- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- U.S. Pacific Territories and Freely Associated States
Since 1952, Arizona has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.
2022-23 ACADEMIC YEAR
by Arizona 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 Arizona
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
- Arizona Western College
- Chandler-Gilbert Community College
- Eastern Arizona College
- Estrella Mountain Community College
- Gateway Community College
- Glendale Community College
- Maricopa Community Colleges
- Mesa Community College
- Paradise Valley Community College
- Phoenix College
- Rio Salado College
- Scottsdale Community College
- South Mountain Community College
Eric Leshinskie, Maricopa Community Colleges, is a member of the Alliance executive committee.
WESTERN ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP FORUM – 4-YEAR INSTITUTIONS
- University of Arizona
- Northern Arizona University
WESTERN ACADEMIC LEADERSHIP ACADEMY is a year-long professional development program for academic leaders aspiring to become chief academic officers in the WICHE region. Two cohort members from Arizona institutions have participated in the Academy since its inception in 2015.
NO HOLDING BACK The University of Arizona 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.
Arizona 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) partners with the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System to support fidelity reviews of four evidence-based practices in the Maricopa County Public Behavioral Health System.
BHP also collaborates with Mercy Care Arizona to provide training, education, and guidance concerning evidence-based practices (EBPs) and fidelity tools to ensure provider staff are offering high quality EBPs and are ensuringfidelity to identified EBPs protocols.
The BHP Together With Veterans Program, focused on reducing Veteran suicides, also has one site in Yavapai County, Arizona, and has served approximately 420 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 Arizona State University, Coconino Community College, Grand Canyon University, Mesa Community College, Northern Arizona University, Prescott College, Rio Salado College, The University of Arizona, and University of Phoenix.
Dale Johnson, Arizona State University, serves on the WCET Executive Council. Janelle Elias, Rio Salado Community College, serves on the WCET Steering Committee.
Additionally, Grand Canyon University, Northern Arizona University, Prescott College, Rio Salado College, and the University of Phoenix are members 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, Arizona Board of Regents
John Arnold was named executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents in July 2018. He is responsible for guiding the board’s strategic plan, with ambitious goals to increase educational attainment by 2025 and to advance the public higher education enterprise to serve students and impact Arizona’s economy. Arnold had served as interim managing director of the board beginning in May 2018, and had joined the board office in March 2015 as vice president of business management and financial affairs, developing financial policies and procedures for the university enterprise, addressing capital development and state budget requests, and coordinating systemwide analysis of complex financial issues.
With more than 20 years serving Arizona, Arnold brings significant public service experience and a deep commitment to higher education to the position. He has an exceptional background in financial affairs and a proven track record of leadership, having served as Gov. Jan Brewer’s state budget director, a role in which he was instrumental in providing fiscal direction and solutions for the state during the Great Recession, and in implementing the budget and advising the governor on related matters. Throughout his career, he has worked with leaders in education from K-12 to college. As director of the Arizona School Facilities Board, he managed programs for new school construction, building renewal, and energy savings. Arnold is married with five children. He received his bachelor’s degree in accounting and his master’s degrees in accounting and public administration from Brigham Young University.
José L. Cruz Rivera
President, Northern Arizona University
José Luis Cruz Rivera is the 17th President of Northern Arizona University (NAU). Before joining NAU in 2021, Dr. Cruz Rivera served as President of Lehman College of The City University of New York (CUNY) and as Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost of the 25-campus system. He has also served as provost of California State University, Fullerton, vice president of Higher Education Policy and Practices at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C., and Chief Student Affairs Officer for the University of Puerto Rico system.
A leading national advocate for policies to expand opportunities and improve educational outcomes for all students—especially those who have historically been underserved—Cruz Rivera is a frequent keynote speaker and writer on higher education issues and serves on several regional and national boards of organizations that work to advance equitable educational policies and practices. He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Puerto Rico and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Kathleen Goeppinger *
President/CEO, Midwestern University
Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., has since 1995 been president and chief executive officer of Midwestern University, an upper-division institution specializing in graduate-level health professions with two campuses (in Downers Grove, IL and Glendale, AZ) enrolling 7,200 students. Previously, Goeppinger had been a tenured professor and director at Loyola University Chicago for the Institute of Industrial Relations and Center for Organizational Development. Prior to her time in academia, she worked in the private sector as a management consultant in health care and organizational development and held corporate management roles in human resources and training. She has served Midwestern University since 1985, initially serving on the board of trustees and as chairman of the board. She is a member of numerous boards of directors in the Greater Phoenix and Downers Grove areas, and among other honors was named as one of 25 most admired CEOs by the Phoenix Business Journal for her leadership, dedication to, and impact on higher education. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Carthage College in Kenosha, WI, and her master’s degree in industrial relations and doctorate in comparative international policy from Loyola University in Chicago.