How Will Higher Education and the Purpose of Community Colleges Change in the Next Decade?

The theme, How Will Higher Education and the Purpose of Community Colleges Change in the Next Decade?, this year is particularly relevant to the challenges on our campuses. The pandemic has forced us all to examine our practices, programs, support services, policies,
and structures with an eye to the future. We all need to rethink who we serve, how we serve them, and the vital role we play in supporting our respective communities. The focus of this year’s conference, developed with input from the membership, is to do just that. Redefining and refining our role must be a collaborative effort with our key constituents – students, community partners, workforce partners, and college employees.

Changing Nature of Higher Education in the Next 10 Years

This keynote will explore how new strategies and models have the potential to address the crises of college completion, affordability, and employability, and close America’s skills gap.

Keynote Speaker: Belinda Miles, Westchester Community College

Belinda Miles

Westchester Community College

Awards Luncheon, What is WICHE Panel

Join us for some stimulating conversation and to congratulate this year’s winner of the Bernice Joseph Academic Leadership Award for 2022.

Presenter: Carli Schiffner, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Award Winner: Gillian McKnight-Tutein, Community College of Denver

WICHE staff will provide updates on their department’s major initiatives with relevance for chief academic officers. There will be ample time for questions and collective brainstorming on how WICHE can best support your institutions and systems.

Moderator: Sarah Leibrandt, WICHE

Panelists: Kimberly Dale, Western Wyoming Community College and WICHE Commissioner, Liliana Diaz Solodukhin, WICHE, Todd Helvig, WICHE,  Russ Poulin, WICHE

Carli Schiffner

Alliance Executive Committee, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges

Kimberly Dale

President, Western Wyoming Community College Rock Springs

Liliana Diaz Solodukhin

Senior Policy Analyst, Policy Analysis and Research



Todd Helvig

Director of Education and Training, Behavioral Health Program



Russ Poulin

Executive Director, WCET and Vice President for Technology-Enhanced Education



The Case for College in a COVID-Adjacent World: State and Student Perspectives

Overnight in March 2020, higher education found itself going through one of the most radical shifts in its history. Traditional approaches to teaching, learning, and student success were all significantly disrupted with the onset of pandemic. Many questioned the purpose of higher education, the way content was delivered, and the relevance of postsecondary credentials for employment and career advancement. Two and a half years later, we have learned that our institutions must lean more earnestly than ever on the perspectives of our students and our statewide partners in order to successfully navigate this challenging new era. In this session, we will hear from a student attending community college in Colorado as well as academic leaders in Nevada and Montana.

Moderator: Angela DeWolf King, University of Montana System

Panelists: Jeffery Alexander, Truckee Meadows Community College,  Scott Eychner, Montana Department of Labor and Industry, Satine Stone, Front Range Community College

Jeffrey Alexander

Alliance Executive Committee, Truckee Meadows Community College

Scott Eychner

Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Satine Stone

Front Range Community College