Since 1951, Montana has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.


Download the factsheet for Montana here.




by Montana students through WICHE Student Access Programs


through WUE


through WRGP


through PSEP

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.

The required academic rigor and high
cost of medical school can be daunting. PSEP has lifted some of the burden and alleviated some of the anxiety surrounding the cost, and for that I am extremely grateful. After school and residency, I plan on returning to rural Montana to practice. PSEP financial support is a great help for future doctors.

BROOKE, Montana resident, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, A.T. Still University, AZ

Improving Lives Montana

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.


  •   Bitterroot College
  •  City College at MSU – Billings
  • Dawson Community College
  • Flathead Valley Community College
  • Gallatin College
  • Great Falls College MSU
  •  Helena College UM
  •   Highlands College of Montana Tech
  •   Miles Community College
  •   Missoula College UM
  •   Montana University System
  •   MSU Northern
  •   University of Montana Western

Angela DeWolf King, Montana University System, is a member of the Alliance executive committee.


  •     Montana Technological University
  •   Montana State University – Bozeman
  •   Montana State University – Billings
  •   Montana University System
  •   University of Montana

Joel Thiel, Montana University System, 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. Fifteen cohort members from Montana institutions have participated in the Academy since its inception in 2015.

NO HOLDING BACK Flathead Valley Community College 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 2022-23.

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.

Montana 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) is providing consultation and technical assistance to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services Addictive and Mental Disorders Division for its Program for Assertive Community Treatment (PACT).

WICHE BHP also co-administers the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MP-MHTTC). The MP-MHTTC provides comprehensive training, resources, and technical assistance to mental health providers and other practitioners in the SAMHSA Region 8.

In October 2022, WICHE BHP was awarded a multiyear grant from SAMHSA to establish the Mountain Plains Rural Opioid Technical Assistance Center of Excellence (MP ROTAC) The MP ROTAC develops and disseminates resources, training, and technical assistance that focuses on opioid and stimulant misuse in rural areas throughout SAMHSA’s Region 8.

The BHP Together With Veterans Program, focused on reducing Veteran suicides, also has two sites in Montana, one in Kalispell (Flathead County), and one in Richland County, with nearly 2,000 rural veterans receiving services.

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:

CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICERS NETWORK Staff from the Montana University System office also participate in regular collaborative calls with colleagues around the region.

WCET- The WICHE Cooperative for Education Technologies is the leader in practice, policy, and advocacy of technology-enhanced learning in higher education. Montana State University – Billings,  Montana State University – Bozeman,  Montana University System, and the University of Montana are WCET members.

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

Maryrose Beasley

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Homestead Veterinary Clinic

* Clayton Christian

Commissioner of Higher Education, Montana University System

Llew Jones

Representative, Montana State Legislature

Legislative Advisory Committee

David Bedey

Representative, Montana State Legislature

Llew Jones

Representative, Montana State Legislature

Daniel Salomon

Senator, Montana State Legislature

Paul Tuss

Representative, Montana State Legislature