You Can Thrive with Individualized Faculty Support and Instruction
At WGU, you have an entire team of faculty members whose #1 job is empowering you toward success. WGU faculty members are leading experts in their fields. They are there to provide you with personalized instruction and support in your specific courses and with your overall degree program. You interact with these faculty members regularly to help you stay on track, get answers to questions, and find success.
4,300+ Faculty Members
WGU has over 4,300 faculty members living and working in all 50 states—a diverse, experienced group of experts giving our university a national perspective.
Currently there are over 900 Course Instructors at WGU. These faculty members engage with students regularly, helping with course material and student competency.
1,500+ Program Mentors
Over 1,520 Program Mentors support WGU students. Your mentor's focus is you—your program, your goals, your path.
WGU has over 1,200 Evaluators. These expert faculty review student work and determine if competency has been achieved.
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.
Once you are enrolled, you are assigned a program mentor who will be with you all the way until you graduate.
How you interact with Program Mentors:
Collaborate with your Program Mentor to create a personalized plan for communication to help you progress through your program
Work with your Program Mentor to create a personalized plan for completing your courses during each six-month term
Reach out with any questions you have on programs, policies, and procedures
Reach out if you are having any problems or concerns that are impacting your ability to complete your program
Instructors are subject-matter experts with experience in the field who are assigned to teach a specific course.
How you interact with Instructors:
Learn from Instructors through their written materials, recorded videos, and study plans, helping you build your competency in each course according to your learning preferences
Interact in real-time through one-to-one or one-to-many live forums
Reach out to them if you have questions or concerns about the material
Connect with them if you are struggling with an assessment and need more individualized help
Evaluators are experts in their areas of evaluation, with doctoral degrees or other post-graduate training or certifications, who review assessments to determine if competency has been demonstrated by the student.
How you interact with Evaluators:
Review their clear and comprehensive feedback on assessments to ensure you can demonstrate mastery
No additional personal interaction with Evaluators, helping them to remain bias free as they assess your work
A Faculty Model with Students at the Center
WGU faculty and staff are committed to focusing on students in every aspect of their work. Innovation, ownership, a sense of urgency, and continuous learning are part of every employee’s job description.
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
“WGU students humble me because many of them persist through adversity that might have overwhelmed me. They inspire me to help every one of my students succeed.”
Course Instructor, Teachers College
"Exceptional mentoring means believing in our model. Our unique approach coupled with deep collaboration between mentoring support teams is not only effective, but demonstrates a university-wide commitment that is special and second to none."
— Kari Toney
University Academic Leaders
- Program Development
- Leavitt School of Health
- School of Education
- 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.
Keith Smith, Ed.D., MBA, MA
Smith is responsible for driving the academic and operational strategies of the Leavitt School of Health. He is a member of the Chair Academy Practitioner Board, Journal for Higher Education Editorial Board and Journal of Continuing Education Editorial Board. He is also a member of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education, Association of North America Higher Education International and Online Learning Consortium.
Dr. Stacey Ludwig Johnson
As the Senior Vice President and Executive Dean of WGU's Teachers College, Ludwig Johnson will drive the academic and operational strategies of the largest, nonprofit, accredited school of education in the U.S. She has a long history championing and supporting the work of WGU, having invested more than 24 years envisioning, creating and implementing academic services, including faculty and clinical experience models, that optimize student progress and retention, attainment and career success.
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.
Paul Bingham joined Western Governors University in October of 2019 as an Associate Dean in the College of Information Technology. Paul spent 24 years with the FBI, conducting and managing domestic and international investigations. He is an accomplished instructor and featured presenter in topics including cybersecurity and incident response. Paul holds cyber certifications including the CISSP, GCIH, GSEC, and GISP. He earned his Master of Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Brigham Young University.
As Vice President for Design & Development, Kozyrev leads curriculum specialists, instructional designers, assessment experts, and content creators and curators. Continuously improving the relevance and quality of our learning experiences ensures that WGU graduates can credibly demonstrate the value they have to offer to employers and their communities.
Learn More About Who You Interact With at WGU
Four Colleges, One Purpose