Western Governors University (WGU) has one critical flaw: The mentors.

revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
Context:
I was a student of WGU back in 2013.  I withdrew because of issues with many of the courses as well as the mentor at the time.  Went back to work, was successful and decided to give it another go around in 2019.

6 classes later, I'm told that mentors can block you from taking classes in the order you choose, even though there's not a hard policy allowing them to do so or restricting you as a student; they can individually, on their own discretion, opt to block you as part of their attempt to help new students.  It's fine to help new students; I'm not a new student. I don't need a babysitter.  

The course mentors/instructors are nice to deal with but largely, they refer you back to the online materials.  SO they don't add value if that's all they're there for.

At the end of the day, students are paying for this.  The student should thus have control over the end result.

I'm not suggesting they get rid of mentors.  But mentors need to lose some of the power they hold.  A student should be able to select whatever courses they want to take, when they want to take them, if they're mature enough to own the risk of losing money.  That includes accelerating courses.  

Comments

  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Posts: 174Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 7
    revelated said:
    Context:
    I was a student of WGU back in 2013.  I withdrew because of issues with many of the courses as well as the mentor at the time.  Went back to work, was successful and decided to give it another go around in 2019.

    6 classes later, I'm told that mentors can block you from taking classes in the order you choose, even though there's not a hard policy allowing them to do so or restricting you as a student; they can individually, on their own discretion, opt to block you as part of their attempt to help new students.  It's fine to help new students; I'm not a new student (_debatable_) I don't need a babysitter.  

    The course mentors/instructors are nice to deal with but largely, they refer you back to the online materials.  SO they don't add value if that's all they're there for.

    At the end of the day, students are paying for this.  The student should thus have control over the end result. 

    I'm not suggesting they get rid of mentors.  But mentors need to lose some of the power they hold.  A student should be able to select whatever courses they want to take, when they want to take them, if they're mature enough to own the risk of losing money.  That includes accelerating courses.  
    Hello and Welcome,

    At the time of your previous enrollment, you could have indeed requested another mentor. I would not personally let one individual be the difference between being in school and not. I am not sure I would use an individual as an excuse for leaving school. That mentor, like everyone can be replaced and could have been replaced. Out of all the reading I've done on Reddit (which has a ton of more frequent discussions on WGU than this site), I've never seen someone say that had to be with one particular mentor. So, if you had other issues outside of that, that's a different story. But, I wouldn't necessarily blame the mentor as one of the reasons for leaving school....

    Yes, mentors can block you from taking the classes that you want. That is true.I finished a graduate degree in a few months. You can search the forum for my post. What does that tell you? If you are progressing through your work expeditiously (and passing), the mentor will not block you from taking classes! I agree that the mentor should deny certain class requests if your performance lacks.  If you pass every class (the first time), I don't see why a mentor would prohibit you from selecting your next class. You are not a new student but you are a student who dropped out the first time, which can be classified as a nw student I guess... You think they the university or the mentor doesn't know you dropped out?  Long story short, you must prove yourself to the mentor. You failing a class and/or dropping out doesn't look favorably on the mentor. Trust me. They want you to pass the first time around and not drop out again. It looks favorably on them. 

    They are going to refer you back to the course materials because the answers in some shape, fashion, or form exist in them. The instructors might give you minimal hints but for the most part it's entirely on you. We are talking about mentors. Mentors. What value do you think a mentor should have? You said they refer you back to course materials, which doesn't add value.  :| If you want someone to hold your hand through school . . .

    How about this, Post your WGU dashboard and I'll come back and give you further opinionated statements based on my personal experience. 

  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,597Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    How difficult was it to get back in after a withdrawal?  Did they make you jump through a bunch of hoops or was it relatively easy?
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,278Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Long story short, you must prove yourself to the mentor.

    Sounds fun! :neutral:

    Seriously mentors sound awfully annoying. I've heard some mentors checking up on people ALL the time too... Seems like a babysitter for college
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Posts: 174Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 8
    Long story short, you must prove yourself to the mentor.

    Sounds fun! :neutral:

    Seriously mentors sound awfully annoying. I've heard some mentors checking up on people ALL the time too... Seems like a babysitter for college
    Long story short, you must prove yourself to the mentor.

    Sounds fun! :neutral:

    Seriously mentors sound awfully annoying. I've (You heard? I am going to assume you've never went to WGU. You know what happens when you assume, you make an a.....n :/ evermind) heard some mentors checking up on people ALL the time too... Seems like a babysitter for college.


    Mr. Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops),

    I've said it before, I only talked to my mentor once a week and it was more than one week where we didn't talk at all.

