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Student Services

Mission Statement
The Office of Student Services provides an array of student-centered resources and services that support OCAC’s educational mission in advancing self-reliant, entrepreneurial, and critical makers. We foster OCAC’s mentor-based learning community by encouraging relationships between students and faculty, staff and visiting artists in an effort to cultivate personal growth. 

Located in the Red House on OCAC's campus, the Student Services office maintains information regarding mental health and community resources, disability accommodations, job opportunities, study abroad opportunities, the AICAD Exchange program, graduate art schools, internship opportunities, Residence Life (student housing), and local housing and roommate matching. Additionally, Student Services registers Student Clubs, supports Student Commonwealth, and manages a variety of on campus student events. 

Mission Statement
The OCAC Student Commonwealth is a group of students democratically elected by the student body to facilitate and advocate for student interests in regards to institutional policy, student wellness and engagement within the OCAC community.
OCAC’s Student Commonwealth meets bi-monthly to provide a forum for students to voice opinions and receive information about opportunities and issues concerning the entire student body. Funded through student activity fees and supported by the College administration, the Commonwealth also has a responsibility to allocate student funds toward the betterment of the student body as a whole through clubs, supportive services and activities. Student Commonwealth strives to motivate students by providing a place where they can make recommendations to the administration to enhance the quality of student life. Commonwealth is also a place for students to learn leadership and organizational skills.
OCAC Student Commonwealth Bylaws
Student funding goes toward services and activities that will be of the greatest service to the largest number of OCAC students.
Established student clubs must submit a budget request for funding (to Student Services and Treasurer) greater than or equal to $200 prior to the next SCW meeting so it may be voted on at that meeting. 

The aforementioned clubs must have a focused verbal and/or written proposal which is presented to the Commonwealth body for voting during the monthly meeting(s).

When a proposal is brought to the Commonwealth, there is time for questions, discussion, and voting, with majority rule determining the outcome.
Student Commonwealth representatives (President/Lead Facilitator, Vice President/Communications Faciliator, Event Coordinator/Student Activities Coordinator, and Treasurer/Financial Resources Facilitator) have a one-year term of office and must stand again for re-election in an advertised free election if they choose to serve for an additional year and there are other students who wish to run for office. If there is either one new applicant or no new applicants running for office, then the one new applicant or previous officer may default into the role.

If a representative is not doing their job (according to agreed upon position descriptions, see below), it is the duty of the other officers to address the issue by reporting to the Staff Advisor.

Student Commonwealth officers are responsible for facilitating all Commonwealth meetings, creating the meeting agenda and advertising meetings in advance (flyers can be posted outside of the Centrum Studio on the bulletin board and around campus. Student Commonwealth meeting times, dates, and locations are also sent out in the weekly Student Services e-newsletter). The Student Services Coordinator will facilitate the Commonwealth officer meetings.
Student Commonwealth Position Descriptions
President/Student Representative to the Board/Lead Facilitator 

  • Keep and maintain relations with all interested parties in the OCAC community
  • Facilitate all Commonwealth meetings as scheduled; delegate duty if not able to attend
  • Act as conduit and advocate for student interests and present these at meetings
  • Plan, coordinate and implement, along with the Commonwealth Staff Advisor, annual Commonwealth elections
  • Fill-in for other Commonwealth officers as needed
  • Attend all OCAC Board of Trustee meetings as scheduled
  • Maintain board meeting information and other pertinent documents
  • Report summary of board meeting agenda/topics at each Commonwealth meeting
  • Act as conduit between Board members and Commonwealth facilitators, students, administrators and the Commonwealth Staff Advisor
  • Establish and maintain relations with OCAC administration
  • Represent the interests and concerns of the student body at Board Meetings
  • Other duties as assigned by the Student Services Coordinator

Vice President/Communications Facilitator

  • Take minutes at all meetings; type and submit minutes to Commonwealth Staff Advisor after each meeting
  • Create and distribute event announcements, campus fliers, and mailbox notices
  • Ensure maintenance and distribution of any Commonwealth emails and/social media/Google Site
  • Monitor time during meetings and assist in keeping meetings on topic
  • Facilitate meetings in the absence of the President/Student Representative to the Board
  • Other duties as assigned by the Student Services Coordinator

Event Coordinator/Student Activities Coordinator

  • Facilitate student events, activities, and/or happenings
  • Communicate local events and activities pertinent to the student body
  • Delegate needed event tasks and duties to representatives and/or students
  • Keep records of delegated tasks/duties, timelines and person(s)
  • Track and record receipts from events and purchases in order to submit to Treasurer
  • Other duties as assigned by the Student Services Coordinator

