Legislative Advisory Committee | Annual Meeting November 9-10, 2014

Annual Meeting, September 9-10, 2014

Sheraton Phoenix

Striking the Balance:
College Affordability, Cost, and Quality


Tuesday, September 9

The 2014 Legislative Sessions: Striking the Balance
Between Affordability, Cost, and Quality:

The WICHE region saw a great deal of higher education-related legislative activity in 2014, including efforts to mitigate the rising costs of higher education, ensure college affordability, increase student readiness for college and careers, and assist states and postsecondary institutions in delivering a high-quality education. This session will present the highlights and trends from this year; during the subsequent facilitated discussion, LAC members will share their perspectives and shed light on what might be expected in the future.

Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Carl Krueger, project coordinator, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education | PRESENTATION

Easing the Burden of State Authorization through Reciprocity:

Intended to ease the pathway for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary institutions based in another state, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is an agreement among member states, districts, and territories that establishes comparable national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. SARA is overseen by a National Council and administered by the four regional education compacts. This facilitated discussion will highlight key developments of the voluntary agreement, deliver a status update of Western members, and provide an opportunity for LAC members to discuss how to best position their state to comply with federal law.

John Lopez, director, W-SARA, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Representative Jeff Dial, Arizona
Representative Dave Young, Colorado

NC-SARA Information Sheet W-SARA
State Actions Regarding SARA
SARA Enabling Legislation in the WICHE West

A Delicate Balance: The Benefits and Concerns Around Data and Student Privacy:

While there is a strong push for more accountability in higher education, which by nature requires the responsible collection and analysis of data, there are legitimate perspectives and concerns surrounding how those data are used. Many state legislators have recently found themselves in a position to consider questions related to these issues that they have not previously encountered. This facilitated discussion will allow members to have an open dialogue with data experts about the key ethical and practical questions regarding the use of student information and privacy.

David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission
for Higher Education

Melissa Beard, data governance coordinator, Washington Education Research and
Data Center

Paige Kowalski, director, state policy and advocacy, Data Quality Campaign

DQC Safeguarding Data - Getting Facts Straight
DQC State Student Data Privacy Legislation Resource
Ed Counsel Guidance on State Student Privacy and Security Policies

Common Academic Standards and Assessments in K-12 Education

During the 2014 legislative sessions, many state legislatures tackled a variety of issues related to the implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or other similar academic standards and assessments that in most cases will be implemented in the 2014-15 academic year. This session is an opportunity for LAC members to engage in a facilitated dialogue about what is happening with respect to the implementation of the standards and assessments, including what they mean for higher education generally and in the region.

David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission
for Higher Education

Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

NCSL - Overview of the Common Core State Standards.pdf
NCSL - Authority to Adopt Standards
DQC Facts about EdData-CCSS Assessments.pdf

States in the Driver’s Seat: Aligning Policy to Make College Affordable

College affordability dominated the legislative agendas in the West in 2014. While WICHE offered an overarching set of guiding principles and policy proposals to leverage state aid to align policies and promote access, success, and affordability, states attempted to address the issue in a variety of ways. Learn how different states tackled these issues and join a discussion about how to make progress in aligned and systematic ways.

David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Senator Michael Dembrow, Oregon
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Washington and WICHE Commissioner

Public Good or Private Benefit: Orienting the Public Investment in Higher Education Through State Financial Aid
States in the Drivers Seat
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles Talking Points
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles HigherEd Funding Chart
Senator Michael Dembrow Talking Points

Wednesday, September 10

The Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act: An Update
and Discussion of What May Come

The Higher Education Act expires at the end of this year, and while it isn’t likely to be reauthorized by then, congressional lawmakers are gearing up and beginning the important conversations that will lay the groundwork for the next round of legislation. Some of the issues receiving early attention include competency-based education, how cost information and other data are provided to prospective college students, and counseling for federal student loan borrowers. This session will provide an update on the current status and provide a glimpse into what may evolve in the coming months. LAC members will also be asked to provide input on WICHE’s involvement in the reauthorization process.

David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Lee Posey, committee director, National Conference of State Legislatures

The State-Federal Partnership in PostSecondary Education

Mission Creep or Meeting Demand? Allowing Community Colleges to Offer Four-Year Degrees

While at least 21 states allow community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees, recently there has been increased action and discussion around this latest policy shift. In 2014, legislation passed in Colorado and in California. Proponents argue that this strategy creates an affordable way to meet workforce demands, while opponents cite concerns over mission creep. Join an engaging policy discussion with your colleagues and leaders from states that have been engaged in the debate.

Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Senator Carol Liu, California
Michael Martin, chancellor, Colorado State University System

California Senate Bill 850
Colorado Senate Bill 14-004
Report from California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Degree Study Group