ALAMOSA — Adams State University becomes the first institution in Colorado to join the Interstate Passport Network (IPN), a nationwide network of two- and four-year colleges and universities that allows students to transfer lower division general education credits as a block to any IPN member institution.
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More than 200 institutions seeking support on active learning initiatives will have help over the next four years from Every Learning Everywhere, a network of 12 digital learning organizations--of which WICHE is the central organizing intermediary--with $13.5 million in funding provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
In North Dakota specifically, 500 residents saved $2.7 million on out-of-state tuition through WICHE's three Student Access Programs: the Western Undergraduate Exchange, the Western Regional Graduate Program, and the Professional Student Exchange Program. "WICHE's tuition-savings programs broaden the affordable higher education options for our residents — helping them graduate with less debt and ultimately strengthening our workforce," said N.D. State Sen. Ray Holmberg, chairman of the WICHE commission.
As a high school senior, Arezo Amerzada’s choices for college came down to University of California-Riverside, several California State University campuses and a handful of out-of-state schools, including the University of Nevada in Reno. That was when Amerzada, who grew up in Union City in the San Francisco Bay Area, learned about the WICHE's Western Undergraduate Exchange program. The increasingly popular program gives California students steep tuition discounts at dozens of colleges and universities in nearby states. The University of Nevada was one of them.
Declining enrollment at colleges and universities in Minnesota is making it tougher for some schools. There is a drop in the number of high school graduates, the pool of potential college students. The number of high school graduates in Minnesota, currently in the midst of a dip, is expected to see a bump around 2025, before declining again, according to projections from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE).
Following a competitive application process, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) has selected Wyoming as one of three Western states to receive funding and technical support to look at gaps in educational attainment. Wyoming’s WICHE-sponsored task force will work with diverse stakeholders from education, industry and state government to develop policy recommendations designed to increase the number of people in the state with advanced degrees.
Pierce College Dean for Business and Social Sciences Sachi Horback, Ph.D was recently honored with the Bernice Joseph Award, a national award given annually by the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders (the Alliance). Horback was honored for creating for "The Faculty of Color Mentorship;" a program for recruiting and retaining talented and diverse faculty members. It is the first cross-institutional program of its kind in the nation.
[The Interstate Passport] was mostly pushed by community colleges, said Patricia Shea, who oversees it for the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. “They were talking about the frustration they were seeing when their students came back to campus and said they were having to repeat the same learning.”
Observers of online education believe the piecemeal approach to pricing and value considerations for online programs won't be resilient in the face of increasing competition and stricter pressures. “I feel like there’s this balloon and it’s just stretched. It’s going to break,” said Tanya Spilovoy, director of open policy at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET). “We’re just all waiting for the explosion to happen.”
“We as a society have a hard time asking for help, so it’s hard enough to ask for help [without feeling] that everybody’s going to know it,” said Dennis Mohatt, vice president of the behavioral mental health program at the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) and director of the WICHE Center for Rural Mental Health Research.