programs that include a placement (clinical, practicum, internship, externship, etc.) at a site in Oregon cannot be exempt and must be individually authorized as a placement program unless the institution participates in an