Legislative Advisory Committee

2011 Annual Meeting: Agenda and Presentations

New Directions in Higher Education: Where Do We Go From Here

 

Tuesday, September 13

What About Those Other Guys? A Look at Non-traditional Institutions

For a variety of reasons, an increasing number of students are choosing to attend nontraditional institutions, such as “for-profits,” like the University of Phoenix (UOP), the ITT Institutes, and Kaplan University, as well as traditional, locally-owned trade schools and other highly regarded national institutions of long standing, like DeVry; online colleges that include Charter Oaks, Excelsior, and Rio Salado; and other unique and entrepreneurial institutions that have evolved in recent years, like Western Governors University, which is based entirely on competency-based learning. This session will focus on how these institutions came to define their mission and devise a business plan to accomplish that mission.

Moderator:
David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Chris Bustamante, president, Rio Salado College
Alan Drimmer, provost & senior vice president academic affairs, University of Phoenix
Jean Floten, chancellor, Western Governors University-Washington 

Photo of legislators at 2011 Legislative Advisory Committee Annual Meeting

Making Learning Count: Prior Learning Assessments PRESENTATION

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is a process that allows students to earn credit for proven college-level learning acquired outside the traditional classroom, including work, military, and community service. Recent research by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has shown that students who receive PLA credits have higher graduation rates and take a shorter time to complete a degree than students without such credits. To scale up PLA across the country, CAEL has launched LearningCounts.org, an online PLA service, with its collaborators, the American Council on Education (ACE) and the College Board. Learn from CAEL about how PLA is helping states, regions, and institutions increase degree completion for adult and nontraditional learners, and hear the latest on how LearningCounts.org is increasing access to PLA services.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Mark Campbell, vice president, LearningCounts.org, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning
Amy Sherman, associate vice president of policy and strategic alliances, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

Photo of legislators from 2011 LAC Annual Meeting
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Awakening the Giant: The Regulatory Environment of Distance Education

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education announced rules requiring all higher education institutions participating in Title IV programs to be able to document compliance with state laws in all states where they offer distance or correspondence education. While these rules are not new, most institutions are not in compliance, which could result in a loss of eligibility to award federal student aid to that states’ students. This session will brief participants on the current status of the regulatory environment of distance education.

Speaker:
David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education 

Photo of David Longanecker

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Strengthening the Backbone of Higher Education: Preserving Accessibility and Affordability at Community Colleges in the West

Community colleges face huge demands: students who enroll in them are more likely to be low-income, the first in their families to go to college, and members of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. They serve many roles, including granting associate degrees, preparing students to transfer to four-year institutions, providing workforce development and skills training, and offering noncredit programs. To meet these competing demands, community college systems and institutions in the West, which enroll approximately 34 percent of the nation’s public two-year students, are developing new models of serving a diverse student population. Three executive committee members of the Western Alliance for Community College Academic Leaders, a regional forum created by WICHE in 2010 to enable leaders from the two-year sector to share ideas and resources and collaborate on regional initiatives, will discuss key community college issues and legislative strategies to preserve the accessibility and affordability of this primary entryway to higher education.

Moderator:
David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Jeff Fox, executive vice president and chief academic officer, College of Southern Idaho
Maria Harper-Marinick, executive vice chancellor and provost, Maricopa Community Colleges
Cam Preus, commissioner, Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, and WICHE Commissioner

Photo from 2011 LAC Annual Meeting
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Blaming it on the Equipment: Evolving Higher Education Governance in the West

Still reeling from the Great Recession, state legislatures across the country looked for new ways to trim state budgets and improve outcomes this past legislative session. One of the strategies that several states adopted was to change the governance structure of their higher education systems. Learn about how these structures are changing, what motivated these changes, and what state legislators hope for in the future as a result of these developments.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Washington, WICHE Commissioner
Representative Michael Dembrow, Oregon
Senator Carol Liu, California

Photo from 2011 Annual Meeting
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Wednesday, September 14

Tapping Mature Talent: Responding to a Changing Workforce PRESENTATION

In 2012, workers over 55 years of age will comprise 1 in 5 members of the U.S. workforce. The economy is causing many people now to work beyond traditional retirement age so these numbers will likely increase. These adults bring skills and experience critical to maintaining a competitive workforce, but many older adults face barriers when trying to find jobs. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, 10 sites throughout the country are developing and implementing innovative strategies that will lead to employment for this population. They are working collaboratively with partners to make changes in the public workforce system, education, and business that will address the specific needs of mature workers. In this session, learn about promising state and regional practices and policies to promote an engaged and productive mature workforce.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speaker:
Amy Sherman, associate vice president of policy and strategic alliances, Council for Adult and Experiential Learning

Photol from 2011 Annual Meeting
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The Common Core State Standards: Coming to a Higher Education Institution Near You PRESENTATION

The Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and Mathematics have been adopted by most states, yet many in higher education are just beginning to understand their implications. These standards are increasingly becoming a central part of postsecondary access and preparation discussions, even in states that have not adopted them. This session will provide an introduction to the new standards, an overview of how they may impact student access and success in college, a discussion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, and the legislative role in these changes.

Moderator:
Demarée Michelau, director of policy analysis, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Ryan Reyna, program director, education division, National Governors Association
Joe Willhoft, executive director, Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium