New WUE, WRGP savings-finder portals vastly increase students’ ability to find the tuition-discounted school right for them

New WUE, WRGP savings-finder portals vastly increase students’ ability
to find the tuition-discounted school right for them


Just in time for Fall college application season, WICHE has upgraded its search portals for two tuition-discount programs, the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) and the Western Regional Graduate Exchange (WRGP). These Savings Finders’ newly streamlined, database-driven interface allows students to refine their search by major, degree type, online course availability, eligibility requirements and other filter criteria. The Finders’ new back-end interface also enhances the ability of admissions, recruitment, and enrollment managers at WICHE partner institutions to inform, promote, and reach students about their institution.

The WUE Savings Finder helps prospective undergraduates find hundreds of available degree programs at 161 public colleges and universities in the WICHE region. The WRGP Savings Finder allows prospective students to search graduate certificate, master’s and doctoral programs offered at the resident-tuition rate by some 60 public universities around the West.

Legislative Advisory Committee spotlights key issues on state higher-ed agendas

Legislative Advisory Committee spotlights key issues on state higher-ed agendas

“Serving Students and State Goals: The Shared Mission of State Legislatures and Higher Education” was the theme of the annual meeting of WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC), Sept. 25-26 in Boise, Idaho. State lawmakers from Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming explored topics including the alignment of tuition, appropriations, and financial aid; the role of sub-baccalaureate credentials in meeting workforce needs; rural teacher shortages; and likely state-level impact of recent shifts in federal policy. View the agenda and presentations.

WICHE Behavioral Health Program: Same Mission, New Name

WICHE Behavioral Health Program: Same Mission, New Name


The executive committee of the WICHE Commission has approved renaming WICHE’s Mental Health Program to the Behavioral Health Program to better reflect its programmatic scope and the field’s evolving nomenclature. Though WICHE’s website continues to reflect the original Mental Health name, the new name is being phased in this Fall in program correspondence and literature, and will be ultimately reflected on WICHE’s overhauled website to launch later this year.

Behavioral health encompasses focus on mental health and substance use/addiction as well as, increasingly, its interface and integration with primary health care. The name change will augment the WICHE Behavioral Health Program’s work in technical assistance, education, consulting, program evaluation, training, and research services for diverse government and institutional stakeholders, as it expands the capacity and capabilities of behavioral health care throughout the West.

Innovations by 2018 WOW Award winners help transform the college experience

Innovations by 2018 WOW Award winners help transform the college experience

WOW Logo

A highlight of WCET’s 30th Annual Meeting Oct. 23-25 in Portland, Ore. will be the honoring of this year’s WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Award recipients, recognizing institutions that develop exceptionally creative, technology-based solutions to contemporary challenges in higher education. This year’s WOW Award winners are:

  • Colorado State University and Grit Digital Health, for a web portal, YOU@CSU, that promotes self-awareness, mental health literacy, coping strategies, and access to physical and behavioral health resources on campus
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, for a new infrastructure of student support—from virtual labs to personalized degree maps to career advising—aimed at increasing retention and persistence among distance learners.
  • University of Montana, for a statewide program that aims to reduce college remediation rates by offering low-cost, personalized math instruction online for middle- and high school students, adult learners, and teachers.
  • Open SUNY, for a quality review process that helps instructional designers and faculty throughout the State University of New York system improve online course offerings.
  • Colorado Technical University, for a mobile app that allows faculty to stay connected with their students, monitor coursework, and make the most of their time while on the go.

WICHE and UND receive $3.8 million federal award to co-lead new Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

WICHE and UND receive $3.8 million federal award to co-lead new Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center

An $3.8 million, five-year grant in August by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) will help Mountain Plains front-line providers be better prepared to help individuals affected by serious mental illness.

WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program, along with the University of North Dakota College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines, will co-administer the new Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, which will focus on expanding access to training and technical assistance for the public behavioral health workforce, encompassing pre-professional, postgraduate, and continuing preparation. The Mountain Plains region comprises Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Utah.

