Since 1984, North Dakota has partnered with and benefited from WICHE through regional collaboration, resource-sharing, sound public policy, and innovation.

WICHE Commissioners

*indicates Executive Committee member

Mark Hagerott

Chancellor, North Dakota University System

* Ray Holmberg

Senator, North Dakota State Legislature

Jill Louters

Superintendent, New Rockford-Sheyenne School District

Legislative Advisory Committee

* Ray Holmberg

Senator, North Dakota State Legislature

Karen Krebsbach

Senator, North Dakota Legislature

Bob Martinson

Representative, North Dakota State Legislature

Mark Sanford

Representative, North Dakota State Legislature


Provides strong return on investment



  • 554 North Dakota residents saved $2.2 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 North Dakota a 329 percent return on investment, relative to the state’s annual WICHE dues.
  • North Dakota students and their families have saved over $40.3 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 North Dakota attract students from other states

WICHE maps highlighting North Dakota student migration
WICHE maps highlighting North Dakota student migration
  • WUE and WRGP incentivized 1,980 students this year to invest their tuition dollars in North Dakota.

Bolsters North Dakota’s behavioral health workforce

  • Through the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP), students from North Dakota can enroll in participating programs in another state while receiving substantial tuition support. Currently, North Dakota supports students in dentistry, optometry, and veterinary medicine.
  • The WICHE Behavioral Health Program (BHP), partnering with the University of North Dakota, administers the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC). The Mountain Plains MHTTC serves the states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming by establishing a collaborative network that strengthens the capacity of different systems, organizations, and treatment practitioners involved in the delivery of mental health services.

Helps North Dakota 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.
  • Our 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, reports, projections data, interactive data dashboards, recorded webinars, presentations, and North Dakota’s state profile.

Fosters idea sharing

  • WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee provides valuable insights on trends and promising practices to North Dakota’s legislative leaders as they build partnerships with leaders in other Western states.
  • Three North Dakota institutions are members of the Western Academic Leadership Forum (the Forum), a consortium of academic officers at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral institutions and chief executives and academic officers for systems and state governing boards. North Dakota members include Minot State University, University of North Dakota, and Valley City State University. Debbie Storrs, University of North Dakota, 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 North Dakota member of the Alliance is Williston State College. Kaylyn Bondy, Williston State College, serves on the executive committee of the Alliance. Both the Forum and the Alliance exchange ideas and information, share resources and expertise, and collaborate on regional initiatives.
  • Bismarck State College, Dickinson State University, Lake Region State College, North Dakota University System, University of North Dakota, Valley City State University, and Williston State College are all members of WCET, the 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); North Dakota participates in SARA through the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC). See nc-sara.org/directory for a list of member institutions.
  • 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. Visit WICHE’s COVID-19 resources page for up-to-date information.