To provide the information that the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) requires for the review and approval of programs, the Program Application and Abstract is organized as follows:

Program Summary

The program summary is a brief overview of the program, e.g., the size, scope and quality; a succinct introduction to the needs of the workforce and the supporting labor market information.

Program Outcomes

Program outcomes listed in the college catalog should be provided in the application for each certificate and degree.

Program Approval Standards

The program approval standards were developed in collaboration with community college representatives and adopted by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to help guide the development of a quality program. The standards provide broad expectations for program design, implementation, management and continuous improvement. The Program Elements and Guiding Questions require a response in the Program Highlights as appropriate.

Program Elements

These elements, recommended by college and CCWD staff, are essential to the program design. When considered in combination with accreditation and college program requirements, they demonstrate that the proposed program is designed to target workforce needs and correlate learner outcomes. The program design and college’s resources define the number of elements addressed. The program elements are dynamic and may change as external factors influence student needs or industry requirements. For example, as colleges move forward in articulation agreements and/or career pathways for students, the elements of the program design may be refined.

Guiding Questions

Questions have been provided to assist in interpreting the meaning and implications of the standards and elements. These are the kinds of inquires that may be made by college administrators and HECC staff during a program approval review.

Program Highlights

Program Highlights are concise, bulleted statements which describe the new program in relation to the standards, elements and questions. The CCWD staff can provide guidance in determining the information best describes the program. These statements will become the essential descriptive content for the Program Abstract which is finalized by the Education Specialist.

Supporting Documentation/Evidence

The Education Specialist may request this information to clarify and affirm that the planning activities described have taken place. The combination of Documentation/Evidence and Program Highlights provide information to create an overview of the proposed program. Items highlighted as “Essential” are considered necessary by the Education Specialists who affirm that the HECC standards have been met.

Assurances and Signatures

The chief academic officer assures that all state and federal requirements have been met and that the program meets the ​HECC approval standards for quality.

Pathway Graphic for Career Pathway Certificates of Completion

A visual representation of how certificates, options and degrees are linked to provide students with a clear road map of instruction and related career opportunities. Graphics should include prerequisite courses and employment opportunities.

Curriculum Change/Amendments

All curriculum changes must be identified through the curriculum change form in the Oregon Community College Program Submission System (also known as Web​Forms) at