2021 July MHEC News

MHEC News summarizes key policy and research, convenings, programs, contracts, articles of interest, and updates for members of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. We welcome your feedback and suggestions. 


Interactive Dashboard Update: College Enrollment by Family Income

MHEC’s Interactive Dashboard now provides the latest data on college enrollment by family income in the Midwest and across the nation. College enrollment by family income is defined as the percentage of dependent 18- to 24-year-old residents who are currently enrolled or have completed some college within family income quartiles of all households in the state. Low income is delineated by the bottom quartile, middle income by the second and third quartiles, and high income by the top quartile. The figure below shows that the college enrollment rates of 18-to-24-year-olds in the Midwest from low-income families and middle-income families are lower than the enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds from high-income families. Similar disparities in college enrollment are seen across the nation. .

Percentage of Dependent 18- to 24-Year-Old Residents Who Have Enrolled in or Have Completed Some College by Family Income, 2017. 

For additional ways to visualize this data or view other indicators, see MHEC’s Interactive Dashboard. An earlier version of this indicator is available for MHEC states in the biennial report, Higher Education in Focus.

Currently Recruiting Institutions for Graduate Credit Quest

In March 2021, MHEC and NEWERA launched a new program to assist in the concurrent-enrollment credentialing process for teachers, graduate schools, and concurrent enrollment coordinators. Graduate Credit Quest (GCQ) is in its early stage but is seeing promising growth potential. We are actively recruiting institutions within MHEC’s region to list their courses and any additional information on the GCQ website. If you have interest in a video tutorial on Graduate Credit Quest’s capability for your institution, please get in touch with us or complete this contact us form.

Strong Interest Across the Region in Improving Credential Transparency

On July 15, the Midwest Credential Transparency Alliance (MCTA) launched a Pathways Action Team with more than 75 people expressing interest in this forum, which will provide MHEC members the ability to collaborate on improving the transparency of credential pathways. One of the first steps is to define a regional vision for pathways. This will include populating a draft document with current exampIes of pathways in the Midwest to be presented at the MCTA quarterly meeting on August 19. If you were unable to attend the this month's meeting and would like to join in, please contact us to indicate your interest, or sign-up for the MCTA listserver to stay informed. The Pathways Action Team plans to reconvene in September (date to be determined).  


WEBINAR: Creating More Consistency in Cost Savings and ROI Metrics to Build the Case for OER

August 18, 2021
1:00 p.m. CT

Join MHEC and Katie Zaback, of Zaback Consulting, for a discussion on the progress of a national group of leaders in Open Educational Resources (OER) who are exploring recommendations for reporting cost savings and return on investment of OER for students, institutions, and states. They will discuss what they have learned and provide some initial findings from the research that will help inform the final release in early 2022. They will also provide a framework that organizations can adapt to their own context. .

Resources Available from Past Events

An Introduction to Ease Learning

MHEC hosted Laurie Paulido, CEO of Ease Learning, on June 15, who shared more about MHEC's new contract for instructional design and instructional training services. This webinar provided an overview of the wide range of learning design and out-sourced help desk services offered to higher education institutions. She also provided a brief demonstration of Skillways, the company’s recently launched software that works in conjunction with existing Learning Management Systems. Examples included the software's ability to scale and deliver programs that optimize outcomes and completion rates.

2021 Emerging Issues and Policies Regarding Military-Connected Students

On Jun 24, MHEC hosted Lauren Augustine, vice president of government affairs of Student Veterans of America, to learn more about the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 that was signed into law (P.L.116-315 ). Also discussed, were many other emerging issues and policies that affect military-connected students in postsecondary education.


Latest Contracts and Renewals
Professional Learning Opportunities Creative Commons  (CC) for existing and custom CC licensing
Contact Jenny Parks, MHEC vice president, with any questions.

Security Services
BerryDunn (consulting);
CampusGuard (consulting and training);
Infosec (training); and
RK Consultancy Services, Inc.  (consulting).
Contact Deb Kidwell, MHEC consultant, with any questions.

Contract Renewals Signed
Commvault from Arrow Electronics, renewed through June 30, 2022
Xerox, renewed through June 30, 2025
Contact Nathan Sorensen, MHEC director of government contracts, with any questions.


Illinois Moved to Inactive Status in Midwest Student Exchange Program

Illinois has moved to inactive status in the Midwest Student Exchange Program (MSEP). According to the MSEP State Participation Agreement, General Conditions, section 4 states, “MSEP programs in public institutions shall be available to students only at the degree level at which the student’s home state agrees to receive MSEP students.” Currently Illinois does not have any participating MSEP institutions, which is mandatory for this reciprocal program. All MHEC programs are voluntary.

As a result of this decision, Illinois resident students will no longer be able to receive the MSEP discounted tuition rate at non-Illinois institutions participating in the program. The MSEP Council approved and agreed upon a transition period allowing new students from Illinois to be eligible to receive the MSEP discount for the fall 2021 and spring 2022 semesters. Starting in fall 2022, new students from Illinois will no longer qualify for the MSEP discount.

Current students who are Illinois residents attending out of state MSEP institutions are grandfathered into their participation in the program as long as their enrollment is uninterrupted and continues to meet the MSEP participation requirements of the institutions they attend. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please feel free to reach out to Stephanie Bernoteit, Ed.D., executive deputy director for the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

At MHEC, Sara Appel leads the work on MSEP as our associate director for policy initiatives. She may be contacted at (612) 677-2778.


MHEC Presents at Midwestern Legislative Conference
MHEC President Susan Heegaard presented to legislators attending the Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC) July 11-14 in Rapid City, SD. The meeting marked the 75th anniversary of the MLC meeting.

Ms. Heegaard shared the top 10 higher education policy issues state lawmakers are likely to face in ongoing legislative sessions per the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, Policy Matters. She identified additional issues resulting from the pandemic including, the digital divide, learning gaps, buildings and physical space, and higher education alignment with workforce, as well as the top information technology issues resulting from the pandemic. She also presented a number of statistics related to changing demographics of the Midwest, access to technology, and projected fall enrollments.


Nancy Boettger (reappointment)
Regent, Board of Regents, State of Iowa
Term: 6/3/2021 to 6/30/2025

Connie Hutchison (reappointment)
Executive Secretary State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board
Term: 7/13/2021 to 7/1/2023


Judge Sides With Indiana U in Vaccine Mandate Case
Inside Higher Ed | July 20, 2021

GI Bill Benefits Don’t Pay Off for All
Inside Higher Ed | July 20, 2021

Credential Transparency and Informed Decision-Making in Indiana
WCET | July 16, 2021

Legislators Push for TRIO Program Funding to Assist First-Generation, Low-Income, Veteran Students
Diverse Military | July 16, 2021

Midwest Lawmakers Cite Rural Broadband Divide
Newsdakota.com | July 16, 2021

A Stronger Nation
Lumina Foundation | July 1, 2021

You Can’t Handle The Truth: The Effects Of The Post-9/11 Gi Bill On Higher Education And Earnings
National Bureau of Economic Research | July 2021

Recovery Analysis for States
The Council for State Governments

The Upshot on Shots: College Covid-Vaccine Policies
The Chronicle of Higher Education | May 13, 2021

Fiscal Survey of States
National Association of State Budget Officers | Spring 2021