Since 1953, Arizona has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.

WICHE Commissioners

*indicates Executive Committee member

John Arnold

Executive Director, Arizona Board of Regents

José L. Cruz Rivera

President, Northern Arizona University

* Kathleen Goeppinger

President/CEO, Midwestern University

Legislative Advisory Committee


Provides strong return on investment



  • 1,971 Arizona residents saved $18.4 million in 2019-20 through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP), and the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP). These WICHE programs provide significant student savings on nonresident tuition at 170+ Western U.S. public colleges and universities.
  • In 2019-20, WICHE Student Access Programs provided Arizona a 468 percent return on investment, relative to the state’s annual WICHE dues.
  • Arizona students and their families have saved over $149 million since the state began participating in WUE.
  • The Master Property Program (MPP) helps institutions reduce their insurance premiums and improve their coverage. The MPP includes more than 170 campuses with total insured values of over $100 billion.

Helps Arizona attract students from other states

WICHE maps highlighting Arizona student migration
WICHE maps highlighting Arizona student migration
  • WUE and WRGP incentivized 8,215 students this year to invest their tuition dollars in Arizona.

Bolsters Arizona’s health workforce

  • The Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation leadership contracted with the WICHE Behavioral Health Program (BHP) to evaluate and assess the organizational structure and effectiveness of the Wassaja Family Services agency.
  • Through PSEP, students from Arizona can enroll in participating programs in another state while receiving substantial tuition support. Currently, Arizona supports students in dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatry, and veterinary medicine.
  • The WICHE BHP collaborates with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care to provide trainings, education, and guidance concerning evidence-based practices (EBPs) and fidelity tools to ensure provider staff are offering high quality EBPs and are ensuring fidelity to identified EBPs protocols.
  • The WICHE BHP collaborates with Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care to develop a training academy to increase workforce expertise through implementing training strategies for three evidence-based practices: Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Transition to Independence Model, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Helps Arizona allocate resources efficiently with data and policy analysis

  • 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, as well as 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 and reports, projections data, interactive data dashboards, recorded webinars and presentations, and Arizona’s state profile.

Fosters idea sharing

  • WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee provides valuable insights on trends and promising practices to Arizona’s legislative leaders as they build partnerships with leaders in other Western states.
  • One Arizona institution is a member of the Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum), a consortium of academic officers at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral institutions as well as chief executives and academic officers for systems and state governing boards. Arizona’s member is the University of Arizona. Gail Burd, University of Arizona, is a member of the Forum executive committee. Academic leaders at community colleges (cc) and technical schools and at systems and state governing and coordinating boards associated with two-year institutions are members of the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (the Alliance). Arizona members of the Alliance are Arizona Western College, Chandler-Gilbert CC, Eastern Arizona College, Estrella Mountain CC, Gateway CC, Glendale CC, Maricopa CCs, Mesa CC, Paradise Valley CC, Phoenix College, Rio Salado College, Scottsdale CC, and South Mountain CC. Eric Leshinskie, Maricopa Community Colleges, is a member of the Alliance executive committee. Both the Forum and the Alliance exchange ideas and information, share resources and expertise, and collaborate on regional initiatives.
  • Arizona State University – Billings, Arizona State University – Bozeman, and University of Arizona are all members of WCET (WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies), 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. WCET also offers 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 regulating postsecondary distance education. SARA expands access to postsecondary educational opportunities, while ensuring meaningful consumer protections for students and reducing regulatory red tape for institutions. WICHE is responsible for coordinating the membership of SARA states in the West through the WICHE State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (W-SARA). See nc-sara.org/directory for a list of member institutions.
  • The State Authorization Network (SAN) provides institutional support in managing regulations related to online courses and programs. Arizona’s members are: Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, Prescott College, Rio Salado College, and University of Phoenix.
  • 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.