WICHE Media Mentions
WICHE has helped save CNMI families a total of $475,000, a nearly 700 percent return rate in regards to the CNMI’s WICHE membership share of $72,500.
“WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program helps students in remote areas affordably pursue high-demand health care careers at participating colleges and universities—and when these students return home to power their workforce and serve their citizens, their communities reap the benefit,” said WICHE president Joe Garcia. “More than 600 students saved nearly $15 million in tuition last year through PSEP, and I’m excited to welcome the CNMI and its aspiring health care professionals to this program.”
Joe Garcia, president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, says the state's overall economy depends on whether it can succeed in improving the number of people with college degrees.
"In Nevada, they are working hard to increase attainment rates because you can't grow your economy the way you want to if the majority of your working-age population only has a high school degree or less,” he stresses.
"You're simply only going to be able to have low-wage jobs. You're not going to have high tech jobs. You're not going to have professional jobs."
I was accepted at Cal Fullerton, so [without WUE] I probably would have gone there because it was close to my house,” says University of New Mexico student George Ayala of Tustin, Calif., “I just loved the Albuquerque vibe and I loved the architecture of the university. But the number one reason I decided to come here was [WICHE’s] Western Undergraduate Exchange program.
WICHE was established by Congress as an interstate agency in the early 1950s to help states with public programs in selected healthcare professions share their programs with states that had none. Over the last 65 years, some 15,000 practitioners have earned their professional degree through PSEP. In the 2016-17 academic year, 10 WICHE states invested $14.7 million to provide affordable healthcare education to 640 students.
Russell Poulin, director of policy and analysis at the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies, applauded HLC for setting a higher standard for online programs. But he said the push for standardization raises questions about academic freedom.
“It’s been kind of a problem distance education has had to deal with for quite a while, the idea in some places that you can’t require the training,” Poulin said. “The academic freedom issue finds itself in the contracts … when you’re doing it face-to-face, it’s a little less of a problem.”