Western Policy Exchanges

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

WICHE is closely monitoring the outbreak of “SARS-CoV-2,” and the disease it causes, which has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). To inform and facilitate your response to a rapidly changing situation, WICHE has compiled the following set of resources, which will be updated as new information becomes available.


  • Western Policy Exchange: Stories from the Front Lines of Student Success

    This brief provides an overview of the implementation and impact of near peer mentoring programs in Alaska and Idaho from the standpoint of both existing research and the near peers themselves. In addition to offering strategies and promising practices that have helped foster a college-going culture in both states, the brief provides testimonials from mentors and the students they have served – students who might otherwise never considered college as an option without the extra support of a near peer or college guide.


  • Collaboration and Coordination to Improve Adult College Completion Efforts

    This brief explores research on the common characteristics of effective multi-stakeholder collaborations, with a particular focus on initiatives working to tackle complex social challenges. The brief includes examples of collaborative efforts that are uniting diverse stakeholders to support adult degree completion at the state and local level.


  • Effective Collaboration and Coordination: Lessons from Research and Practice

    Developing collaborative networks of key stakeholders focused on improving postsecondary access and success for low-income students is an emerging strategy that College Access Challenge Grant programs are using to help sustain their activities and improve services offered to students. This brief focuses on research into the successful characteristics of collaborative efforts and highlights three examples that will be of interest to those working with this population.


  • After the Funding Is Through: CACG Program Sustainability

    Entering a phase of significant uncertainty regarding future funding, College Access Challenge Grant programs must implement strategies to ensure the sustainability of their effective programs. This brief discusses four potential strategies that state programs can employ to increase the likelihood that their programs--which focus on increasing the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education--will continue should funding end as expected in 2015 or possibly sooner.


  • College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program

    The brief discusses promising new ideas and methods that states in WICHE's College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Network are employing to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enroll and succeed in postsecondary education. The brief focuses on how Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming are utilizing partnerships with other entities, FAFSA completion programs, peer mentoring, and need-based financial aid in implementing their federally-funded CACG programs. 

  • The College Access Challenge Grant (CACG) Program (2011)

    This policy brief describes promising practices and lessons learned in Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota, and Washington during the second year of the federal College Access Challenge Grant program.






  • The Changing Nature of Accountability

    This issue of Western Policy Exchanges summarizes a policy forum hosted by WICHE, The Changing Nature of Accountability, held Nov 13-14, 2001, in Broomfield, Colorado. Ninety policymakers from 18 states and the District of Columbia examined complex issues, including evolution of accountability measures in different states, negotiation of accountability structures between legislatures and institutions, ways in which student performance is assessed, and the costs of accountability.

  • WCALO: A Regional Approach to Expanding Access

    In 2001-2002, the Western Consortium provided a unique opportunity to build K-12 and higher education collaboration around accelerated-learning options such as Advanced Placement courses, dual enrollment, and concurrent enrollment. This project was supported through a federal grant from the Advanced Placement Incentive Program.


    This issue reports on WICHE's Western Consortium for Accelerated Learning Opportunities (WCALO), which began in October 2000 to better assist Western states with their efforts to increase participation in postsecondary education by underrepresented populations. WICHE collaborated with the Colorado Dept. of Education to compete for a grant from the U.S.Dept. of Education’s Advanced Placement Incentive Program (APIP).


  • WPE: Where We Stand Now

    WICHE’s Western Policy Exchange, funded in part by the W.K. Kellogg and Ford foundations, supports roundtables and forums that bring policymakers and educational leaders together to discuss a wide range of higher ed topics.


  • Forces Impacting Financial Aid

    On May 26-27, 1999, WICHE and the Arizona Board of Regents recently hosted a workshop addressing financial aid as part of the Western Policy Exchange project. The WPE Financial Aid Workshop explored state and institutional financial aid issues within the context of access and affordability. Thirty-eight participants from the 15 WICHE states, and Washington, D.C., came together in Phoenix, Arizona to address financial aid concerns.

  • Policy in Transition: Working Toward Systemic Change in Higher Education in the West

    With a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation for the Western Policy Exchange (WPE) project, WICHE coordinated a public policy decision-making process to examine and shape the public interest in higher education. Policy in Transition summarizes some of the major policy issues confronted by higher education, how the Western states have faced these issues, and what strategies they have used to implement change.

  • State Roundtable Case Studies: Idaho and South Dakota

    The Western Policy Exchange (WPE) project began in 1996, partially funded by a three-year grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, carrying out a coordinated approach of multistate forums in the 15 state WICHE region as well as individual state specific “state roundtables” in a quest to foster partnerships of educators, policymakers, and state decision makers to advance systemic change/reforms in higher education.

  • State Roundtable Highlights 1997-98

    This issue of EXCHANGES addresses the policy roundtable experiences of Arizona, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Washington during 1997 and 1998.

  • Policy in Transition: Information Technology's Impact on the Financing of Higher Education

    On December 2-3, 1998, in Portland, Oregon, this Western Policy Exchange workshop drew over 150 policymakers from 21 states and the District of Columbia to discuss the growing cost of using information technology to address access, instructional, and operational needs in the states demands. This summary focuses on the major problems addressed and creative solutions offered during the forum.


  • State Roundtable Highlights

    The state roundtable process is aimed at fostering sustained discussion of higher education policy issues within individual states and facilitating the exchange of ideas and practices among states. Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and South Dakota were selected to participate in the first year of roundtable activities. This issue of EXCHANGES summarizes roundtable meetings held in each state and highlights several themes and future directions.


  • Fostering Postsecondary Student Success: Transitions, Transfer, and Articulation

    From May 27-29, 1997 WICHE, with the Education Commission of the States and the State Higher Education Executive Officers, held a western policy forum on the theme, "Fostering Postsecondary Student Success: Transitions, Transfer, and Articulation" in Seattle, Washington. This issue of Western Policy Exchanges highlights part of the dialogue that emerged in the sessions.


  • Transforming Higher Education: New Structures for Finance, Governance, Delivery, and Productivity

    WICHE sponsored a regional policy workshop, "Transforming Higher Education: New Structures for Finance, Governance, Delivery, and Productivity" on August 22-24, 1996 in San Diego, California. This Western Policy Exchange report summarizes the workshop's plenary discussions among 260 legislators, legislative aides, governors' aides, college presidents, trustees, faculty leaders, and state higher education executives.