MHEC News June 2023

The latest policy and research, convenings, programs, contracts, articles of interest, and updates for members of the Midwestern Higher Education Compact.

Earlier this week we wrapped up our Executive Committee Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. It was the first time that we’ve opened the meeting up to all commissioners. We had a great turnout of commissioners and a productive meeting. Find out more of this month's happenings:

Policy & Resaech: Dashboard highlight-Six-year Completion Rates
Programs: NC-SARA Public Comment Letter
Convening: Webinar-Expanding Professional Licensure Responsibilities
Commissioner News: Executive Committee Meeting
Commissioner Appointments: Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, and Wisconsin
Articles and Resources

As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

Policy & Research

More than 80% of Full-Time Students at Public Four-Year Institutions in Midwestern States Completed a Credential within Six Years

The latest update to MHEC's Interactive Dashboard shows that the percentage of full-time students who started at a public four-year institution and completed a credential within six years ranged from 81% to 92% across Midwestern states, compared to the national average of 85%. In contrast, the percentage of part-time students who started at a public four-year institution and completed a credential within six years ranged from 9% to 42% across Midwestern states, compared to the national average of 20%.

Six-year completion rates are measured as the proportion of first-time, certificate or degree-seeking students in the fall 2016 cohort who completed a certificate or degree within six years at their first institution or elsewhere. Students were classified as full-time if they were enrolled full-time during every semester, and students were classified as part-time if they were enrolled part-time during every semester (excluding summer terms and short terms). Institutional sector is defined by a student’s first postsecondary institution. Completion rates can also be viewed on the dashboard for public two-year and private not-for-profit four-year institutions.

MHEC's Interactive Dashboard provides additional ways to visualize this data using bar charts, line graphs, maps, and tables. Selected completion indicators are also available for MHEC states in the report Higher Education in Focus.

Six year completion rates

Source. Causey, J., Lee, S., Ryu, M., Scheetz, A., & Shapiro, D. (2022). Completing College: A state-level view of student attainment rates (Signature Report No. 21). Herndon, VA: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.


NC-SARA Submits Public Comment Letter Regarding Department of Education's Draft Regulations and Potential Impact to Reciprocity

The National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) submitted a public comment letter on behalf of the SARA community to the U.S. Department of Education. This letter is in response to the potential implications to SARA-participating institutions and SARA member states of the ED's proposed regulations released on May 19. MHEC's M-SARA Regional Steering Committee has been closely involved in proposing policy modifications. NC-SARA held an informational webinar earlier this month. The ED's deadline for comments concludes June 20. Visit NC-SARA’s Call to Action webpage for these and other additional resources and background information.


Webinar - Expanding Professional Licensure Responsibilities: What the Department of Education's Proposed Changes Mean to Your Institution
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
1:00 p.m. CT

The U.S. Department of Education released proposed Title IV Certification Procedures regulations on May 19. The proposal includes an expansion of professional and occupational licensure-related responsibilities for institutions, with the need to certify that programs satisfy all educational prerequisites for licensure. Join MHEC as we host Higher Education Licensure Pros LLC for Expanding Professional Licensure Responsibilities: What the Department of Education's Proposed Changes Mean to Your Institution. Together we will learn about these responsibilities, how to best prepare, and opportunities to influence the final regulations.

Commissioner News - Executive Committee Meeting

Business Meeting Held in Madison

MHEC hosted its June Executive Committee meeting in-person in Madison, Wisconsin, on June 12-13. This was the first time that the meeting was open to all MHEC Commissioners and the turnout was great! Chair Devinder Malhotra, Minnesota State Chancellor, led the meeting's business. Wisconsin commissioners provided a welcome and all 12 member states were represented.

Commissioners reviewed progress on MHEC's strategic plan and financial reports for FY23. MHEC’s financial position is strong with all 12 member states paying their annual state commitments on time along with healthier than expected technology related revenues. Commissioners also took action to approve the FY24 MHEC budget, as well as affirm the approval of the contract extension for Marsh, through October 31, 2024.

Commissioners toured the Wisconsin State Capitol and hosted a dinner at Memorial Union on the University of Wisconsin campus. Chair Malhotra, who will retire in August, was acknowledged for his service during his last MHEC meeting.

There were two informative presentations shared with participants: Tracking Outcomes of College Graduates using U.S. Census Data and Promoting Student Success with Open Educational Resources.

MHEC is grateful to the Wisconsin commissioners for hosting this meeting.

Tracking Outcomes of College Graduates using U.S. Census Data

Dr. Jason Pontius, chief academic officer for the Board of Regents, State of Iowa presented his research on how the U.S. Census Bureau’s Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes Explorer (PSEO) can be used to track the earnings, migration, and employer industry of college graduates.

He discussed the value of a college degree and noted the increased pressure for colleges to report outcomes (wage and debt) data, noting Iowa House File 135. He shared numerous findings as well as the barriers to tracking data through states' workforce data and via the U.S. Department of Education's College Scorecard based on IRS wage data. In 2018, data became available through PSEO, with 27 states now participating. While the rapidly expanding grassroots effort allows the states to work with the U.S. Census to improve upon the data, it still has some limitations and is being improved all the time.

He presented data focused on the Iowa Regent institutions demonstrating their ability to show graduate wages, industry, and location over time, and the percent employed in the state. He emphasized that jobs retain graduates and indicated that incentives to get graduates to stay in the state also help.