Treasurer/Financial Resources Facilitator

  • In conjunction with the Staff Advisor, update budgets at meetings
  • Present budget report at each Commonwealth all-student meetings
  • Develop check requests for Commonwealth activities, as needed
  • Assist Events Coordinator in procuring money and/or materials as needed
  • Strengths in bookkeeping and Excel software are preferred but not required
  • Other duties as assigned by the Student Services Coordinator

Eligibility Requirements

  • Must be enrolled full-time for the entire academic year
  • Minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.00 and in good financial standing with the college
  • Possess time, energy and commitment to assist fellow students with their collegiate experience
  • Required to fulfill responsibilities for the entire academic year
  • Mandatory attendance at the OCAC Student Leader training session in mid-August and New Student Orientation in late August

OCAC and the Office of Student Services are committed to following Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as amended in 2008 (ADAAA), and other applicable federal and state regulations and college policies which prohibit discrimination on the basis of a disability. Under these laws students with a documented disability have a right to receive reasonable accommodations. 

Students also have responsibilities under these laws. Students are responsible for turning in requests for accommodations within an appropriate time frame, submitting adequate documentation from a qualified medical practitioner, as well as meeting and maintaining OCAC  satisfactory academic progress and standards. Students seeking an accommodation must first fill out the online Disability Resources Registration Form,, which is reviewed by the Student Services Coordinator, and students must schedule an appointment with the Student Services Coordinator to discuss what reasonable accommodations can be made and go over the process for implementing them.

An accommodation request must be supported by adequate documentation. Adequate documentation must:

  • Be from a qualified professional within their scope of practice and licensure to diagnosis
  • Include a brief history of the student’s disability, a description and evidence of impairment and any current treatment plans (if applicable)
  • Demonstrate how the disability affects/impacts a particular delivery system, instructional method, or evaluation criteria
  • Contain rationale for the requested accommodation(s), clearly explaining why each recommendation for accommodation is appropriate
  • Be no older than five (5) years prior to enrollment at OCAC

The Office of Student Services will make every reasonable effort to accommodate the request in a timely manner but cannot guarantee that an untimely request can be met; untimely requests may result in delay, substitutions or denial of accommodation. Upon approval of accommodations, the Office of Student Services will work with the student to notify necessary parties (i.e., faculty, facilities, program deans, etc.). Information about the disability is confidential however anonymity is not guaranteed. 

Mission Statement
The mission of Residence Life is to create a safe and inclusive residence experience that supports OCAC students’ belonging, learning, and enjoyment while empowering them to create and collaborate. Resident Advisors (RAs) provide monthly programming as well as conflict resolution and resource guidance in an effort to educate and connect students to the life, culture, and arts of Portland.

Limited housing is available in apartments leased by OCAC across the street. Residency in these apartments is co-ed, with supervising Resident Advisors (RAs) who live in housing. The RAs supervise all of the student residents, assist them with any needs or concerns, and report maintenance issues to college staff. The residences are fully furnished. Each residence has common areas including a kitchen, dining area, living room, and bathrooms. The residences also have laundry facilities and plenty of off-street parking for the student residents. 

To maintain eligibility for Residence Life, a student must be enrolled in a College certificate or degree program, registered for at least 12 credits per semester, and in good financial standing with the College. 

