Legislative Advisory Committee | Annual Meeting September 4-5, 2013

Annual Meeting, September 4-5, 2013

Embassy Suites Las Vegas

Navigating the Rapidly Changing
World of Higher Education

MEETING AGENDA

 

Wednesday, September 4

Getting Better All the Time?

Highlights from the 2013 Legislative Sessions

State legislatures in the West tackled a variety of higher education-related issues during the 2013 legislative sessions, including several creative funding strategies, policies aimed at increasing degree and credential completion, and the Common Core State Standards. This session will present the highlights and trends from this year; during the subsequent facilitated discussion, LAC members will share their perspectives and shed light on what might be expected in the future.

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

Speaker:
Carl Krueger, project coordinator, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education | PRESENTATION

 

Increasing Degree and Credential Attainment: Strategies for Meeting the Goals

A variety of national degree attainment goals have been set in recent years by philanthropic organizations as well as President Obama. States have set their own targets through participation in initiatives like Complete College America and Complete to Compete, or by adopting state strategic or master plans. This flurry of goal-setting activity has prompted higher education to consider alternative strategies for meeting these marks, including increased emphasis on certificates of value, awarding credit for prior learning, and more flexible online education programs to name a few. This session will examine progress toward the goals and discuss the legislative role in how to ensure we achieve our objectives.

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

Speakers:
Dewayne Matthews, vice president of policy and strategy, Lumina Foundation | PRESENTATION
Dennis Jones, president, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems | PRESENTATION

 

Graduate Medical Education Reform

Rural America suffers from a shortage of physicians. At the same time, production of primary care physicians from graduate medical education (GME) residency programs is insufficient to meet current and future demand. Over lunch, learn about the GME Initiative, a voluntary grassroots collaboration of health care consumers and leaders in family medicine residency training, and their recommendations to reform the training and financing of primary care physicians to meet the nation’s future health care needs.

Facilitator:
Jere Mock, vice president, programs and services, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

Speakers:
Dan Burke, MD, associate vice chair for educational program development, Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus | HANDOUT

Senator Joe Hardy, MD, Nevada, and WICHE Commissioner

 

What Do the Data Tell Us? Policy Implications of Data Efforts in the West

Having access to accurate and reliable data is essential for effective state and institutional policymaking. For example, understanding important challenges to and opportunities for higher education as a result of anticipated shifts in racial/ ethnic composition in the nation and the West is crucial. As another example, spurred on in part by federal investment or grant requirements, many states around the nation are working to link their K-12, postsecondary, and workforce data in order to permit richer analyses of human capital development and to better target policies and practices. Learn firsthand about two influential data efforts at WICHE, including projections of high school graduates and a pilot data exchange initially among four states – Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Hawai'i – that are providing policymakers with powerful data that are essential to making informed decisions.

Speaker:
Brian Prescott, director of policy research, Western Interstate Commission | PRESENTATION

The MOOC Revolution: Is it All that It’s Cracked Up to Be?

MOOCs (massive open online courses) are the talk of the town. They seem to dominate discussions in higher education media, policy forums, and other sources of information. In a rapidly changing world where states and institutions are pressured to do even more with much less, many people are looking to MOOCs to solve some of the problems facing higher education. Legislation in California establishes incentive grant programs for the state’s public institutions to develop MOOC platforms to reduce the number of students waiting to take required gateway courses, and other states may be looking toward MOOCs as well for other purposes. But are they the answer? What makes them different and are they sustainable? Who do they really serve? Join in a frank discussion about what this new strategy is and what the future may hold.

Handout: The Right to Educational Acess

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

Speaker:
Michael Feldstein, partner, MindWires Consulting and co-publisher, e-Literate | PRESENTATION

Russell Poulin, deputy director, research and analysis, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET) | PRESENTATION

 

Thursday, September 5

Finding Common Ground for State Authorization through Reciprocity

In Fall 2010, the U.S. Department of Education announced “program integrity rules,” which require all postsecondary institutions participating in Title IV programs to document compliance with state laws in all states where they provide instruction, not just in the states within which they had a physical presence. While the federal state authorization regulation was later vacated by the courts on a technicality, its future remains uncertain. Authorization regulations vary significantly from state to state, and this varying landscape is creating a challenging situation for institutions that have students enrolled in other states. To help address these challenges, WICHE has been working with several partner organizations to forge a national agreement that will create interstate reciprocity in the regulation of postsecondary distance education. This initiative, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA), will provide reasonable oversight of postsecondary institutions in states that voluntarily agree to participate. Learn about the steps that WICHE, the other three regional higher education compacts, and organizations and groups including the Council of State Governments and the Commission on the Regulation of Postsecondary Distance Education, are taking to roll SARA out this year. Once in place, SARA will protect state regulatory interests, safeguard student interests, and offer a consistent and more affordable way for accredited institutions to provide distance education.

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

 

A Moving Target: Financing Higher Education in a Changing Context

In this ever-changing context, most states are looking at how they finance higher education, and the strategies under consideration are creative and interesting. One popular reform is outcomes-based funding that would in theory incentivize institutions to move beyond focusing on student access in favor of success. Another approach is known as, “Pay Forward, Pay Back,” a plan that would provide “free tuition” to students to attend a public college; in return, they would pay back the state with a percentage of their incomes after graduation. Tuition freezes have also been adopted by several states. This session will highlight these strategies and include a discussion about their benefits and potential limitations.

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

Speakers:
Representative Michael Dembrow, Oregon
Senator Ray Holmberg, North Dakota, and WICHE Commissioner
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, Washington, and WICHE Commissioner | HANDOUT

Advising WICHE: An Open Discussion

Using a list of the most five significant issues facing higher education today as the basis for discussion, WICHE’s president will lead a facilitated discussion about current issues, future trends, and areas where WICHE can be helpful to state legislators in the region.

Facilitator:
David Longanecker, president, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education | PRESENTATION