HEAT Report

The Higher Education Assesment Team (HEAT) report was presented to the Oregon State Board of Higher Education on July 8, 2010..  OSU-Cascades students may have questions about the report’s recommendations - four of the report's five recommendations were approved; the fifth recommendation will be revisited when the Board reconvenes. This page tries to anticipate and address students' questions.  If your question is not answered below, please contact Jane Reynolds, Director of Enrollment Services at 541-322-3132. Also, please check this page regularly, as it will be updated as information comes available.

What is the Higher Education Assessment Team?

In the fall of 2009, the Higher Education Assessment Team for Central Oregon (HEAT) was formed as a working group under the Academic Strategies Committee of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to determine the current and future higher education needs of Central Oregon, and how best to meet them. Its members are Central Oregonians representing a range of backgrounds and fields of interest, including education, economic development, rural interests and local government.

HEAT’s goal was to determine the short-, mid- and long-term higher education strategies in one of the state’s fastest growing regions.  It focused on the needs and resource commitments required to increase educational attainment in Central Oregon, and to meet the demand for education and training options, and workforce and economic development needs.

The HEAT report was presented to the Board on Thursday, July 8, 2010.

What are HEAT’s recommendations?

HEAT’s long term recommendation is that for Central Oregon to remain economically competitive and for it to serve all residents, Central Oregon must have a degree-granting, stand alone institution of higher learning offering bachelor’s and graduate degrees, and having a research agenda aligned with regional business and industry needs and drivers.  It also calls for maintaining a strong, independent community college in Central Oregon.  This is good news for OSU-Cascades and Central Oregon Community College (COCC).   

The recommendations in the HEAT that were approved by the State Board are:

  1. closer collaboration between COCC and OSU-Cascades to expand on the 2+2 model (lower division at COCC and upper division at OSU-Cascades) by adding a “4-year experience” option for students who dually enroll at OSU-Cascades and COCC;
  2. building a hub-and-spoke higher education delivery system to reach rural residents;
  3. creating a student-focused, administratively efficient structure for delivering educational programs and services between COCC and OSU-Cascades;
  4. increasing participation in higher education through alignment with K-12 systems.


As an OSU-Cascades student, how will these recommendations affect me?

As part of the third goal above, HEAT is recommending that upper division undergraduate programs be offered by a single institution, Oregon State University (OSU), with provisions to ensure that current University of Oregon (UO) students are able to complete their UO degrees.  OSU-Cascades fully supports HEAT’s recommendation to put a plan in place for an easy transition overall for students during this process.  A single-institution administration will help create efficiencies that will benefit current and future students.    

I’m a UO student at OSU-Cascades.  Will I be able to finish my UO degree here?

Yes.  The HEAT report’s recommendation, with OSU-Cascades’ full support, is to "teach out" students currently enrolled in UO programs so that they can finish their degrees.  Admitted UO students will be able to finish their UO degrees over the next two to three years.

I’m planning to apply to OSU-Cascades in the future and want to study a program UO offers.  What do I do?

UO currently offers general science, general social science, mathematics and psychology majors and biology, chemistry, geology, history minors.  Students can be admitted to UO programs at OSU-Cascades prior to fall 2011, provided they apply by September 1, 2010.  After September 1, 2010, students will apply to OSU degree programs at OSU-Cascades, which will include the same, or very similar, programs to those currently offered by UO.  As part of the transition to a "one institution" university, the faculty and staff of OSU-Cascades will carefully review the programs and student needs in order to determine program options.  If you are considering applying to OSU-Cascades, please call 541-322-3100 or send and e-mail to cascadesadmit@osucascades.edu and talk with an advisor so s/he can alert you as decisions are made about program offerings.

I really enjoyed my experience with the UO faculty and staff.  What will happen to them?

Students often recognize the positive impact OSU and UO faculty and staff have on their experience at OSU-Cascades.  We are very appreciative for the role the UO faculty and staff have played at OSU-Cascades over the last nine years and look forward to their continued involvement.  The UO faculty and staff who currently teach and work at  OSU-Cascades will be invited  to accept OSU positions at OSU-Cascades that are comparable to their current positions.