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For Employers


Welcome Employers


Thank you for considering Western Governors University (WGU) students and alumni for opportunities in your organization. Whether you are searching for interns or seeking to fill part-time and full-time career positions, our goal is to partner with you to recruit and hire a diverse pool of extremely qualified candidates and greatly increase your company's visibility. 

We value your partnership and see you as an invaluable resource to WGU. Below are some ways that we can collaborate to meet your recruiting goals and initiatives: 

Start Recruiting


WGU students and graduates are ready to work. WGU degree programs are designed with employer input to ensure that students master the skills employers are seeking—and in order to graduate, they must prove it through competency-based education. 

WGU uses Handshake, an international recruiting platform, to enable employers to connect with talented WGU students and alumni in a single click. Connecting with WGU on Handshake allows employers to post jobs and internships (as well as volunteer opportunities), and promote events to WGU students and alumni completely free of charge!

That's right - there are no fees associated with recruiting at Western Governors University!

First, you will need to create an employer account in Handshake and request to connect with Western Governors University. This gives you the ability to post jobs and events in our system!

Do you already have an employer account on Handshake? All you have to do is log in to your existing account and request to connect with Western Governors University!

Please note that it may take up to a 3-5 business days for your employer access to be approved at Western Governors University, depending on volume. While your request is being processed, be sure to review our Recruiting Policy and Guidelines. To gain access to WGU Handshake, employer accounts must include:

  • A complete contact name (both first and last name)
  • A well-written company description (this helps students determine fit with your organization)
  • A corporate address (residential addresses and PO boxes do not meet this requirement)
  • An email address with a listed domain that matches the company name and website (Please note that most,, and do not meet this requirement and are subject to an extended approval period. These emails are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • A dedicated company website matching the company name (Please note that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages do not meet this requirement and are subject to an extended approval period. These pages are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.)
  • A business license from the state in which your company operates their business
  • A Handshake trust score of 45% or higher (Subject to change as Handshake updates their trust score process)

WGU offers students and alumni the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities, including internships, micro-internships, volunteering, projects, clinicals, simulations, fellowships, apprenticeships, and much more.  

If you would like to recruit WGU students and alumni to participate in your experiential learning opportunities to support your organization, check out our Employer Experiential Learning Handbook, linked here. If you would like to request an accessible version or have additional questions, please contact  

Virtual Engagement


Help build your brand with students by participating in a career connection event. Here, you’ll identify qualified candidates and share more about your company by participating in virtual events like:

  • Ask Me Anythings (AMAs)
  • Employee panels
  • Information sessions
  • Online office tours
  • Professional development workshops
  • Virtual meetups
  • Student Club events, and more!

WGU offers a variety of events to help you recruit students and alumni for your open roles. You can participate in:

  • All-industry career expo
  • Region- or industry-specific networking event
  • Schedule a unique hiring event specific to your organization.

Identify and interview qualified candidates virtually using Handshake’s interviewing module. We can help with logistics and scheduling virtual interviews through the platform.


Employer Recruiting Guidelines


By recruiting at WGU, you agree to follow and adhere to our Employer Recruiting Guidelines. Failure to comply, will result in your recruiting privileges being revoked. 

Additionally, we refer to the National Association of Colleges and Employers' Principles for Ethical Professional Practice in determining illegal and inappropriate behavior in the recruitment process.

Here are more information about these principles:

Employer User Policy and Guidelines


WGU Career & Professional Development supports employers in both maximizing their recruiting results and assisting our students and alumni in making informed career decisions. In order to provide fair and equitable services to our students, alumni, and employers, employers must subscribe to the National Association of Colleges and Employer (NACE) Principles for Professional Practice,  U.S. Department of Labor Guidelines for Unpaid Internships and to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recruitment and employment guidelines and laws established by the Federal government.