    We should stay on the discussion topic. I don't think the discussion @revelated created should be catered towards bashing WGU. I think it should be catered towards helping him understand how he can be successful within WGU and continue to stay enrolled, preferably from someone (not even including myself) who was successful within WGU and can give pointers.Those pointers might include positive and maybe negative. But, I don't think someone from the outside looking in is in the position to give any advice good or bad.  

    Saying WGU is a babysitter college is a waste of space on this topic. Go create a I hate WGU thread somewhere else LOL 

    I will come back when @revelated posts his WGU dashboard, if he/she decides to post it. Until then, adios! 
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,278Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited June 8

    Sounds fun! :neutral:

    Seriously mentors sound awfully annoying. I've (You heard? I am going to assume you've never went to WGU. You know what happens when you assume, you make an a.....n :/ evermind) heard some mentors checking up on people ALL the time too... Seems like a babysitter for college.


    Mr. Goals in progress: MSc in Computer Science (specializing in Cyber Ops),

    I've said it before, I only talked to my mentor once a week and it was more than one week where we didn't talk at all.

    We should stay on the discussion topic. I don't think the discussion @revelated created should be catered towards bashing WGU. I think it should be catered towards helping him understand how he can be successful within WGU and continue to stay enrolled, preferably from someone (not even including myself) who was successful within WGU and can give pointers.Those pointers might include positive and maybe negative. But, I don't think someone from the outside looking in is in the position to give any advice good or bad.  

    Saying WGU is a babysitter college is a waste of space on this topic. Go create a I hate WGU thread somewhere else LOL 

    I will come back when @revelated posts his WGU dashboard, if he/she decides to post it. Until then, adios! 

    Wow, lol. Alright, lets go down this road... :smile:

    First, I just posted something I read from another person who went there... I am not "assuming" a single thing. I'm stating how the experience was of a student who went to WGU.

    Second, who cares what I'm going for... totally unrelated to the topic. The topic was about WGU mentors and my short comment was only about the topic.

    Third, I don't hate WGU. I think it holds a good place for someone who is looking to get their degree quickly and fairly cheap. I'm sorry if my impression of mentors (the topic of this thread btw) offends you. If you can't handle opinions about the topic being discussed on a forum that differ from your's you probably should brace yourself for a tough road ahead.

    edit:  Lastly, I didn't say "WGU is a babysitter college".  I said "Seems like a babysitter for college."  Referring to the mentors.  You know... the topic of this thread

  • revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    revelated said:
    Context:
    I was a student of WGU back in 2013.  I withdrew because of issues with many of the courses as well as the mentor at the time.  Went back to work, was successful and decided to give it another go around in 2019.

    6 classes later, I'm told that mentors can block you from taking classes in the order you choose, even though there's not a hard policy allowing them to do so or restricting you as a student; they can individually, on their own discretion, opt to block you as part of their attempt to help new students.  It's fine to help new students; I'm not a new student (_debatable_) I don't need a babysitter.  

    The course mentors/instructors are nice to deal with but largely, they refer you back to the online materials.  SO they don't add value if that's all they're there for.

    At the end of the day, students are paying for this.  The student should thus have control over the end result. 

    I'm not suggesting they get rid of mentors.  But mentors need to lose some of the power they hold.  A student should be able to select whatever courses they want to take, when they want to take them, if they're mature enough to own the risk of losing money.  That includes accelerating courses.  
    Hello and Welcome,

    At the time of your previous enrollment, you could have indeed requested another mentor.

    Negative.  I was refused both times.

     If you are progressing through your work expeditiously (and passing), the mentor will not block you from taking classes!

    Negative.  I passed all six courses in my current term.  I haven't failed a one of them.  The reason for blocking is "you shouldn't take that yet, it's too hard for students" which is BS.


    You are not a new student but you are a student who dropped out the first time, which can be classified as a nw student I guess... You think they the university or the mentor doesn't know you dropped out?  

    Neither the Program Mentor nor Student Services can tell I'm a readmit.  Everything shows as a new admission on their end.  Don't assume - it takes three letters to explain why it's a problem.

    They are going to refer you back to the course materials because the answers in some shape, fashion, or form exist in them.

    Except when those answers in the materials are wrong.

     What value do you think a mentor should have?

    Depends on the type.  A COURSE mentor should work with you on course materials should you need them, because reaching out to a course mentor implies there's deficiencies with the course material and/or Student A needs clarification.  A PROGRAM mentor should work with you on the program based on you as an individual and your needs, not generic lockouts based on other students failing.  YOU own your risk. 
    At the end of the day...you are a customer, paying for a product.  The product needs to be satisfactory to YOU, not to them. Otherwise, don't offer the product.
  • revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    stryder144 said:
    How difficult was it to get back in after a withdrawal?  Did they make you jump through a bunch of hoops or was it relatively easy?
    Hoops - no.  Inefficiency, yes.  Financial aid took two and a half months and kept getting screwed up.
  • revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Long story short, you must prove yourself to the mentor.



