Students primarily interact with three types of faculty at WGU: Program Mentors, Instructors, and Evaluators. Mentors and instructors interface with students by phone or by web to provide tailored instruction and support in their areas of experience, while evaluators provide feedback and perspective on student assessments. This "division of labor" enables each type of faculty member to deliver top-notch, student-focused support.
Curriculum and Assessment Faculty
While students interact with faculty members who specialize in instruction, support, and evaluation, behind the scenes another group of faculty members is busy developing our high-quality curriculum and assessments, ensuring the quality of what students are learning and the value of their degrees. This separation of faculty roles is key to WGU's ability to provide on-demand, one-on-one faculty support without sacrificing our commitment to continuous improvement in our programs.
Assessment faculty members are experts in the science and craft of creating high-quality assessments that are valid and reliable. Assessments that can establish which students have achieved competency and which still need additional learning are central to WGU's competency-based model.
WGU's teams of assessment experts are aligned by college and guided by Academic Vice Presidents and other leaders committed to the highest levels of academic integrity. They also collaborate with student-facing faculty and other subject-matter experts to ensure that WGU always employs an evidence-based approach to student assessment and always invests in continuous improvement in assessment.
Faculty members who specialize in curriculum development are experts in the science of learning. These college-aligned faculty members are deeply informed about the competencies required by academic standard-setting organizations and the industries they serve. They ensure the curriculum and instructional materials are evidence-based and academically rigorous—as well as engaging and focused on student success.
Curriculum faculty members collaborate with student-facing faculty and other subject-matter experts—including Academic Vice Presidents and Program Councils of academic and industry experts—to ensure content is accurate and pedagogically sound.
"What we do here changes lives. When someone earns a degree, that changes things for their family and, through the influence of their family, changes the community. And that changes the world. I have the chance to help change the world every day at work, and that inspires me to give my best."
— Jim McCleskey
Course Instructor, College of Business
“Encouraging students to believe in their capacity for success is an integral part of mentoring. WGU Course Instructors couple that encouragement with a commitment to creatively supporting students’ mastery of the competencies in our courses. We frequently remind students that learning requires exertion, but they are not laboring alone.”
— Carmen Turner
Course Instructor, Teachers College
University Academic Leaders
- Program Development
- College of Health
- Teachers College
- College of Business
- College of IT
- Program Curriculum
Dr. Sarah DeMark
As the Vice President of Program Development at WGU, Dr. DeMark helps keep WGU at the forefront of competency-based education by directing the university’s academic portfolio strategy as well as program design and development, with a portfolio of more than 60 degrees, 600 courses, and 1,000 assessments.
Dr. Jan Jones-Schenk (retired April 2022)
As the Senior Vice President for the College of Health Professions at WGU, Dr. Jones-Schenk led the development of an innovative national prelicensure B.S. in nursing program. Jones-Schenk is a past president of the American Nurses Credentialing Center Board of Directors, served eight years on the American Nurses Association Board of Directors and nine years as a Trustee for Park City Medical Center.
Dr. Mark Milliron
As the Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of WGU's Teachers College, Dr. Milliron has a long history of championing and supporting the work of WGU. He served on the Board of Trustees and was the Chair of the Academic Policy Committee from 2003 to 2009. He helped support the launch of WGU Indiana and WGU Washington, and later served as the Founding Chancellor of WGU Texas in 2011.
As the Executive Dean and Senior Vice President of the College of Business, Mitsu Frazier has extensive experience serving WGU students and working to enhance what WGU offers. Her long tenure at WGU in a variety of positions has provided her opportunity to work directly with students and advance the WGU mission and purpose.
Dr. Ashutosh Tiwary
Leading the College of IT, Dr. Tiwary sets the strategic direction of the college to focus on building lifelong learning relationships with its students. His professional experience spans CEO, general manager, and SVP roles across the IT industry, including at Microsoft, AWS, and Teradata.