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).
WICHE Media Mentions
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.
The North Dakota University System recently participated in a pilot tabletop exercise with the department of Homeland Security and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.
“Institutions in places like Massachusetts and New York and Illinois are going to be really challenged to maintain enrollments,” said Joseph Garcia, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, whose research on this topic is the industry gold standard. “There are just not going to be enough wealthy, full-paying students to go around.”
Mental illness is a pressing concern on college campuses, said Liza Tupa, a director for WICHE. An estimated 11 percent to 20 percent of students are diagnosed with mental illness, and of those, 64 percent withdraw, she said.
Imagine if 5 percent to 10 percent of students were dropping out due to another health crisis, such as vision, Tupa said. She figured campuses would act expeditiously.
The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, or WICHE, has launched a new collaboration of Native-Serving Institutions that is hoped to benefit more than five million people in the country who identify as Native American.
Funded by the Lumina Foundation, an Indiana higher education nonprofit, the initiative was officially launched in December. It is part of a three-year, $990,000 grant that will help cultivate a network within the 26 colleges and universities that have at least 10 percent Native students in their student populations.