New MHEC partnership can help insure WICHE-region institutions against cyber crime, data breachs

New MHEC partnership can help insure WICHE-region
institutions against cyber crime, data breaches

MHEC Cyber Insurance

Public (and private nonprofit) higher education institutions and systems in the WICHE region can now obtain cyber insurance coverage through a collaboration with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). The MHEC Cyber Insurance Program, in conjunction with Marsh USA Inc., offers institutions access to services including analysis of threat environment, the significance of vulnerabilities in security controls, and potential financial exposure. It can also help institutions benchmark how much cyber coverage similar institutions and systems are buying.

MHEC aims to build a critical mass of program participants to develop a shared risk pool with costs lower than those available to individual institutions. Interested parties may contact Frank Cella, managing director at Marsh, at 312-627-6082. WICHE also collaborates with MHEC to offer property insurance coverage (Master Property Program), discounted technology purchases (MHECtech), and student health insurance (MHECare). Contact Jere Mock, WICHE’s vice president of programs and services, at 303-541-0222 to learn more.

Interstate Passport convenes campus academic advisors for train-the-trainer workshop

Interstate Passport convenes campus academic advisors for train-the-trainer workshop

Interstate Passport Network and Prospective Members

Academic advisors serving students at Interstate Passport Network member and prospective member institutions  gathered for a two-day September workshop in Boulder to learn more about this friction-free way to transfer lower-division general education credits across state lines, and how to train other advisors on their campuses. More than 23,600 students at 14 Network institutions have become eligible for Passports over two years. The newest member of the Passport Network is College of the Siskiyous in northern California.

In Arizona, efforts to close postsecondary attainment gaps begin with outreach to under served populations

In Arizona, efforts to close postsecondary attainment gaps begin with
outreach to underserved populations

A series of roundtable discussions were held across Arizona in September to kick off the state’s participation on the WICHE Task Force on Closing Postsecondary Attainment Gaps. Sessions in Yuma, Tucson, and Phoenix were designed to gain a better understanding of the state’s equity gaps from the perspective of rural, Latino, and Native American communities.

As part of an intensive, two-year process supported by Lumina Foundation, WICHE is working with a broad array of stakeholders in Arizona, Utah and Wyoming to develop state-specific action plans to close attainment gaps and ultimately to craft regional recommendations for increasing higher education success among underserved students throughout the West.

With WICHE’s help, South Dakota officials take a deep dive into the state’s mental health system

With WICHE’s help, South Dakota officials take a deep dive into the state’s mental health system

South Dakota legislators convened this summer for a study session on the status and performance of the state’s mental health system. In partnership with WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program and the state’s Department of Social Services, legislators reviewed the availability, capacity, and funding of mental health services in South Dakota, along with options for developing cost-effective treatment programs. WICHE staff will issue a report and recommendations based on session observations and findings by the end of 2018.

On the road: Selected recent and upcoming WICHE-led presentations

On the road: Selected recent and upcoming WICHE-led presentations

Raise a toast to NCHEMS!

Raise a toast to NCHEMS!

Clara Roberts and Sally Johnstone
Clara Roberts and Sally Johnstone
David Longenecker, Ken Mortimer & Earl Hale
David Longnecker, Ken Mortimer
and Earl Hale

A Sept. 7 celebration at the State Higher Education Policy Center in Boulder marked the 50th anniversary of WICHE’s first-floor neighbor, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS). WICHE played a leading role in the creation of NCHEMS, which is dedicated to improving strategic decision-making in higher education in the U.S. and abroad. The party was an occasion to salute Clara Roberts, who recently retired after a 49-year career at NCHEMS, where she served as director of administration and corporate secretary. See event photo gallery.

You heard it from WICHE

You heard it from WICHE

Thomasine Heitkamp, professor of graduate nursing at the University of North Dakota

“Information comes so fast, and having a center that can sort through information and get that information out to service providers to advance their use of what we know is the best science — that makes the whole system better.”

Thomasine Heitkamp, professor of graduate nursing at the University of North Dakota and co-director, with WICHE’s Dennis Mohatt, of the new Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center