Assistance, emotional support or comfort animals are only allowed in student housing with the express written approval of Student Services (these requests are covered under the Fair Housing Act rather than the ADA).
The student must fill out the Disability Accommodation Request form, available online at; there must be a link between the animal and a disability or emotional distress resulting from having to give up an animal (a “no pets” policy does not qualify a person for an accommodation under federal law). Any approved assistance animal in student housing must also meet OCAC requirements/policies for animal health and behavior as well as conditions set forth in the Residence Life Contract and Terms & Conditions.
Reasonable Accommodations for Assistance Animals under the FHAct and Section 504
An assistance animal is not a pet. It is an animal that works, provides assistance, or performs tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability, or provides emotional support that alleviates one or more identified symptoms or effects of a person's disability. Assistance animals perform many disability-related functions, including but not limited to, guiding individuals who are blind or have low vision, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to sounds, providing protection or rescue assistance, pulling a wheelchair, fetching items, alerting persons to impending seizures, or providing emotional support to persons with disabilities who have a disability-related need for such support. For purposes of reasonable accommodation requests, neither the FHAct nor Section 504 requires an assistance animal to be individually trained or certified. While dogs are the most common type of assistance animal, other animals can also be assistance animals.
Source - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Service Animals and Assistance Animals (2013)
Appropriate documentation required for Assistance Animals
Letter from qualified treating medical provider that supports a specific animal as appropriate therapeutic treatment (annual update may be requested)
Good-health exam report from certified veterinarian (annual)
Vaccinations as appropriate for the type of animal updated as needed
Washington County dog owners must have a valid animal license. License your dog here: NOTE: Online Emotional Support Animal (ESA) verification is considered inadequate since you are not required to interact with a medical provider and there is not an interactive rapport developed. Animals that are currently pregnant, nursing, or used for breeding stock may be denied.
Responsibilities of Handlers
Cost and care, arrangements and responsibilities for the well being of assistance animal are the sole responsibility of the handler at all times. Handlers are responsible for any damages or injuries caused by their animals and must take appropriate precautions to prevent property damage or injury.
Assistance Animal Control Requirements
To the extent possible, the animal should be unobtrusive to other individuals and the learning, living, and working environment.
Animal Etiquette
To the extent possible, the handler should ensure that the animal does not:
Display any behaviors or noises that are disruptive to others, unless part of the service being provided to the handler
Block an aisle or passageway for fire egress

Care and Cleanup Rule
Clean up after the animal is the sole responsibility of the handler. In the event that the handler is not physically able to clean up after the animal, it is the then the responsibility of the handler to hire someone capable of cleaning up after the animal. The person cleaning up after the animal should abide by the following guidelines:
Properly dispose of waste and/or litter in appropriate containers
Contact staff if arrangements are needed to assist with cleanup any cost incurred for doing so is the sole responsibility of the handler
Removal of Assistance Animals
Assistance Animals may be ordered removed by Residence Life for the following reasons:
Out of Control Animal: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that is out of control and the handler does not take effective action to control it. If the improper animal behavior happens repeatedly, the handler may be prohibited from bringing the animal into any College residence until the handler can demonstrate that s/he has taken significant steps to mitigate the behavior
Direct Threat: A handler may be directed to remove an animal that OCAC determines to be a substantial and direct threat to the health and safety of individuals. This may occur as a result of a very ill animal, a substantial lack of cleanliness of the animal, or other related circumstances. Where a service animal is properly removed pursuant to this policy, OCAC will work with the handler to determine reasonable alternative opportunities to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service animal in the residence
Conflicting Disabilities
Some people may have allergic reactions to animals that are substantial enough to qualify as disabilities. OCAC will consider the needs of all persons in the residence, meeting its obligations to reasonably accommodate all disabilities and to resolve the problem as efficiently and expeditiously as possible. Students requesting allergy accommodations should contact Student Services staff.

To assist students looking for non-OCAC affiliated housing, Student Services maintains a list of nearby apartment complexes and rental agencies, as well as general information on Portland neighborhoods. Additionally, there is a bulletin board located just outside the Centrum for students and the public to post roommate and rental notices. 

Student Services also offers a roommate matching service and can help disseminate information for students who are either offering to share a rental, or who are looking for a place with other roommates. For further information, contact Student Services at

The OCAC Peer Mentor Program is a student engagement program that provides peer-to-peer mentorship for new students to the College. Mentors first meet their mentees at New Student Orientation and through individualized advising and a variety of other on-campus and off-campus activities throughout the academic year, mentors provide first year students with peer support as they adjust to a new academic environment. The relationship that mentors build with their mentees gives them a first-hand, authentic, and continued orientation to OCAC's values, student and academic cultures, and social and academic expectations.

The week before fall and spring semesters incoming students meet with key staff and faculty members, and join fellow students in socializing and reviewing  information about college programs and services. Students also connect with their  Peer Mentor, and get their student ID photo taken.


OCAC participates in TriMet’s University Universal Pass Program, which is funded through student activity fees. The TriMet pass is a sticker affixed to the student ID and must be presented upon boarding TriMet buses, trains or MAX. The pass is not transferable. Students must sign an acknowledgement of TriMet’s pass rules and a fee acknowledgement statement prior to receiving their TriMet Pass. Once a pass has been issued, Trimet passes cannot be returned for a refund.

Bus passes are available at the Centrum front desk within the first three weeks of fall and spring semesters. After that time, passes will only be available if passes remain after semester distribution or if requested. Summer term bus passes are only available for students who are enrolled in summer classes or working for the college if funds are available from home department.  

