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

WICHE Commissioners

*indicates Executive Committee member

* Don Bennett

Deputy Director, Washington Student Achievement Council

Gerry Pollet

Representative, Washington State Legislature

Thomas L. (Les) Purce

President Emeritus, The Evergreen State College

Legislative Advisory Committee

Gerry Pollet

Representative, Washington State Legislature


Provides strong return on investment



  • 4,823 Washington residents saved $58.2 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 Washington an astounding 32,277 percent return on investment, relative to the state’s annual WICHE dues.
  • Washington students and their families have saved $550.8 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 Washington attract students from other states

WICHE maps highlighting Washington student migration
WICHE maps highlighting Washington student migration
  • WUE and WRGP incentivized 3,954 students this year to invest their tuition dollars in Washington.

Bolsters Washington’s health workforce

  • WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program (BHP) provided consultation and technical assistance on evidence-based and/or best practices for the Washington Student Achievement Council grant program on suicide prevention for postsecondary students.

Helps Washington 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 Washington’s state profile.

Fosters idea sharing

  • WICHE’s Legislative Advisory Committee provides valuable insights on trends and promising practices to Washington’s legislative leaders as they build partnerships with leaders in other Western states.
  • Four Washington 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. Washington members include Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, The Evergreen State College, and Washington State University. Renny Christopher, Washington State University Vancouver, 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 nine Washington members of the Alliance are Centralia College, Clover Park Technical College, Columbia Basin College, Edmonds CC, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, North Seattle College, Pierce College District, Spokane Falls CC, and Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges. Carli Schiffner, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, 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.
  • Bellevue College, Central Washington University, Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Pierce College, Seattle Pacific University, Walla Walla Community College, Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, and Washington State University 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). See nc-sara.org/directory for a list of member institutions.
  • The State Authorization Network (SAN) provides institutional support in managing state regulations related to online courses and programs. Washington’s members are: Big Bend CC, Community Colleges of Spokane, Eastern Washington University, Green River College, Heritage University, Lower Columbia College, Pierce College, Shoreline CC, Tacoma CC, Walla Walla CC, and Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
  • 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.