    Sounds fun! :neutral: Seriously mentors sound awfully annoying. I've heard some mentors checking up on people ALL the time too... Seems like a babysitter for college
    The thing is, mentors are fine if you're (A) new to college, (B) new to WGU, (C) learn in that style or (D) aren't sure of what to do because you're too busy and want external guidance.  That's perfectly fine.

    In my case, I'm a 3+ year vet of the platform,  I know exactly how it works, I know what I want it to do for me - and that's the key.  I own my risk.  Others don't own risk for me.

    Staunch defenders of WGU are emotionally driven because they like the program and they've been conditioned to believe that WGU can do no wrong.  That's their opinion.  I consider it weak.  I believe, always have, that a person should feel failure in order to appreciate success.  You can't feel failure when you have a babysitter - and that's what they are, I'll say it - coddling you and protecting you from harm.  To use a modern term, it's snowflakism

    I read about other schools that got rid of tests because students couldn't handle the pressure - they just graded coursework.  Really?

    We're living in weak times and it's sad to see that people can't take a butt whopping every now and then and grow stronger from the experience like it used to be. 
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Each mentor is different, some are very rigid, others are more flexible. I've gone more than a month without talking with mine. The first time I asked about rearranging the schedule, I was told "no" but that I could do the courses in the current term in any order I wanted. After I showed I was capable of accelerating, my mentor arranged the courses in the order I asked for.

    The majority of people are not driven-to-succeed, nor are they effective self-starters but most are very overconfident in their abilities, the combination of which usually does not lead to success. Since WGU is entirely online and doesn't have fixed assignments, there was no way for the institution to know who was making progress until they performed the task in question. Who is stuck vs who is lazy vs who thought this was a great idea and decided to bail at the first sign or effort required but also didn't tell anyone?

    I see program mentors a lot like HR departments, their role can certainly help the student but their real role is to protect the university. Protect WGU from what? The potential of losing its accreditation due to too many people floundering or leaving without notice.
  • revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    EANx said:
    Each mentor is different, some are very rigid, others are more flexible. I've gone more than a month without talking with mine. The first time I asked about rearranging the schedule, I was told "no" but that I could do the courses in the current term in any order I wanted. After I showed I was capable of accelerating, my mentor arranged the courses in the order I asked for.

    The majority of people are not driven-to-succeed, nor are they effective self-starters but most are very overconfident in their abilities, the combination of which usually does not lead to success. Since WGU is entirely online and doesn't have fixed assignments, there was no way for the institution to know who was making progress until they performed the task in question. Who is stuck vs who is lazy vs who thought this was a great idea and decided to bail at the first sign or effort required but also didn't tell anyone?

    I see program mentors a lot like HR departments, their role can certainly help the student but their real role is to protect the university. Protect WGU from what? The potential of losing its accreditation due to too many people floundering or leaving without notice.
    Listen, I'm all for protecting the interests of the university.  Which is why I went out of my way to pass six courses in one week, to show them that I wasn't playing around and I was serious about succeeding.  If a student who's passing the rough equivalent of one course a day on average, what more is there that must be proven before you say "okay, we get it, you're not the average student, let's flex a bit to let you succeed"? 

    Instead what they said was "we have policies to protect students and we stick by them".  That's what I have a problem with - applying generic restrictions unilaterally when your whole marketing pitch is that the student can create their own success.  They can't if you don't let them.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    revelated said:
    Context:
    I was a student of WGU back in 2013.  I withdrew because of issues with many of the courses as well as the mentor at the time.  Went back to work, was successful and decided to give it another go around in 2019.

    6 classes later, I'm told that mentors can block you from taking classes in the order you choose, even though there's not a hard policy allowing them to do so or restricting you as a student; they can individually, on their own discretion, opt to block you as part of their attempt to help new students.  It's fine to help new students; I'm not a new student. I don't need a babysitter.  

    The course mentors/instructors are nice to deal with but largely, they refer you back to the online materials.  SO they don't add value if that's all they're there for.

    At the end of the day, students are paying for this.  The student should thus have control over the end result.

    I'm not suggesting they get rid of mentors.  But mentors need to lose some of the power they hold.  A student should be able to select whatever courses they want to take, when they want to take them, if they're mature enough to own the risk of losing money.  That includes accelerating courses.  

