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Western Governors University

Western Governors University

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Western Governors University Employee Reviews about "mentors"

Updated Jun 29, 2021

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Found 22 of over 1,280 reviews

3.8
71%
Recommend to a Friend
75%
Approve of CEO
Western Governors University President Scott D. Pulsipher
Scott D. Pulsipher
640 Ratings

What people are saying about Western Governors University

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Asset / Investment Management

1y

an 

Operations Associate

I work in a Rep Services Call Center for an Insurance/ Investment Company. Currently I'm pursuing my MBA at Western Governors University and I plan to get my Series 7 after my MBA so I can get out of the Call Center and advance my career. I'm looking for some advice / guidance/ideas for growth opportunities from here. I'd like to hear about good experiences and bad experiences people have had in this industry, where did you start, how did you grow from there, what licenses do you have, ect.

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Top Review Highlights by Sentiment

Pros
  • "Flexible Schedule; work from home(in 241 reviews)
  • "The ability to work remote is a great benefit.(in 95 reviews)
  • "Great people to work with and being able to work with students reach their goals of going back to school.(in 55 reviews)
  • "Great culture and they truly believe in it(in 40 reviews)
  • "There are many great coworkers that are in it for the student’s success and are recognized for their hard work.(in 27 reviews)
Cons
  • "low pay and job insecurity(in 105 reviews)
  • "Poor management and quick to retaliate.(in 55 reviews)
  • "Many managers have only gotten to the position that they are currently in because of the institutions rapid growth.(in 46 reviews)
  • "Senior people keep leaving and the salary is too low to attract new people to fill the position.(in 40 reviews)
  • "Upper management is clueless, reckless, selfish, and greedy.(in 32 reviews)
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.

Ratings by Demographics

This rating reflects the overall rating of Western Governors University and is not affected by filters.

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Reviews about "mentors"

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  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.

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    27 people found this review helpful
  2. 5.0
    Former Employee, more than 1 year

    Flexibility a plus

    Mar 8, 2022 - Student Mentor 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Great people. Training awesome for mentors.

    Cons

    Can get a little lonely working alone.

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  3. 2.0
    Former Employee, more than 3 years

    Mentor - Not such a Great Place to Work after all...

    Mar 10, 2016 - Student Mentor - Faculty 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Work from home, travel twice per year paid, dedicated co-workers who are truly committed to serving and helping students overall. Low pay, though when factoring in not having to commute or eating lunches out, etc its not too bad. It was great the first 1 1/2 years and then started going down hill once upper management changed.

    Cons

    Shifted from student- focused to numbers-only focused. Felt the school supported its mission to help students complete their degrees, but over time as middle/senior management grew became more focused on numbers and have forgotten the individual student. Mentors are held 100% responsible for students progress or lack their of, retention, etc, and are expected to be able to change life-long behaviors in students in 15 minute weekly meetings. Management knows that a vast majority of students were those to failed/struggled at other institutions, yet they demand that they perform like the top 20% of students. The way performance indicators are calculated is never fully explained or disclosed to mentors, so checking the data to ensure its accurate is impossible. They start you off saying... take care of your students, and your numbers will take care of themselves. NOT TRUE at all. There were known strategies and approaches, but they were not shared with new mentors or pat of initial training. Horrible work/life balance - management pays no attention to office hours. They say you can set your own schedule (with 10 hours being outside of 8-5) but if you aren't available when a student wants to meet, you have to change your schedule to accommodate it. Inconsistent expectations for documentation - some mentors barely type a sentence in their notes, while others are expected to write paragraphs for each student call.... even on the same team. Too much preferential treatment based on who you are, and whether or not you're part of the 'in' crowd. Not a bad place to get some higher ed experience, just don't stay longer than 2-3 years. Unless you want to manage a team of mentors, there is no room to move up or get other experiences. Additionally, there is very POOR change management. It seemed that each person in middle/upper management was trying to make a name for themselves creating a ridiculous number of initiatives, very few that resulted in anything meaningful and often took mentors time away from focusing on students. Someone needs to be in charge of change management - and to communicate it to students and faculty in a clear, consistent manner. Constant changes were always put on the shoulders of mentors to communicate and navigate students through, often when Mentors weren't even given adequate information or resources to do so. And again, taking mentor/student time away from focusing on their progress and coursework. They tell students its a self-paced program, but they need to share very clearly that there is a minimum expectation. It seems like pretty much anyone can be admitted there, their admission standards dropped as time went on.

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    31 people found this review helpful
  4. 4.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Great place to work

    May 11, 2019 - Faculty in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    I truly love working for WGU. This is a dynamic place full of people who care about their jobs, their students, and the future of education. I've worked in two departments so far and can honestly say WGU is a fast paced environment that braces new technology and isnt afraid to address areas of improvement. There are likely those who just do their job for the paycheck, but I think those are far and few between. It would be tough for me to want to leave WGU.

    Cons

    There are very few cons other than at times due to the organizational structure, those in leadership fail to consult with individual contributors about changes they are SME's on. Many in leadership could benefit from connecting with faculty and mentors rather than middle management.

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    3 people found this review helpful
  5. 5.0
    Current Employee, more than 1 year

    A great place to work

    Oct 21, 2014 - Student Mentor - Faculty in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    Where to even start. There are so many great reasons to work for WGU as a mentor. While some say the salary is low, think about the cost savings of working from home: no new shoes to buy, no suits to buy, no gas for to and from work and no daycare costs. Those benefits far outweigh a larger salary. WGU provides all of the necessary technology and also has an amazing training for new mentors. The mentoring teams are made up of great people who are there as a team - not as an individual. Everyone works together. Another poster suggested that promotions don't come from within. I beg to differ. Promotions do come from within. There are plenty of opportunities to find your fit at WGU and do what you love to do.

    Cons

    Sure, as others have said the KPIs and metrics are tough, but if you do right by your students the numbers of the KPI will reflect that. Also as others have stated, some managers are not the best but isn't that the case wherever you go. Remember you are working from home so you don't have to see your manager day in and day out. The only con might be working from home (yet its also a pro). Working from home makes it easy to work way more than 50 hours a week.

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    3 people found this review helpful
  6. 3.0
    Current Employee

    Course Mentor

    Dec 17, 2015 - Course Mentor in Salt Lake City, UT
    Recommend
    CEO Approval
    Business Outlook

    Pros

    great to work from home, nice flexibility of schedule other then being requirement of 10hrs. of "non-traditional" hours. Paid travel twice yearly.

    Cons

    The pay could definitely be better, mentors make much less than what you would in a traditional university. Management has a business focus not an educational focus. Your bonus depends on how much the student needed, wanted, or was able to put in their own effort in making progress in their degree programs. There are student who just simply can make it through this competency-based programs without needing much from their mentor. Likewise, there are also some very poor students and despite all the support you give them, the do not succeed. It can be a difficult pill to swallow to know that your pay depends on how well or poorly the students in the overall university or in your specific college do. Also, not much room for advancement, tuition reimbursement is a joke.

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    9 people found this review helpful
  7. 1.0
    Current Employee, more than 3 years

    Not all it is cracked up to be

    Jan 19, 2015 - Student Mentor - Faculty 
    Recommend
    CEO Approval