Since 1955, California has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.

WICHE Commissioners

Ellen Junn

President, California State University, Stanislaus

* Robert Shireman

Director of Higher Education Excellence and Senior Fellow, The Century Foundation

Legislative Advisory Committee

Connie Leyva

Senator, California State Legislature

Kevin McCarty

Assemblymember, California State Legislature

Jose Medina

Assemblymember, California State Legislature

Richard Roth

Senator, California State Legislature


Provides strong return on investment



  • 18,544 California residents saved $196.5 million in 2019-20 through the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) and the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP). 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 California a remarkable 125,966 percent return on investment, relative to the state’s annual WICHE dues.
  • California students and their families have saved $1.54 billion 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 California attract students from other states

WICHE maps highlighting California student migration
WICHE maps highlighting California student migration
  • WUE and WRGP incentivized 897 students this year to invest their tuition dollars in California.

Helps California 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 California’s state profile.

Fosters idea sharing

  • WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee provides valuable insights on trends and promising practices to California’s legislative leaders as they build partnerships with leaders in other Western states.
  • Seven California institutions are members of the Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum), a consortium of academic officers at bachelor’s, master’s, as well as doctoral institutions and chief executives and academic officers for systems and state governing boards. California members include California State University System, California State University, Long Beach, California State University, Monterey Bay, California State University, Northridge, California State University, San Marcos, Sonoma State University and University of California, San Diego. Loren Blanchard, California State University Office of the Chancellor, serves on 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). The California members of the Alliance are California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and Cerritos College. Both the Forum and the Alliance exchange ideas and information, share resources and expertise, and collaborate on regional initiatives. Marty Alvarado, California Community Colleges, serves on the Alliance executive committee.
  • Eighteen higher education institutions are 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 Network (SAN) provides institutional support in managing regulations related to online courses and programs. California has 144 SAN members.
  • WICHE is partnering with our states, institutions, and partners to respond and be proactive during the COVID-19 pandemic. WICHE is facilitating peer-to-peer videoconferences for higher education leaders to connect and identify solutions to common challenges; following legislation passed in response to the crisis; and identifying how emergency funding for students and higher education institutions, as well as block grants to states, can be best used to support education in the West. The Behavioral Health Program is hosting webinars that offer guidance to support the mental wellbeing of their students, and WCET is providing updates and resources to help institutions address issues that arise due to the COVID-19 outbreak.