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Oregon Higher Education Landscape Study


In early 2022, the Oregon Council of Presidents, in partnership with the Oregon Community College Association, hired NCHEMS through a competitive RFP process to conduct a comprehensive study of the higher education landscape in Oregon.

Topics Approach Resources


There were multiple components to the project, including:

  • Developing an environmental scan of factors affecting postsecondary education in the state (i.e., the needs of students with particular attention to those not now being served, the workforce needs of state and regional employers, and the economic development needs of regions and communities in the state)
  • Identifying the areas in which additional educational or research capacities are needed and the ways in which the utilization of existing capacities can be improved to meet the identified needs
  • Assessing the ways in which policies and practices at both state and institutional levels can be improved to serve the needs of the state and its citizens more effectively and efficiently
  • Suggesting innovative ways in which the existing educational assets represented by public colleges and universities in the state, as well as other providers—school districts, proprietary schools, apprenticeship programs, and on-line providers—can be deployed to better serve students and employers and communities throughout the state
  • Developing a set of recommendations regarding the steps that should be taken to better align higher education with the needs of its various constituents and to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency with which needed services are provided


NCHEMS gathered and synthesized data to evaluate the needs of Oregon students, employers, and communities and identify gaps between the needs and current conditions. Data was also be analyzed to place Oregon higher education within the national context and to establish appropriate benchmarks.

NCHEMS conducted interviews and focus groups with a variety of stakeholders across the state of Oregon throughout the project. The goal of this engagement was to identify priorities and areas of improvement.

Recommendations to state policy and practice were developed based on the identified proprieties from the data work and stakeholder engagement.