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


Download the factsheet for California here.




by California students through WICHE Student Access Programs


through WUE


through WRGP

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.

It has always been a goal of mine to remove the financial burden of tuition from my parents’ shoulders. WUE made this possible.

ETHAN, California resident, Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Oregon State University

Improving Lives in California

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.


  • California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office
  •  Cerritos College

Aisha Lowe, California Community Colleges, is a member of the Alliance executive committee.


  •   California State University, Long Beach
  •  California State University, Northridge
  • University of California, San Diego

Karyn Scissum Gunn, California State University, Long Beach, 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. Eleven cohort members from California institutions have participated in the Academy since its inception in 2015.

NO HOLDING BACK California State University, Fullerton is one of 12 WICHE institutions that participated in a community of practice in which institutions analyzed data and revised 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.

WICHE Behavioral Health Program (BHP) administers the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program (RCORP) and supports Ampla Health and Redwood Community Services as grantees in California.

The BHP Together With Veterans Program, focused on reducing Veteran suicides, also has one site in Mariposa County, California, and has served over 1,600 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:

WICHE experts are providing support for California’s task force on open educational resources (OER). The state’s task force will guide the use of the historic investment in the development, adoption, and use of zero cost course materials to support student success.

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 California State University Office of the Chancellor, California Community College Chancellor’s Office, and 20 other California institutions and organizations.

Jory Hadsell, Foothill-De Anza Community College District, serves on the WCET Steering Committee and on the Executive Council.

Additionally, 184 institutions in California 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.

WICHE Commissioners

Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor-in-Residence, Institute for the Future

Ellen Junn

President Emerita, California State University, Stanislaus

* Robert Shireman

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

Legislative Advisory Committee