Chippewa Valley Technical College Showcases OPENRN Project

Representatives from Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) demonstrated the impact of their open educational resources and dual enrollment work by highlighting student success when they presented on their Open RN™ project during the MHEC Executive Committee.

The Open RN™ project is funded by a $2.5 million dollar grant from the Department of Education to create five Open Educational Resources (OER) nursing textbooks with 25 associated virtual reality scenarios. CVTC shared their goals and how the use of OER has enabled them to provide materials for students on day one of classes, to reach segmented populations, and to share a glimpse of what is possible with OER.

CVTC's OER dual enrollment work within their 11-county region, has allowed the college to be relevant and innovative and fulfill their college's mission. They also shared how CVTC has scaled this initiative not only for their institution but for the Wisconsin Technical College System and nationally. They addressed how CVTC is helping to meet workforce needs. Finally, they noted their spin-off project of Next Gen RN which is to improve the preparedness of pre-licensure nurses entering the workforce.

CVTC representatives included Kimberly Ernstmeyer, Open RN™ project director; Dr. Lynette Livingston, provost and vice president of academic affairs; Vince Mussehl, director of library services; and Gina Petrie, dean of nursing.

Presentations and additional CVTC resources have been posted to the MHEC website.

Top Left (L to R): Dr. Lynette Livingston, provost and vice president of academic affairs; Vince Mussehl, director of library services; Kimberly Ernstmeyer, Open RN™ project director; and Gina Petrie, dean of nursing. Top Right: Dr. Jason Pontius, chief academic officer, Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Bottom (L to R); KS Rep. Barbara Ballard, MHEC vice chair; Susan Heegaard, MHEC president; and Dr. Devinder Malhotra, chancellor, Minnesota State and MHEC chair. More photos are posted on our Facebook page.

Commissioner Appointments

Jon Ford (reappointment)
State Senator; Member, Appropriations Committee
Indiana General Assembly
Term: 7/1/2023 to 6/30/2025

Greta Rouse
Board of Regents, State of Iowa
Term: 5/11/2023 to 4/30/2027

Barbara W. Ballard (reappointment)
State Representative; Minority Caucus Chair
Kansas Legislature
Term: 7/1/2023 to 6/30/2025

Molly Baumgardner (reappointment)
State Representative; Minority Caucus Chair
Kansas Legislature
Term: 7/1/2023 to 6/30/2025

Marci Francisco (reappointment-alternate)
State Senator
Kansas Legislature
Term: 7/1/2023 to 6/30/2025

Ken Rahjes (reappointment-alternate)
State Representative; Member, House Committee on Higher Education Budget
Kansas Legislature
Term: 7/1/2023 to 6/30/2025

Carol Glanville
State Representative; Chair, Higher Education Committee
Michigan Legislature
Term: 1/1/2023 to 12/31/2023

Connie Hutchison (reappointment)
Executive Secretary
State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board
Term: 7/1/2023 to 7/1/2025

Eric Fulcomer
Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
Term: 7/1/2023 to 7/1/2027


Team Updates

Midwestern Legislative Conference (July 9-12)
Susan Heegaard, president, will present to the Council of State Governments Midwestern Legislative Conference (MLC) Education & Workforce Development Committee and the Business Session during the MLC Annual Meeting in Detroit, Michigan, on July 9.

68th SHEEO Annual Meeting (July 17-20)
Susan Heegaard, president, will attend the SHEEO Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon, on July 17-20.

Articles and Resources of Interest

Over 1,900 colleges not requiring SAT, ACT in admissions for fall 2023
Higher Ed Dive | June 7, 2023

3 Alarming Threats To The U.S. Energy Grid – Cyber, Physical, And Existential Events
Forbes | February 15, 2023

Good news! Current students believe their degree is worth the cost
University Business | June 2, 2023

FY22 State Higher Education Finance (SHEF) Report
SHEEO | May 25, 2023

Elite private colleges will be the only financially healthy segment
University Business | May 24, 2023

ED’s New Proposed Regulations: Part 1, State Authorization Reciprocity
WCET Frontiers | May 24, 2023

The Students Who Aren't Coming
Inside Higher Ed | May 22, 2023

Whitmer signs bill that lowers costs of college tuition for military spouses and kids
Fox 2 Detroit | May 22, 2023

U.S. Department of Education Proposed Regs: Increased Responsibilities
Higher Education Licensure Pros LLC | May 21, 2023

[More states are giving students more money to pay for community college
Stateline | May 19, 2023

Non-elite colleges should consider radical steps to improve their financial future, report says
Higher Ed Dive | May 19, 2023

New, Stronger Gainful Employment Regs Released
Inside Higher Ed | May 18, 2023

Dual credit is growing & blurring the line between high school and higher ed
Northern Public Radio | May 16, 2023

Illinois Law to Make Major Course Credits at Illinois Institutions Transfer-Friendly
Diverse Education | May 16, 2023

I’m a Student. You Have No Idea How Much We’re Using ChatGPT
The Chronicle of Higher Education | May 12, 2023

[Work Trend Index | Will AI Fix Work
Microsoft | May 9, 2023

Bureaucracy Busters: Budget Update
West Virginia University | March 30, 2023