Betsy Talbot honored with Outstanding Service Award from Midwestern Higher Education Compact
MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Betsy Talbot, who is the manager of Private Institution Registration and Licensing for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, received the Midwestern Higher Education Compact’s (MHEC) Outstanding Service Award on November 9, during the commission’s Annual Commission Meeting, held virtually due to the pandemic.
Talbot was nominated for her contributions to Minnesota’s participation in the Midwestern-State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (M-SARA), which provides a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. She serves as the current chair of the
M-SARA Regional Steering Committee and as the Minnesota portal agent, the individuals in each state who review and approve institutions for SARA participation. Talbot also ensures compliance for the state of Minnesota and supports the program regionally and nationally.
“As committee chair, Betsy has worked to bridge gaps, increase transparency among stakeholder groups, provide training, and share her expertise with others in the region and beyond,” stated Susan Heegaard, MHEC president. “She has also been a source of support and wealth of information to our staff and remains a critical voice at the national level among state portal agents.”
One of four regional higher education compacts in the United States, MHEC brings together midwestern states to develop and support best practices, collaborative efforts, and cost-sharing opportunities. Through these efforts it works to ensure strong, equitable postsecondary educational opportunities and outcomes for all.
“The past few years have been tumultuous for thousands of students attending Minnesota’s private career schools,” said Commissioner Dennis Olson, Minnesota Office of Higher Education. “Betsy’s student-focused approach has helped them navigate abrupt school closings by protecting student records, facilitating smooth transfers to other schools, and even working with other colleges to create and expand programs so students can finish their degree. I have witnessed first-hand the relief and appreciation students have felt knowing they have an ally at OHE, and a path toward graduation. I greatly appreciate MHEC’s recognition of Betsy’s leadership and support for Minnesota’s students.” Commissioner Olson also serves as a MHEC commissioner.
VISION: MHEC members collaborate to address the region’s most pressing challenges in higher education and transform educational opportunities so that people and communities thrive.
MISSION: MHEC brings together midwestern states to develop and support best practices, collaborative efforts, and cost-sharing opportunities. Through these efforts it works to ensure strong, equitable postsecondary educational opportunities and outcomes.
HOW MHEC WORKS: MHEC’s strategic approach highlights member states’ strong desire for collaboration, effectiveness, and efficiency. MHEC believes that collaborative actions informed by research and best practices are the catalyst for improving quality, accessibility, relevance, and affordability of postsecondary educational opportunities. MHEC does this primarily through the following approaches: convenings, programs, research, and cost-savings contracts. Increasingly, MHEC looks to leverage these approaches in conjunction with each other to serve its strategic priorities.
MEMBER STATES: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. www.mhec.org