Policy Analysis and Research

WICHE Policy Analysis and Research Mission:

The Policy Analysis and Research unit offers a variety of policy and information resources to support better informed decision making, principally at the state level. The unit is involved in a number of research projects and collaborative initiatives that focus on college completion: adult learners; multistate data-sharing to support educational planning and workforce development; and other critical areas. WICHE staff serve as a useful resource on a number of higher education issues, including state and federal financial aid, finance, articulation and transfer, the Common Core State Standards, and various college completion initiatives. Its publication series, including Policy Insights and Western Policy Exchanges, explore a wide range of significant policy issues. The unit also undertakes major, long-term grant-funded projects, collaborates with other regional and national organizations, and provides short-term technical assistance to members.

CONTACT POLICY UNIT STAFF

  • Benchmarks: WICHE Region 2016 presents information on the West’s progress in improving access to, success in, and financing of higher education. The information is updated annually with the most recent data available, to monitor change over time and and to inform discussion in policy and education communities.

  • The WICHE Commissioners created the Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC) in 1995 to inform the Commission and staff about significant legislative issues related to higher education; provide input on WICHE initiatives; and advise staff on program considerations related to WICHE's policy workshops.

  • Resources for serving veterans and active duty military

  • Compiles a list of policy publications for Western decision makers, including studies, reports, surveys and briefs published by research and public policy organizations.

  • WICHE's electronic fact book, Policy Indicators for Higher Education: WICHE States, presents regional as well as state-by-state data with analyses on several fiscal, demographic, economic, and social indicators important to policymakers, educators, and researchers in the West. The indicators are updated periodically as new data become available.

  • Offers an inventory of state-level policies and resources in key policy domains related to student achievement, access, and success in higher education.

  • Reports on tuition and mandatory fees at public institutions in the West, providing a state-by-state and institution-by-institution review of tuition changes for the current academic year, as well as those from one, five, and 10 years ago.

  • Reports on WICHE-sponsored meetings and discussions among the West's key leaders in higher education policy issues.

  • These reports summarize major policy areas with individual state information and alternative approaches to support informed policy discussions.