Student Mentor, Elementary Ed/Special Ed
Student Mentor, Elementary Education/Special Education
WGU Mentors serve a critical advising and support role for student success. Mentors do not teach courses, rather, they are their students' primary source of information about program operation, and about the policies and procedures of the university. Mentors counsel their assigned students in understanding expectations and overcoming obstacles to ensure success.
Mentors take a deep personal interest in their students' academic progress and reflect commitment to their students' success in all their daily work. They are experts in their students' academic program details and are able to answer or to obtain answers to all the questions students may have about their programs.
Mentors advise students on time management and schedule benchmarks for the student to successfully master program concepts, knowledge and skills. They help students identify their learning strengths and weaknesses and connect them with the resources necessary to extend the former and overcome the latter. They are well organized and good communicators, interpersonally, technologically, and in writing. Finally, they are not only capable in these many areas, but also dedicated to performing these functions in full measure.
Mentors must perform core responsibilities. These include:
- Providing direct, comprehensive program guidance to assigned students (normally 80-100 students)
- Managing students' academic progress according to university policies
- Scheduling students' use of learning resources and degree assessments
- Maintaining appropriate documentation of all academic transactions
- Maintaining regular communication with students according to university protocol
- Being well versed in Microsoft Outlook Suite Products, specifically Outlook Calendar
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
- Facilitates sections of the introductory course, Education Without Boundaries, which is required of all new students
- Assists students in their educational planning and progress from initial enrollment to graduation
- Evaluates student learning styles, skills, deficiencies and goals; assists students in the development of Degree Plans; identifies appropriate learning resources for them to use; and facilitates their use of those resources
- Monitors student academic progress, communicating with each student at least every two weeks; s/he intervenes as necessary to assist those students having difficulty, and completes required university reports on their academic status
- Assists students in career planning within the boundaries of his or her expertise, and directs students to planning resources in other areas as appropriate
- Serves as the student’s advocate in resolving matters of academic difficulty, misunderstanding or confusion
Utilize technology based teaching platforms to aid students in the development of competencies.
- Bring the course of study to life with engaging live webinars or relevant recorded webinars that enhance expected competencies.
- Provide a recorded “Getting Started” session for each course.
- Provide a classroom environment conducive to learning and teaching using features in Adobe.
- Organize concepts in a logical and understandable sequence, utilizing examples and student interaction to facilitate learning
- Utilize innovative teaching techniques in order to meet student needs.
- Be proficient using Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint) to create course deliverables (i.e. presentations, study guides, and spreadsheets).
Provide personalized outreach to at-risk students in a way that fosters development of competencies.
- Use TaskStream reports to target students who have had a task sent back for revision.
- Assist students with the task revision process by clarifying evaluator comments, clarifying task directions, directing students to learning resources, and teaching the skills needed to develop appropriate competency.
- Collaborate with student mentors on strategies for supporting individual students.
- Use failed first attempts to identify at-risk students.
- Provide competency-based study plans for students attempting second, third, and fourth attempts.
- Promote student success by showing flexibility in style, method, and communication.
- Assess individual student needs and provide honest feedback about next steps.
- Provide follow up calls or emails to students to summarize conversations.
- Establish and maintain office hours for student questions and consultation through phone, email, and IM.
- Encourage a culture of learning that values mutual responsibility and respect, lifelong learning and ethics as well as personal and professional development.
- Routinely correlate concepts in the learning community with the course of study content.
Collaborate with other professionals within the university to promote a positive atmosphere in a student-focused environment.
- Use knowledge of assessment to suggest revisions of course of study to product development.
- Identify gaps between student needs and existing resources and services; generate creative resolutions.
- Communicate with positive regard, respect, and solution- focus with members of other departments.
- Maintain knowledge of other departments/services such as Well Connect, Center for Writing Excellence, Career Services, etc. in order to connect students when appropriate.
- Serve on university committees and/or task forces to assist in achieving strategic goals.
- Engage other departments to solve complex issues students may encounter, outside content.
- Maintain appropriate notes and records to document attendance and contact with students; maintain confidentiality, according to law.
- Develop and maintain constructive and cooperative working relationships with others.
- Be available to assist in training new mentors as needed.
Maintain scholarly and professional expertise through professional development.
- Maintain subscriptions to professional journals and memberships in professional associations most relevant to one’s area of expertise.
- Participate in professional conferences as an attendee and/or as a presenter.
- Attend and actively participate in training opportunities provided in online and in person settings.
- Maintain the certifications, licenses or other professional credentials that were required for the position at the time of hiring.
- Actively seek out opportunities to meet with faculty of other institutions who share your area of expertise.
Balance content delivery with exceptional student service.
- Provide prompt and courteous service, including keeping all scheduled appointments; in emergencies, give students appropriate and timely notice.
- Return all calls or emails within 4 business hours; Provide resolution or update student about progress on resolution of issue within 24 hours.
- Facilitate student interaction with other departments or personnel when needed to ensure the students get support and service.
- Provide honest feedback and recommendations while listening with an empathetic ear, explaining unwritten rules, acknowledging disappointments, and celebrating triumphs.
- Develop a teaching style that is individualized to student needs while also emphasizing real-world application of content.
- Work with difficult people in a positive and proactive manner.
- Clarify misconceptions by communicating the WGU mission and structure; provide a rationale behind policies.
Perform other duties as assigned.
- Maintain a non-traditional schedule with a minimum of ten (10) hours per week outside the hours of 9 to 5 (in the employee’s home time zone).
- Plan vacation days in advance and collaborate with team members for adequate coverage.
- Attend WGU academic meetings on a time table and at a geographic location determined by management, usually twice a year.
- Embrace change proactively.
- Keep up-to-date technically and apply new knowledge to job responsibilities.
- Contribute to the wider WGU community by participating in collaboration opportunities, including focus groups and the Mentor Development Community.
- Student success (as measured by % of students on OTPa measurement of courses completed within the term)
- Student success (as measured by number of program graduates)
- Student retention (as measured by % of students retained 7 months, 13 months, 19 months, 25 months and 3 years)
- Student satisfaction (as measured by approved survey responses administered to program participants)
- College rank (using Z score report)
- Other measures, as agreed upon
- Strong customer service orientation and extraordinary communication skills.
- Technologically competent, specifically with online programs, tracking and communication technology.
- A remarkable talent for organization is a requirement.
- Must be able to spend significant time working at a computer.
- Must be able to spend significant time on the telephone.
- Must have good Microsoft Office skills and strong Internet capabilities.
- Must be able to communicate at a high level, verbally and in writing.
- Excellent collaboration skills.
- Ability to work as a member of a team.
- Experience with integrated technology systems and tools.
- Expertise in one or more fields covered by the competencies required in college programs.
- Position works from home, but must be available for travel in support of college requirements.
- A minimum of a master's degree in a related field
- 3 years related professional experience
- 3 years teaching experience highly desired
- Higher education teaching and/or curricular experience
- Certification in relevant field and/or significant experience in the professional field
The successful candidate must live within 1 1/2 hours from Seattle, Washington; Austin, Texas; or Indianapolis, Indiana.