WGU Career & Professional Development is committed to providing an educational and working environment that is free of unlawful discrimination and harassment. In accordance with University, Federal, State, and local laws, and regulations, WGU Career & Professional Development prohibits employers who discriminate in their selection of employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, medical condition, ancestry, marital status, age, sexual orientation, citizenship, or service in the uniformed services. WGU also prohibits sexual harassment. 

Employers who have an interest in recruiting WGU students & alumni are encouraged to utilize the Handshake platform as their primary recruiting resource, regardless of their specific selection criteria. To ensure equal access to all students, our staff will not provide student recommendations, direct referrals, or any type of “top candidates” list to any party. This includes both employers and WGU faculty/staff. Employers should use Handshake to post their open positions and select their own candidates based on the specific guidelines and needs of their individual company. WGU faculty and staff should refer employers to Handshake if they are looking to recruit students and alumni.

WGU staff individually evaluate each employer request. In order to vet opportunities appropriately and confidently for our students, every employer request to connect on Handshake must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • A complete contact name (both first and last).
  • A well-written company description.
  • A corporate address (residential/private addresses and PO Boxes cannot be accepted) 
  • An email address with a listed domain that matches the company name and website (i.e. and
  • A dedicated company website that matches the company name and is functional. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and/or Twitter/X company pages are not sufficient.
  • A business license from the state in which your company operates their business

In order to host an event, the requirements below must be acknowledged by a company representative. Events that do not follow these guidelines will not be permitted to advertise events to Western Governors University students and alumni.

  • External employer hosted events and activities are not programs and activities of Western Governors University and are included because they may be of interest to members of the University community. Inclusion of any activity does not indicate University sponsorship or endorsement of that activity or event.
  • External employer events that are hosted virtually on non-password protected platforms will not be approved.

We strongly encourage employer events to be created using a registration page and sending the password protected link to registered students and alumni at a pre-determined amount of time prior to the event beginning.

In order to protect our students and alumni, WGU Career & Professional Development reserves the right to refuse service to employers for the following:

  • Employers not eligible to use WGU Career & Professional Development include those who have been judged by a court of law in the United States to be engaged in illegal activities
  • Employers who are involved in strikes and are hiring for positions which are included in the affected bargaining units
  • Employers who misrepresent their organization by providing dishonest information or omitting critical information
  • Employers who have been identified as hate groups and/or have ideologically divisive goals
  • Fraud
  • Complaints by students or alumni
  • Harassment of Western Governors University students, alumni, or staff
  • Breach of confidentiality as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • Requiring, at the time of application, personal information such as bank account information and social security numbers
  • Postings requiring donations, application fees, investments, offering items or services for sale cannot be advertised.
  • Failure to adhere to WGU Career & Professional Development policies, and/or violation of rules and regulations, and local, State, or Federal laws.
  • Employers who violate equal opportunity and affirmative action principles set forth by Western Governors University and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). Employers are expected to provide reasonable accommodations upon request.

Employers using the WGU Career & Professional Development services will offer regular/base salaries for positions. A draw against future earnings does not constitute a salary. Employers offering commission-based positions may post job listings in our job database provided they are full-time career opportunities. If no initial base salary is provided, the form of remuneration should be clearly stated in the employer's job description at the time of initial interviews.

No commission-based part-time or internship positions will be posted, unless approved by Career & Professional Development on a case-by-case basis.

Network marketing organizations are not considered “employers” by Career & Professional Development and are not eligible to participate in resume referrals, job listings, emails to students and employer presentations. WGU Career & Professional Development considers organizations that engage in either or both of the following to be Network Marketing Organizations:

  • Sponsoring or hiring an individual to set up their own business for the purpose of selling products or services and/or recruiting other individuals to set up their own business.
  • Requiring an initial cash or capital investment, account balance or similar fiscal requirements from this individual, with the organization itself serving as an umbrella or parent corporation. The initial investment may include but is not limited to such things as direct payment of a fixed fee, payment to attend an orientation or training session, and/or purchase of a starter kit.

