WICHE Task Force on Closing Postsecondary Attainment Gaps

Working with states to promote more equitable student outcomes

The goal of the WICHE Task Force is to catalyze state-level progress in closing postsecondary attainment gaps. With funding from Lumina Foundation, WICHE convenes the Task Force of cross-sector state teams to address their states’ most pressing disparities in credential attainment and to jointly develop regional recommendations for the West.

Interstate Collaboration

The Task Force held three interstate meetings between 2018 and 2020, bringing together state team members with subject-matter experts to examine state data, craft and refine state-level approaches to addressing identified attainment gaps, and to share lessons learned. During the final year of the project, the Task Force will focus on developing recommendations that can be applied across varied state contexts throughout the region, as well as responding to COVID-19 with an equity lens.

State-level Progress

State teams in Arizona and Wyoming have taken different approaches based upon their unique state contexts, while also incorporating lessons learned from one another and states across the country engaged in complementary work – from Colorado to Tennessee to Utah.

  • Arizona‘s work is led by nonprofit Achieve60AZ, and has focused on convening Latinx, tribal nations and communities, and African American leaders to develop goals and an actionable agenda to remove attainment gaps in Arizona. Early conversations informed the development of their State of Attainment Report 2019.
  • Wyoming‘s Community College Commission has brought together leaders from across the state, culminating in the development of a statewide strategic plan for postsecondary attainment. The plan was informed by extensive feedback from across the state, including multiple regional focus groups and listening sessions, and outlines how the state will make progress in closing attainment gaps for first-generation, low-income, minority, and adult students.