    If you are having a problem with your mentor, can’t you just ask for a new one?
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,503Admin Admin
    So far I'm happy with my WGU mentor, his advise, and speaking with him only for a few minutes every two weeks. If I had a personal curriculum mentor back when I first started college I would have graduated years sooner than I did.
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited June 9
    I don't mean any disrespect to you but in general, flying through the first handful of courses doesn't mean much. If I were a course mentor, I'd want to see how you handled challenge before giving you more flexibility. We don't know the context of your leaving in 2013 but it's possible they were taking whatever those events were into account and only had the information they had.
    There's a lot of students out there whose helicopter parents have never allowed them to experience adversity so when they hit a challenge, they throw up their hands in despair. I met a number of them when I was working on my Bachelors. It astonished me how many non-working students had problems they couldn't overcome but someone working full-time while going to school full-time was able to pull straight-As.
    The key, in my limited experience, is convincing someone you have resilience and the best way to convince them, is to demonstrate it. When I talk with my mentor, more of the conversation is devoted to the challenges of doing a program while encountering X and Y at work so that when I do slow down, he knows it's not because I'm simply slacking off.
  • revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    revelated said:
    Context:
    I was a student of WGU back in 2013.  I withdrew because of issues with many of the courses as well as the mentor at the time.  Went back to work, was successful and decided to give it another go around in 2019.

    6 classes later, I'm told that mentors can block you from taking classes in the order you choose, even though there's not a hard policy allowing them to do so or restricting you as a student; they can individually, on their own discretion, opt to block you as part of their attempt to help new students.  It's fine to help new students; I'm not a new student. I don't need a babysitter.  

    The course mentors/instructors are nice to deal with but largely, they refer you back to the online materials.  SO they don't add value if that's all they're there for.

    At the end of the day, students are paying for this.  The student should thus have control over the end result.

    I'm not suggesting they get rid of mentors.  But mentors need to lose some of the power they hold.  A student should be able to select whatever courses they want to take, when they want to take them, if they're mature enough to own the risk of losing money.  That includes accelerating courses.  

    If you are having a problem with your mentor, can’t you just ask for a new one?
    Course mentor no. 

    Program mentor I did ask. They refused. 
  • MrsWilliamsMrsWilliams Junior Member Posts: 174Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 9
    JDMurray said:
    So far I'm happy with my WGU mentor, his advise, and speaking with him only for a few minutes every two weeks. If I had a personal curriculum mentor back when I first started college I would have graduated years sooner than I did.
    I wasn't coming back to say anything else on this post until @revelated posted his/her dashboard. Considering it doesn't look like that is happening, this post made me want to comment and say..

    I AGREE @JDMurray

    Probably 99% of the people going to WGU are later bloomers. The majority of people that are going to WGU are people who have surpassed the nation wide norm for ages that people traditionally attend college. 

    When I was 18 years of age I had never heard of WGU. I found out about WGU on this website. People graduating high school next year aren't considering going to WGU after graduation. With that being said, people such as myself could have used a "mentor" in earlier years of life. When you hit your 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's are decide to finally get a degree (from WGU) it's hard for me to fathom that a "mentor" can be a disservice. Obviously earlier in our years we weren't able to get a degree. Maybe we lacked knowing the importance of a degree or for numerous other reasons. 

    It's 24hrs in a day. Counting working days Monday - Friday that is 120 hours. People have and will continue to complain about talking to a mentor who is trying to help you once a week for 10 minutes (or less) on the phone. I am baffled LOL 

    People will always complain about a (1 Term) 4k degree. People will always have the option to spend 40K on a degree and not have to deal with a mentor ;) 

    Next post here I come..
  • revelatedrevelated Posts: 19Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    EANx said:
    I don't mean any disrespect to you but in general, flying through the first handful of courses doesn't mean much. If I were a course mentor, I'd want to see how you handled challenge before giving you more flexibility. We don't know the context of your leaving in 2013 but it's possible they were taking whatever those events were into account and only had the information they had.
    There's a lot of students out there whose helicopter parents have never allowed them to experience adversity so when they hit a challenge, they throw up their hands in despair. I met a number of them when I was working on my Bachelors. It astonished me how many non-working students had problems they couldn't overcome but someone working full-time while going to school full-time was able to pull straight-As.
    The key, in my limited experience, is convincing someone you have resilience and the best way to convince them, is to demonstrate it. When I talk with my mentor, more of the conversation is devoted to the challenges of doing a program while encountering X and Y at work so that when I do slow down, he knows it's not because I'm simply slacking off.
    The only way to demonstrate "resilience" is to do exactly what I'm asking them to do: let me own my failure and/success. If I fail, evaluate how I recover and get back in the game. So long as I keep succeeding, what's there to get in the way about? 
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I understand why you would have the confidence in yourself but looking at it from their side, I think that trying to get them to be flexible when you've been doing this a whole week is optimistic. If they felt you handled things in a rash fashion in 2013, you might have to fight to get back to 0.
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