Network marketing organizations hiring for business functions at a corporate location will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Employers recruiting interns must abide by all policies including the criteria set forth by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). To ensure that an experience—whether it is a traditional internship or one conducted remotely or virtually—is educational, and thus eligible to be considered a legitimate internship by the NACE definition, all the following criteria must be met: 

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. 
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. There is routine feedback by the experienced supervisor.  
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals. 

WGU does not have a formal internship program, thus students are not able to achieve academic credit for internships. However, we do encourage students to participate in internships and other experiential learning opportunities to gain experience in their perspective career field(s).

Internships with for-profit companies should be paid at least minimum wage. For-profit companies offering unpaid, stipend, and/or internships that require credit must uphold the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act Internship Fact Sheet #71.

Whether you are a for-profit or nonprofit organization looking to compensate your interns, we recommend following Fact Sheet #71 linked above. Additionally, you can utilize these resources for additional information:

Micro-internships or project-based internships may have different supervision and requirements than a traditional internship. If you would like assistance setting up a micro-internship or project-based internship, please contact our team at

Organizations and employers that wish to hire students as independent contractors (1099) must following adhere to the following recruiting guidelines:

  • 1099 positions are eligible for posting on Handshake for experienced graduates (3 + years) and must include the following disclaimer in the posting: “This is a 1099 position. Persons paid on a 1099 basis are independent contractors and self-employed. Independent contractors are required to pay all self-employment taxes (Social Security & Medicare) as well as income tax. Independent contractors generally do not receive any type of employment benefits from the client.”
  • All organizations that wish to hire independent contractors are encouraged to review the U.S. Department of Labor, Division of Wage of Hour Fact Sheet #13 to ensure full compliance with the law

Organizations found to be recruiting students for 1099 positions that do not align with these guidelines will no longer have access to post jobs to WGU on Handshake.

We will not approve teaching or volunteer abroad positions requiring any fees or payments of any kind. WGU Career & Professional Development reserve the right to deny services to companies who place and organize teacher/volunteer abroad positions due to the financial requirements of the applicants to partake in such opportunities. 

WGU Career & Professional Development has established these criteria for identifying appropriate entrepreneurial employment opportunities for promotion through its services. Start-ups must have progressed sufficiently in their business development process so that they can:

  • Provide a company name, business address, website and email address, and identify a principal as the key contact
  • Verify that they are not seeking potential partners or investors
  • Confirm that they have obtained the necessary business licenses and Tax ID’s as well as sufficient funding, including identifying their funding model and investors, if requested
  • Offer positions for pay, not just for equity; pay must meet state minimum wage expectations
  • Provide clearly defined organization and position descriptions in the job database

Employers may not post any positions related to the adult entertainment industry.

These organizations are ineligible to participate in any of WGU Career & Professional Development employer services. 

Western Governors University will not approve job postings or internships involved with the use, production, testing, or distribution of recreational or medical marijuana. As the use of marijuana is illegal at the federal level and Western Governors University receives federal funding, we comply with federal law.

Compensation and Fees

  • Employers offering paid positions must pay at least their state's minimum wage or the applicable local minimum wage if higher (calculated over any time scale such as hourly, weekly, semi-monthly, monthly, or annually). 
  • Cryptocurrency, bitcoin, tokens, fiat or equity are not acceptable forms of payment. 
  • Commission Sales Positions: If no initial base salary is provided, the form of remuneration should be clearly stated in the employer's job descriptions and at the time of the initial interviews.
  • Postings that request donations, fundraising, application fees, or investments cannot be posted in WGU Handshake.
  • Most internships do not meet requirements for payment as a 1099 Independent Contractor. Please review Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)'s recommendations on independent contractors

Job Offer & Acceptance Policies

Stipulated in the NACE Principles for Professional Conduct, "Employment professionals will refrain from any practice that improperly influences and affects job acceptances. Such practices may include undue time pressure for acceptance of employment offers and encouragement of revocation of another employment offer.

