Since 1953, WICHE has promoted regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation for the West.

As of December 6, 2023, the WICHE region now includes all eligible states, territories, and freely associated states with the addition of American Samoa under the Pacific Islands membership. Learn more about this expansion of our partnership here.

Download the regional factsheet here.




by students students through WICHE Student Access Programs


through WUE


through WRGP


through PSEP

WICHE’s Student Access Programs

WICHE operates three Student Access Programs that together saved students $613 million in 2023-24. Each program supports students at each level of postsecondary education: undergraduate, graduate, and professional healthcare studies.

  • Students gain from increased choice and savings.
  • Schools gain by optimizing enrollments.
  • States and Pacific Island members gain by growing the skills of those they serve and strengthening their workforce.

Improving Lives in the West

WICHE works collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for all residents of the West. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to the region’s social, economic, and civic life. Learn more about our mission.

WICHE brings together senior academic leaders to foster dialogue about issues facing individual institutions through its leadership and professional development networks.



WESTERN ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY is a year-long professional development program for academic leaders aspiring to become chief academic officers in the WICHE region.

NO HOLDING BACK In 2022-23, 12 WICHE institutions analyzed data, policies, and practices to make improvements to how it used holds on registration or transcripts, and
contributed to the development of tools for other institutions to undertake this work.

Thanks to collaboration with the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC), one of four U.S. regional higher education compacts, WICHE-region educational institutions, nonprofits, and public education entities can benefit from three programs: MHECtech, which provides competitively bid purchasing contracts for an array of hardware, software, and technology services; MHECare, which provides a student health insurance plan and teletherapy services; and a MHEC Cyber Insurance Program, which offers risk transfer and advisory solutions. Learn more.

STATE AUTHORIZATION RECIPROCITY AGREEMENT (SARA) is a voluntary agreement that provides reciprocity for the state authorization of distance education. WICHE Commissioners have been strong advocates for protecting the state voice in important governance decisions affecting this agreement and staff continue to support participating states and improving student protections while bolstering access.

WICHE Behavioral Health Program’s (BHP) fastest-growing initiative is the PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIP CONSORTIA, which helps build the behavioral health workforce pipeline, particularly in rural or remote areas. WICHE contributes an administrative framework, American Psychological Association accreditation, and other support for consortia across the WICHE region.

RURAL COMMUNITIES OPIOID RESPONSE PROGRAM (RCORP) is a multiyear initiative supported by the Health Resources & Services Administration to identify treatment
barriers and best practices for preventing and treating substance use disorder. BHP provides technical assistance to 76 grantees across the U.S., supporting 36 grantees in the
WICHE region.

TOGETHER WITH VETERANS (TWV) enlists rural Veterans and local partners to join forces to reduce Veteran suicide in their own community. Funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and administered by the WICHE BHP, TWV provides communities with individualized coaching, tools, training, technical assistance, and resources to implement the program in their own communities. The BHP supports 38 rural communities as far east as New Hampshire and as far west as Guam, and of those, supports 18 rural communities in the WICHE region.

WICHE BHP, in partnership with the University of North Dakota College of Education and Human Development and with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), co-administers the MOUNTAIN PLAINS MENTAL HEALTH TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CENTER (MP-MHTTC). The MP-HTTC provides comprehensive training, resources, and technical assistance to mental health providers and other practitioners in the SAMHSA Region 8. Region 8 is comprised of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

In October 2022, WICHE BHP was awarded a multiyear grant from SAMHSA to establish the MOUNTAIN PLAINS RURAL OPIOID TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE CENTER OF EXCELLENCE (MP ROTAC). The MP ROTAC develops and disseminates resources, training, and technical assistance that focuses on opioid and stimulant misuse in rural areas throughout SAMHSA’s Region 8.

Knocking at the College Door is the leading U.S. resource for projections of college-ready students. Knocking, which includes a quadrennial publication with additional analysis, is essential for postsecondary policymakers, planning and workforce efforts, and economic development.

WICHE offers curated data and policy resources to support better-informed decision-making:

The LEGISLATIVE ADVISORY COMMITTEE (LAC) works to strengthen state policymaking in higher education in the West by engaging legislators who are appointed by the WICHE Commission in the discussion of relevant higher education issues and by seeking strategies for interstate collaboration. The LAC also informs the Commission and staff about significant legislative issues related to higher education, provides input on WICHE initiatives, and advises staff on program considerations related to WICHE’s policy workshops.

WCET- The WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies is the leader in practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education.

STATE AUTHORIZATION NETWORK (SAN) helps guide institutions through state regulations around online courses and programs.

WICHE has convened the OERWest Network, which is part of a nationwide collaborative to scale the development and adoption of free course materials. Open educational resources (OER) have shown promise in improving student outcomes, particularly for poverty-affected students, for whom the high cost of textbooks can be a barrier to postsecondary success.

WICHE Commissioners

The WICHE Commission oversees the development of WICHE programs and assures that the Western Regional Educational Compact is carried out for the benefit of the residents of the West. WICHE’s 48 commissioners are appointed by the governors of the 15 Western states and the U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States.