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Community College Alignment and Partnerships

Partnerships between the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, Oregon’s 17 community colleges, and the Oregon University System give students broad and seamless transfer and co-enrollment options that fit their academic needs.   

In addition to the state or system-wide partnerships and collaborations listed below, each OUS campus or center has strong community college relationships and partnerships for students at Eastern Oregon Universitytransfer students. For more information, see Transfer Admissions and Transfer Student Resources.  Also in addition to the OUS-administered partnerships listed below, 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 State of Oregon need-based financial aid program). The partnerships below represent programs or initiatives coordinated by or partnered with the Oregon University System at the system level.

Oregon Education Investment Board

During the 2011 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 909 created the Oregon Education Investment Board (OEIB). Chaired by the Governor, the OEIB is overseeing an effort to create a seamless, unified system for investing in and delivering PK-20 public education from early childhood through high school and college.

Higher Education Coordinating Commission

Also during the 2011 Legislative Session, Senate Bill 242 created the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to coordinate postsecondary education policy in Oregon, including the Oregon University System and community colleges. During the 2012 Legislative Session, SB 1538 further clarified the role of the HECC. To find out more about the HECC and the OEIB, go here.

Joint Boards

Through July, 2012, the Joint Boards, comprised of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and the Oregon State Board of Education explored topics of mutual concern and sought positive resolution to advance Western Oregon University courtyardeducation for all students from pre-K through post-secondary education. The multi-sector work of the Joint Boards has now been taken up by the HECC and the OEIB.

Postsecondary Education Policies (approved by Joint Boards)

Joint Boards Articulation Commission

Joint Boards Articulation Commission (JBAC) is a policy and action-oriented group which encourages active cooperation and collaboration among sectors and within systems (K-12, community colleges, and baccalaureate-granting institutions) to achieve the most efficient and effective articulation and pathways possible. 

Partnerships serving Transfer Students

  • Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer Degree: Each of Oregon’s 17 community colleges offers an Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer degree (AA/OT), and some offer the Associate of Arts/Oregon Transfer in Business (AA/OT-Bus). Completion of a transfer degree guarantees that a student has fully met all the lower division general education requirements to enter an OUS campus. The transfer degree does not guarantee admission into specific programs, or fulfillment of specific campus requirements. For more information, consult the most recent edition of the community college’s general catalog on their website or in their admissions office. 
  • The Articulated Transfer Linked Audit System (ATLAS) is a web-based service that uses u.select software to help students effectively transfer credits between community colleges and OUS insitutions. The service gives students and academic advisors real-time information on how and where completed college courses transfer between postsecondary institutions, and helps students find appropriate courses to more quickly complete a degree or program. To find out how your credits transfer, visit transfer.org or talk to an admissions counselor for more information. 
  • Degree Partnership Agreements in Oregon: College to university degree partnership agreements, Oregon Institute of Technology studentsalso referred to as "dual enrollment" or "co-admission" agreements, are student-focused arrangements that enable college students to be formally enrolled at both a community college and an OUS campus at the same time. OUS institutions collectively offer over 50 partnerships with community colleges, as well as similar agreements among its own institutions and with Oregon Health and Science University.
  • Oregon College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACG):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 State of Oregon has been awarded three CACG grants. The 2008 grant supported initiatives to increase the educational attainment of adult learners and other prospective students, including an informational website, www.OregonOpportunities.gov. In 2010, the State received a second one-year CACG grant which provides funds to expand Oregon K-12 programs that increase the number of pre-college aged students prepared to succeed college, including the ASPIRE program and others. In 2011, the State again received a one year grant to continue sub-grant support of pre-college programs and to increase professional development opportunities for college access practitioners. For more information on the current grant, contact Adrienne_Enriquez@ous.edu.
  • Oregon Transfer Days: Admissions representatives from OUS institutions partner up with private four-year universities to tour all seventeen community colleges each year through this program coordinated by the Oregon Asscoiation of Collegiate Registrars & Admissions Officers (OrACRAO). The admissions representatives provide information and help community college students understand their options for transferring to an Oregon four-year college or university. For more information, contact Joe Holliday at Joe_Holliday@ous.edu.
  • Oregon Transfer Module (OTM) is an approved subset of general education courses that is transferable between and among public postsecondary institutions in Oregon.  The module allows students to complete one year of general education foundation course work that will apply to the transfer toward an OUS institution degree and meet the admissions standards of that transfer institution. It is designed to ensure that student needs are met without having to take a course multiple times or lose credits when they transfer.
  • OUS Native American Resource Guide: This publication offers information about campus resources, web sites, financial aid resources, community college transfer processes, distance education, and more for Native American students and families.
  • "Reverse Transfer" Degree: Some students transfer into 4-year universities before they complete an associate’s degree at a community college, with a percentage of this group gaining a bachelor’s degree eventually through a combination of credits from both institutions. A pilot program between Oregon’s public community colleges and universities will begin to offer students the option of obtaining a degree through “Reverse Transfer.”
  • 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.
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