Employment professionals will strive to communicate decisions to candidates within the agreed-upon time frame.” 

WGU Career & Professional Development expects employers to allow students and alumni sufficient time to weigh employment options and make informed decisions. (See Exploding Offers/Excessive Pressure below.) Similarly, we discourage students from making rushed decisions about offers for which they cannot fully abide.  Such hasty decisions create discord and distress for all parties.

Exploding Offers / Excessive Pressure

WGU Career & Professional Development defines an exploding offer as any offer that does not conform to the aforementioned timetables. Employers should not make offers or pressure students to accept “early” offers including those requiring a quick response time, nor should they attach incentives involving diminishing bonuses, reduced options for location preferences, etc. Further, asking a student if he or she is ready to make a decision on the spot or providing the student with a hypothetical situation involving a potential offer are also considered inappropriate.

Exploding offers put undue pressure on students to make decisions before completing the interviewing process. Students may not be ready to make a final decision before completing all their interviews. Further, pressure to accept early compromises our efforts to enforce our student policy against reneging.

Reporting of Hiring Information

WGU Career & Professional Development requests employers to inform us of all offers of employment that are extended to students and alumni in order to help maintain accurate statistics regarding student employment. Employment records are kept confidential and used only for statistical data. 

WGU Career & Professional Development staff will investigate all allegations by users of our services about job/internship postings, employers, or work assignments. During an investigation, we may revoke an employer's use of our services. If we determine that a complaint is justified, we will notify the employer in writing of our decision. Such grievances may be grounds for a report to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), and subsequent removal from the Handshake system.

Third Party Recruiting Guidelines


The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) defines third-party recruiters as follows: “Third-party recruiters are agencies, organizations, or individuals recruiting candidates for temporary, part-time, or full-time employment opportunities other than for their own needs. This includes entities that refer or recruit for profit or not for profit, and it includes agencies that collect student information to be disclosed to employers for purposes of recruitment and employment." Third-party recruiters include, but are not limited to, employment agencies, search firms, and temporary agencies.

Third-party recruiters who are interested in posting positions on Handshake or participating in recruiting events with WGU must adhere to the following:

  • For Career Fair/Expo events, state in the company description that you are a third-party or temporary employment agency and indicate the client you are recruiting for at the event.

  • For job postings, provide the name of the client you are representing in the job description

  • State in the job description that any fees assessed by the agency will be paid by the client organization or the employer you are representing. WGU will not post opportunities that require WGU students or alumni to pay fees.

  • Any resumes collected from a job posting on Handshake will not be forwarded to another party without the student/applicant’s express written consent. Failure to comply with this is a violation of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).

  • When requested by WGU, provide verification that there is an employer with whom you are working and a specific job to fill within 2 business days of the request.

  • When requested by WGU, provide information on candidate lifecycle and the contract signed by candidates working with your organization within 2 business days of the request.

  • Third-party recruiters who are hiring for positions within their own organization may participate in all Career and Professional Development recruiting activities.

  • Third-party recruiters who are hiring for positions outside their organization may post opportunities on Handshake. Career and Professional Development staff will approve all jobs prior to posting and reserve the right to request and verify the identity of clients.

  • Third-party recruiters hiring for positions outside their organization may be approved to participate in Career Fair/Expo events as space permits. 

WGU reserves the right to limit access for organizations that charge fees to candidates, per our Employer Guidelines. Third party recruiters and temporary employment agencies will not have access to resume books.

By participating in these services, organizations agree that they will adhere to EEO standards in all recruiting activities, that no fee will be charged to any candidate at any time, and that organizations will not disclose student information under any circumstances to other entities without the student's prior written consent.

Any breach of these policies, guidelines, and/or deadlines not met will result in deactivation of third-party recruiter online account and termination of access to all recruitment services.