- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States
Since 1955, Alaska has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.
2022-23 ACADEMIC YEAR
by Alaska students through WICHE Student Access Programs
WICHE’s Student Access Programs
WICHE operates three Student Access Programs that together saved nearly 50,000 students $580+ million in 2022-23. 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 Alaska
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 ALLIANCE OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE ACADEMIC LEADERS – 2-YEAR INSTITUTIONS
WESTERN ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP FORUM – 4-YEAR INSTITUTIONS
- Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Alaska Southeast
- University of Alaska System
Denise Runge, University of Alaska, is a member of the Forum executive committee.
WESTERN ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY is a year-long professional development program for academic leaders aspiring to become chief academic officers in the WICHE region. Eight cohort members from Alaska institutions have participated in the Academy since its inception in 2015.
NO HOLDING BACK The University of Alaska Southeast is one of 12 WICHE institutions participating in a community of practice in which institutions are analyzing data and revising policies related to transcript and student holds in 2022-2023.
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.
Alaska participates in the STATE AUTHORIZATION RECIPROCITY AGREEMENT (SARA) through WICHE. This voluntary agreement provides reciprocity for the state authorization of distance education.
WICHE Behavioral Health Program (BHP) contracts with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Division of Behavioral Health, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, to support the Alaska Psychology Internship Consortium (AK-PIC).
BHP, in collaboration with the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) and the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), was awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) research grant to evaluate the behavioral health aid program focusing on efficacy, implementation, and best practices.
The BHP Together With Veterans Program, focused on reducing Veteran suicides, also has one site in Juneau, Alaska, and has served nearly 500 rural veterans from that area.
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:
- Tuition and Fees in the West includes tuition, fees, and enrollment data about 350+ public institutions in the West.
- Benchmarks: WICHE Region presents information on the West’s progress in improving access to, success in, and financing of higher education.
- Data on over 35 indicators in WICHE’s Regional Fact Book for Higher Education in the West.
WCET- The WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies is the leader in practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. WCET members include the University of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.
Additionally, the University of Alaska Anchorage is a member of the State Authorization Network (SAN), which 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.
*indicates Executive Committee member
Executive Director, Nick Begich Scholarship Intern Fund
Pearl Brower *
President and CEO, Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation
Dr. Pearl K. Brower serves as the President/CEO of Ukpeagvik Iñupiat Corporation. Prior to this, she was at the University of Alaska, serving as the Senior Advisor for Alaska Native Success, Institutional Diversity, and Student Engagement. In October of 2020, Dr. Brower left the Presidency of Iḷisaġvik College, Alaska’s only Tribal College, where she had been in administration at the college for 13 years, with the last eight years serving as President.
Dr. Brower grew up in both Barrow, Alaska, and northern California, practicing a subsistence lifestyle in both areas. She and her husband, Jesse Darling, have two daughters, Isla and Sindri. Brower was named one of Alaska’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2015, the First Alaskans Institute Young Alaska Native Leader in 2019, and received the 2019 YWCA Women of Achievement award. Brower is active around Alaska and beyond. She serves as the Alaska Native representative on the Alaska Postsecondary Access and Completion Network, serves on the Alaska Airlines Community Advisory Board, on the Foraker Group’s Operations Board as Chair, and a board member on the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) Board of Directors.
Dr. Brower’s degrees include a B.A. in Anthropology and a B.A. in Alaska Native Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2004. Master’s in Alaska Native and Rural Development from University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2010. And a Ph.D. in Indigenous Studies, with an emphasis in Indigenous Leadership from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 2016.
Chancellor, University of Alaska Anchorage
Chancellor Sean Parnell leads the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), Alaska’s largest institution of higher education. Since his appointment in 2021, the Chancellor has advanced UAA’s role as Alaska’s largest workforce provider, and the flagship university for health and Arctic public policy. Under his leadership, the university has pursued key initiatives focusing on college affordability, student success, and positioning UAA as a trusted community partner.
Prior to becoming Chancellor, Parnell was an attorney practicing law in Alaska for twenty-five years. Parnell served as the 10th Governor of the State of Alaska from 2009-2014. His leadership expanded funding for education, helped combat domestic violence and sexual assault, and lifted Alaska to record economic prosperity and employment. The Chancellor previously served in the Alaska State Legislature, and he was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2006.
Chancellor Parnell is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University (BBA), and earned his juris doctor from Seattle University School of Law.