Cover image for Western Governors University
Logo
See All Photos

Western Governors University

Engaged Employer

Western Governors University

Add a Review

Employee Review

  1. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 5 years

    Student Mentor

    Sep 1, 2016 - Student Mentor - Faculty in Merrillan, WI
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Have the ability to work from home assisting students on their path to graduation. It is very fulfilling to know that the help you provide betters the life of your students and their families as well. Great atmosphere where everyone is friendly and loves what they do. Your program managers are great at listening to your career goals, then offering ideas and encouragement for you to be successful in your pursuit. For instance, student mentors can work towards becoming either course mentors, program managers, etc.. There are many paths to other positions should you choose to advance.

    Cons

    Student Mentors are evaluated on how well their students perform. The top measure is for OTP (on time progress), did all of your students in a given month finish their term completing a minimum of 12 competency units (CUs). This is often out of the mentors' control as students are allowed to complete only 3 CUs per term and still continue to their next term. Especially if students are paying for the terms themselves many are content with attending "part-time". Meaning they sign up for 12 to 14 CUs but only plan to complete 3 or 4 CUs. Even students on either military of financial aid can complete less than 12 CUs. Regardless of how much you motivate students and ensure they have access to a multitude of resources for success, many will not achieve OTP. Another measure is retention (how many students remain enrolled), and most students do continue and graduate. However, there are times that students need to withdraw for personal reasons, or because they have lost financial aid due to not maintaining satisfactory academic progress (SAP). This has not been an issue for me but for many others student mentors it is. Another measure if when students complete a survey about how satisfied they are with the university and the mentoring support they receive. If students experience frustration over catalog upgrades, issues with connecting to resources, or an interaction with a course mentor, this will all count against the student mentor. WGU's systems have improved vastly, even with all of this student's may have a bad week right prior to the survey and complete it based on that. For instance, they may have received a 2nd email warning they need to take their mentors' call since this is their attendance. Students become frustrated over this and write a negative review. The mentor's interactions are a fair review, but students survey rating on the University or course mentor interaction is often beyond the mentor's control. Since OTP is one of the most critical measure and if it falls low enough mentors will be put on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan). This is a warning that if OTP does not improve, mentors are at risk for losing their jobs. Often this can be the luck of how motivated your students are or what stage in they are their degree program (students after two years may complete fewer courses in a term, due to the fact they have reached the most challenging courses in their programs, or they have had major life events which cause them to not be as successful as they normally are). Mentors have no control over students major life events, or whether they are satisfied with completing fewer courses in a term. There are few repercussions for students and they may simply be burnt out. Many WGU student mentors have been let go for low OTP, even if they were excellent mentors. When mentors start they are given all new students who are fresh and eager to learn, thus their OTP is high. After a year to eighteen months, mentors rarely if ever receive new students. Instead, they will receive transfers from mentors who have been fired or re-entry students who have quit college before. This starts an OTP downward spiral and I cannot think of any mentors who have been with WGU for 18 months or more, who have never battled low OTP. To summarize the system of evaluation of student mentors is extremely flawed and needs to be modified. Even if mentors manage to battle back after being placed on a PIP (for low retention or OTP) It forever shakes the mentor's confidence and their perception of the fairness of the evaluation. In addition, if WGU ever wanted to rid themselves of a mentor who is a battling a major illness all they would need to do is ensure they transfer struggling students to that mentor. Even though WGU can fire "at will" this is an easy way for them to save face, by not firing individuals because they are ill.

    Continue reading
    27 people found this review helpful
  1. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 8 years

    Culture and opportunities

    Dec 3, 2022 - Program Mentor in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    WGU offers a very supportive top-down culture and many opportunities for professional growth. They invest in their employees.

    Cons

    Consistent changes in processes and programs for the benefit of employees and students. It is important to embrace change and realize that you will have the tools and support to be successful.

    Be the first to find this review helpful
  2. 2.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    It Depends on Which Department You Work For

    Dec 3, 2022 - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    There is a certain level of autonomy that I enjoy. I am fully remote. I get to interact with several departments across the university which is fun.

    Cons

    The pay is not up to snuff with the other higher education institutions. This could very well only apply to certain positions, but the requirements for certain roles are also ridiculous and the opposite of equitable. Just compare some similar positions with say, Harvard. One would think that an institution like Harvard would have one of the more stringent "check every box" hiring requirements, but they don't because they realize not everyone who is intelligent and very capable at their job doesn't have a formal degree. It's called "equal work experience" or "preferred" instead of "required." A lot of talent being left out of this work place.

    Continue reading
    Be the first to find this review helpful

Discover more reviews about Western Governors University.

Western Governors University Careers

Cover image for Western Governors University

Hi there and thank you for taking the time to learn more about us! Here at WGU, we believe that talent is universal—even if opportunity...More

  • Our Story
  • Teams
  • Culture
  • Benefits
This is the employer's chance to tell you why you should work for them. The information provided is from their perspective.

Western Governors University Photos

+ Add Photo
Western Governors University photo of: Employee Spotlight
Western Governors University photo of: Town Hall
Western Governors University photo of: WGU employees at Town Hall
Western Governors University photo of: Town Hall event
Western Governors University photo of: WGU employees at a Town Hall event
Western Governors University photo of: WGU employee receiving a prize pack at a Town Hall event
Western Governors University photo of: Employees during Town Hall
See All Photos

Western Governors University Job Seekers Also Viewed

UnitedHealth Group Logo
UnitedHealth Group

3.5

15,230 Reviews
Compare