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Boulder, CO — The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) today announced that Colorado Lt. Gov. Joseph A. Garcia will become the seventh executive to lead the organization in its 62 years. Garcia will succeed WICHE President David A. Longanecker who plans to retire in July 2016.

Garcia currently also serves in the dual role as executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) and as the second in command to Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Boulder, Colorado – Patricia Sullivan, Associate Dean for Outreach and Public Service in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University (NMSU), was elected the vice chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) on Nov. 3 during the commission’s semi-annual meeting held in Boulder. One of four regional higher education compacts in the U.S., WICHE (www.wiche.edu) and its 15 member states and U.S. territory work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all citizens of the West.

Boulder, Colorado – Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, on Nov. 3 was elected the chair of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) during the commission’s semi-annual meeting held in Boulder. One of four regional higher education compacts in the U.S., WICHE (www.wiche.edu) and its 15 member states and U.S. territory work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all citizens of the West. Governors of the member states and territory appoint three commissioners per state to this regional governing body.

Boulder, Colorado – The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has been awarded a grant totaling $2.99 million from the U.S. Department of Education, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, to scale and enhance the Interstate Passport – a new transfer framework that seeks to improve graduation rates, shorten time to degree, and save students money. As a grassroots effort led by academic leaders in the WICHE region, the Passport (www.wiche.edu/passport) is reforming transfer using an interstate approach. The new framework focuses on lower-division general education, the common denominator among institutions – concentrating on it as a whole, not on individual courses – and allows for a cross-border “match” of outcomes-integrated general education for block transfer. The Passport is based on learning outcomes – what the student knows and can do – and proficiency criteria – ways students demonstrate their achievement level with the learning outcomes.

Boulder, Colorado – New Mexico and Wyoming have been approved by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) to become members of the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). In addition, Vermont has been approved by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) as the second state in the region to join the New England State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (N-SARA).

– Albert Balbon, chief architect for the North American Network of Science Labs Online (NANSLO), was honored with second place in the Discipline Award in Natural Sciences on December 9th in Philadelphia at the Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education.

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