The WICHE Region

Since 1953, WICHE’s states and territories have been addressing the American West’s evolving higher education needs

Our Region

Select a member state or territory on the clickable map at right for individual highlights reflecting WICHE’s engagement and service to that member’s higher education institutions, residents, and communities.

WICHE…

Provides strong return on investment

Bolsters the Western health workforce

  • Through PSEP, students from Western states and territories pursuing careers in 10 health fields, can enroll in participating programs in another state while receiving substantial tuition support from their home state or territory. With fields ranging from dentistry to occupational therapy to veterinary medicine at 60 institutions, PSEP can save a student between $32,600 and $130,600 on tuition over the lifespan of a program, depending on the field of study. By participating in PSEP, Western states and territories benefit by inspiring, and in some states requiring, professionals to return home to practice and bolster community professional health care.
  • WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program (BHP) initiated and administers psychology internship programs in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah that help doctoral-level students find placements in rural and underserved communities. More than 60 percent of graduates from the internships continue their professional work in the states in which they completed their work.
  • The WICHE BHP, partnering with the University of North Dakota, administers the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC). The Mountain Plains MHTTC serves the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming by establishing a collaborative network that strengthens the capacity of different systems, organizations, and treatment practitioners involved in the delivery of mental health services.

Increases higher education access and affordability

  • WICHE’s Interstate Passport® enables block transfer of lower-division general education, reducing frustrating barriers to transfer of credits that students may encounter when transferring out of state. Currently, 32 institutions in 14 states are members of the program.
  • WICHE is building an alliance of Native American-Serving, Nontribal Institutions (NASNTIs) to improve postsecondary attainment. Through convening an annual summit including Native American students; developing policy studies; and creating a formal network of NASNTIs, the initiative is strengthening and sustaining campus efforts to support Native students and improve their college and career success.

Fosters idea sharing

  • The Legislative Advisory Committee improves state-level policymaking in the West by providing a forum for legislative leaders to share valuable insights on trends and promising practices and build partnerships throughout the region.
  • WICHE’s Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (Alliance) and Western Academic Leadership Forum (Forum) are active peer networks of academic leaders at two-year and four-year institutions and systems throughout the West, providing a venue for chief academic officers to connect and learn to better serve students and stakeholders.
  • WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET)WCET, the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, is the leader in the practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. WCET’s growing membership includes almost 400 institutions, higher education agencies and systems, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and corporations in all U.S. states and several Canadian provinces. Through its Frontiers blog, convenings, and active online discussions, WCET keeps members informed of the latest in policy change, regulations, and trends in educational technology. And WCET is offering a host of resources related to educational technology and faculty support, including advice and guidance for institutions on how to transition their face-to-face offerings to emergency online alternatives and how to increase quality in these courses over time.
  • The State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) is a voluntary, state-led initiative designed to establish comparable standards for U.S. states and territories that regulate postsecondary distance education. With its reciprocity provisions, the agreement enables institutions to gain approval from their “home state” to offer distance education in participating states without having to individually apply to each state for such approval. SARA expands postsecondary educational opportunities while ensuring meaningful consumer protections for students and reducing regulatory red tape for institutions. SARA also provides a platform for information sharing and peer learning among member states and promotes distance education program quality for all participants. As one of the four regional compacts, WICHE is responsible for coordinating the participation of SARA member states in the Western region through the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA).
  • WCET’s State Authorization Network (SAN) helps institutions navigate state regulations processes more efficiently than working on their own. The leader for guidance and support for understanding regulatory compliance of out-of-state activities for postsecondary institutions, SAN provides its members access to experts, networking with others seeking to comply, and other collaborative resources that ensure institutions are properly managing compliance requirements.
  • WCET is the intermediary organization for Every Learner Everywhere, a network-centric approach to strengthening digital learning in postsecondary institutions with a particular focus on improved outcomes for vulnerable populations. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Every Learner Everywhere’s network is made up of 12 partners actively engaged in the development of several products and services in the digital learning space.

Helps states and territories allocate resources efficiently

  • WICHE offers various data and policy resources to support better-informed decision-making. WICHE’s research projects and collaborations cover postsecondary completion, closing attainment gaps, adult learners, and multistate data-sharing to support educational planning and workforce development.
  • WICHE staff serve as expert resources and provide technical assistance on finance, financial aid, articulation and transfer, strategic planning, student demographics, and more.
  • WICHE’s website features Benchmarks, an interactive dashboard featuring the most recent data available on the West’s progress in improving access to, success in, and the financing of higher education and other useful resources.
  • WICHE’s quadrennial Knocking at the College Door report is regarded as the foremost U.S. resource for projections of college-ready students. An abundance of information can be found on the Knocking website, including publications, reports, projections data, interactive data dashboards, recorded webinars, presentations, and state profiles.

Responds to urgent priorities

  • To address the growing issue of veteran suicide, especially in rural areas, Together With Veterans (TWV) was created. Following well-researched models that have been shown to effectively reduce suicide, TWV works with community partners to provide a unique suicide prevention action plan. The veteran-driven program is a collaboration between WICHE and the Rocky Mountain Mental Illness, Research, Education and Clinical Center for Suicide Prevention, and is funded by the Veterans Administration Office of Rural Health.
  • At the outset of the recent outbreak of COVID-19, WICHE quickly reacted, shifted to remote work, and continues to advance our mission. WICHE is facilitating peer-to-peer videoconferences for higher education leaders to connect and identify solutions to common challenges, to follow legislation passed in response to the crisis, and to identify emergency funding for students and higher education institutions. The WICHE BHP is hosting webinars that offer guidance to support the mental well-being of their students, and WCET is providing updates and resources to help institutions address issues that arise due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit WICHE’s COVID-19 resources page for up-to-date information.
student with backpack smiling at camera

WUE Savings Finder

WRGP Savings Finder

Search among hundreds of undergraduate degrees offered at the WUE rate of 150 percent of resident tuition (or less) by over 160 public colleges and universities across the West. Find the school and program that fits your geographic and educational goals.

Search hundreds of public master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral options offered through WRGP and pay up to 150 percent of the enrolling university’s resident tuition no matter which of the WICHE states and  territories you reside in. Find the university and program that fits your educational and career goals.

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