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40-40-20 Resources and Initiatives

The State of Oregon has set an ambitious goal for educational attainment, known as the “40-40-20” goal. Approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 in Senate Bill 253, the “40-40-20 Goal” is for 40% of adult Oregonians to hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree, 40% to have an associate’s degree or a meaningful postsecondary certificate, and all adult Oregonians to hold a high school diploma or equivalent by the year 2025.OIT commencement

The Oregon University System is working closely with its state, education, and policy partners to achieve this goal for Oregonians, sharing in the responsibility for all segments of 40-40-20. While OUS places a primary focus on bachelor’s and advanced degrees, the university system also develops joint strategies with community colleges and focuses on educator preparation, engagement with K-12, and enhancing the K-12 pipeline.  

OUS Achievement Compacts with the State: Under the leadership of Governor Kitzhaber and the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB), the OUS in aggregate, each OUS institution and other education sectors have developed Achievement Compacts which detail measurements set to inform and guide the system’s work.

Measuring Progress: The OUS tracks its progress toward goals and objectives in various measurements and reports. OUS currently has three performance reporting formats: 1) Annual Performance Report to the Board; 2) Achievement Compacts with the OEIB; 3) Annual Performance Progress Report with the state as reported to the Department of Administrative Services. For information on performance measurement at OUS, go to Performance Measurement and Outcomes. For information on current enrollment, projected enrollment through 2020, the number of incoming freshmen, number of transfer students from community colleges, and graduation rates at Oregon’s public universities as they progress toward the 40-40-20 goal, see the OUS Fact Book. 

Special Initiatives Related to 40-40-20

  • Educator Preparation Initiative: Higher performance from PK-12 students requires sustained high performance from teachers and educator preparation programs.  Teacher education program leaders at OUS institutions support innovative practices in educator preparation programs and have developed a proposal to significantly strengthen the partnership between universities and PK-12 schools. Staff from OUS Academic Strategies is working closely with the deans of the educator preparation programs on this partnership initiative. For more information, contact Karen_Marongelle@ous.edu    

  • Common Core State Standards (CCSS): Oregon is one of 46 states that have signed on to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English-Language Arts and for Mathematics.  The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a state-led effort coordinated by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). The standards were developed in collaboration with teachers, school administrators, university faculty, and other experts, to provide a clear and consistent framework to prepare children for college and the workforce. For more information about the national effort, see: http://www.corestandards.org/about-the-standards.  OUS’s Academic Strategies Department is working closely with Oregon Department of Education and Community Colleges and Workforce Development Office to engage higher education stakeholders in the transition to the CCSS. 

  • State and System-wide College Access Grants: The office of College Access Programs for OUS houses two federally funded programs: the state’s College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program and Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program (Oregon GEAR UP). These two programs work in concert to increase the number of traditionally underrepresented students, primarily low-income, who are prepared to enter and succeed in college. The CACG is a statewide college access initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education and coordinated by a multi-agency team including all postsecondary education sectors in the state. The current 2011 CACG grant has provided sub-grants to  precollege programs at community-based organizations, secondary schools, and postsecondary institutions and has already served 11,000 students since November 2011. Oregon GEAR UP is a collaborative program supported by a federal GEAR UP grant and community partners, including The Ford Family Foundation that works with school districts, colleges and universities, and partner organizations across Oregon on programming and initiatives to support college preparation and success for underrepresented students.  In addition to these state and system-wide programs, each OUS campus or center has strong K-12 school relationships and partnerships and the Oregon Student Access Commission (OSAC) administers a variety of Oregon, federal, and privately funded student financial aid programs for the benefit of Oregonians attending institutions of postsecondary education, including the Oregon Opportunity grant, the ASPIRE Program, and others. For more information on GEAR UP or CACG, contact Stephanie Carnahan, Director of College Access Programs, at Stephanie_Carnahan@ous.edu.

  • Improving Student Learning--The Quality Collaboratives Initiative:  The OUS is one of eight state higher education systems selected to participate in a new project supported by a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education which is designed to help improve student learning and transfer. Sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), The Quality Collaboratives Initiative supports faculty and state system leaders working to improve the quality of undergraduate education in community colleges and universities.  For more information, see the announcement on this grant or contact Karen Marrongelle, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Standards and Collaborations at Karen_Marrongelle@ous.edu

  • Community College Partnerships: Reverse Transfer Pilot Program: In an effort to help more students earn degrees to prepare them for the workforce, an innovative pilot program between Oregon’s public community colleges and universities will begin to offer students the option of obtaining a degree through “Reverse Transfer.”  Some students transfer into 4-year universities before they complete an associate’s degree at a community college. The Reverse Transfer option recognizes students’ achievements with an associate’s degree after they have transferred to a 4-year school and have accumulated the credits needed to fulfill the 2-year degree program requirements. For more information, see the Reverse Transfer Degree Fact Sheet or contact Joe_Holliday@ous.edu.

  • High School Visitation Program Each year, the seven OUS institutions send a team of university admissions representatives to public and private high schools across the state to engage and inspire Oregon’s high school students to explore their many in-state degree opportunities. It is estimated that over 20,000 students participate in these outreach events which serve over 250 participating public and private high schools each year. Admissions representatives from the seven OUS institutions and one branch campus tour by van from Astoria to Lakeview, with over a hundred stops in between, providing key college information to high school students to encourage them to explore their college options. In addition to visiting participating high schools in Southern Oregon, Central Oregon, Eastern Oregon, the Oregon coast, Willamette Valley and the Portland Metropolitan area, the tour also includes 6 “Campus Plan” events, at which multiple high schools visit an OUS campus to participate in the Tour presentations, and a OUS Viewbook brochure with admissions and financial aid guidelines is made available to students in print and online. The Visittation program is transitioning from a Fall event to a Spring event in 2014 in order to reach students earlier in their college planning process.

  • Oregon Transfer Days: Admissions representatives from OUS and private four-year universities tour Oregon community colleges in January and February of each year to provide information and help students understand their wide range of options for transferring in Oregon.  These statewide college fair events are organized by the Oregon Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, oracrao.org/oregon-transfer-days/

  • 2011 Symposium: Oregon leaders convene on pathways toward 40-40-20: The 40-40-20 goal is used as a framework to evaluate OUS From Goal to Reality Symposium report coverpolicy and priority decisions at the state level, and leaders are exploring how such a framework should inform decisions. To further this important conversation, OUS hosted a leadership symposium in November 2011 which was focused on developing pathways to achieve the 40-40-20 goals. The day-long symposium brought together Oregon and national policy experts, Governor John Kitzhaber, legislators and policymakers, college and university presidents, PreK-12 superintendents and practitioners, business and community leaders, and students to consider opportunities for collaboration and change in order to elevate students who are not succeeding today. The report below provides a summary of the remarks at this event: