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WGU Academic Engagement Webinars How to Help Students Succeed

How to Help Students Succeed

The rapid closures of campuses and in-person classes amid COVID-19 brought about one of the most important considerations in higher education—how to maintain student success in an online environment.

In this free webinar, Debbie Fowler, WGU’s Senior Vice President of Student Success, shares several methods used by WGU to provide student support in the online environment. Based on 23 years of research and implementation, the WGU methods shared will provide colleges and universities with a foundation in online student support that can be quickly implemented to improve student success.

Download the webinar deck in PDF >

Debbie Fowler serves at WGU’s Senior Vice President of Student Success. She leads close to 2,500 employees to support students and colleagues with an array of services that drive student success across the student lifecycle. In addition to academic operations, Debbie and her team are accountable for cross-functional efforts like learner-centered faculty, admissions standards, student readiness and learner profiles, environmental barriers, and social and emotional learning (SEL).  

Debbie holds a J.D. from the University of San Diego and a bachelor's degree in mathematical science and economics from Rice University.

To view the recorded webinar:

Popular webinar Q&As.

Program mentors are subject matter experts at the program level and work with students from enrollment through graduation. Mentors check-in calls are typically weekly or bi-weekly conversations with students. These calls are part of the normal academic planning with students. The best practices of check-in calls include not only the personal conversation about how things are going, but also what has been accomplished since the last check in.  

Some questions that can be asked are what academic goals does the student have and what are their plans for the immediate coming week or two until the next check in.

To learn more about WGU’s faculty model and program mentors, visit WGU's faculty page.

Communications with students need to be continuous and frequent. First, establish a routine whether that is a weekly or bi-weekly communication. Setting expectations upfront with your students about how and when they can expect to hear from you is key. At WGU, students are expected to be in weekly communication with their mentor to start and can later adapt the cadence of their check-ins to better fit their needs. 

Another important step is learning to become a partner with the student and understanding the role of mentoring throughout the program. Creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency is paramount.

To learn more about WGU’s student experience, visit our student experience page.

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