If a TriMet pass is lost, replacement bus passes may be purchased through the Centrum front desk. Students who request a replacement bus pass as a result of losing their ID card will be charged a prorated cost for the remaining weeks of the term.

OCAC participates in PAM’s College Creative License program, which is your year-long pass to the Museum and NW Film Center. No card to keep track of, and they’ll hand pick events and opportunities that keep you connected to your inner (or outer) artist, and to your community. Your license gives you admission to the Museum for one, admission to most lectures, talks, and tours (some will have additional cost), at least $1 off on NW Film Center Screenings (sometimes more), and regular e-newsletter featuring recommended events, art news, and opportunities. Not included with the Creative License program: Preview days, priority entry, invitations to special events, and council membership. To use your College Creative License, just show your valid student ID at the box office. 
Opportunities exist for students to expand their artistic and cultural horizons through participation in study abroad programs. Depending on the program entered, students may be eligible to enroll in an independent study course for academic credit or transfer credit from a study abroad institution into their OCAC academic program. Information is available in the Student Services office, and the requirements for seeking transfer of academic credit are provided by the Registrar.

All students at Oregon College of Art and Craft taking six credit hours or more are automatically enrolled in the student insurance plan. All students are billed for the premium each semester during the regular academic year via their student billing statement. 

Students with existing health insurance coverage may be exempt from participation in the College’s plan by submitting a completed Health Insurance Waiver Form along with a copy of their medical insurance card to the business office. The Health Insurance Waiver Form is included in students’ billing packets; additional blank forms are available in the business office (Administration Building). The deadline for waiving the College-sponsored insurance is published on the waiver form. Students who waive coverage will be credited for the insurance fee via their billing statements. Students registered for at least six credits will be automatically enrolled in both Fall and Spring semesters, and separate waivers will need to be submitted for each term if the student chooses to waive the student health insurance due to existing coverage. Due dates for the Student Health Insurance Waiver correspond with the Registrar’s add/change date for each term. FA-17 insurance waivers are due September 8, 2017 and SP-18 insurance waivers are due January 26, 2018.

Mental health services are available to students; the College covers the co-payment for the first ten visits per student, per academic year. A licensed professional counselor is available on campus by appointment during the school year. Students who see the counselor share a variety of concerns ranging from personal to academic. If students want to continue seeing the counselor beyond the ten sessions, they are responsible for negotiating and submitting a co-payment for each additional session thereafter. 

The curriculum for both the BFA and Certificate programs, as designed by the faculty, is by definition career-oriented. Thus, career planning is an important element of the learning process at the College. Career Services, in coordination with our Partnerships program, can help you identify what’s meaningful to you, discover opportunities for networking and experiential learning, and create a plan to turn your vision of career success into your reality.  Our core services include: exploring career option, developing a resume, writing a great cover letter, searching for an internship, searching for a job, developing networking and professional contacts, learning how to interview, and applying to graduate or professional school.  Current job openings and call to artists are posted on the bulletin boards (outside the Centrum) and/or sent to students through the student services weekly announcement. 

The Alumni Association provides many benefits and services to alums of OCAC and cultivates a culture of support between the College and its alumni, facilitating a network of ambassadors and advocates for the College; encouraging a culture of mentoring for current students, assisting with career advancement, facilitating a network of communication and connectivity, and providing a forum for alumni to provide feedback to the institution.




Each student is assigned an academic advisor who is an experienced faculty member in the curriculum. Students meet with their advisors at least once a semester to plan their schedule, as well as discuss any concerns about their programs. The Registrar provides additional academic advice regarding transcript and credit evaluation, transfer courses, and graduation requirements.

OCAC offers  Personalized one-on-one sessions with a trained academic coach who can help you improve your skills and performance.  The academic coach will also help  develop  skills in time management, goal setting, writing, and study skills.  To schedule an appointment with the academic coach  

OCAC’s ARTISTS-IN-RESIDENCE programs provide emerging and nationally-known artists the time and space to think and immerse themselves in their own creative process. Residents have the freedom to explore, experiment, interact, create and collaborate. The Artist-in-Residence programs include interactions through open studio hours, class demonstrations and critiques,  workshops, public lectures and panel discussions, scheduled lectures, and public presentations. Students are strongly encouraged to make contacts, attend events, and take every opportunity to benefit from the presence, knowledge, and experience of guest artists. The Artist-in-Residence Program is generously supported by a grant from The Collins Foundation.

OCAC brings a renowned group of guests to OCAC each semester to present their work and interact with our students and faculty. Through lectures as well as symposia and workshops, students and community members are exposed to the best and most progressive work out in the world.