Sponsored: Q&A with WGU Program Mentor Shauntae Jordan
Shauntae Jordan has worn a variety of hats over the course of her career, with a focus on personal development and empowerment. As a program mentor for Western Governors University’s College of Business, she develops networks of strategic relationships with teammates, course mentors and various departments at WGU to support students on areas such as retention, student services and best practices for student success.
Jordan has more than 11 years of experience creating structures that inspire and motivate adult learners to reach their fullest potential in college and within the workforce. She is also an award-winning motivational speaker, life empowerment coach and author. Prior to joining WGU, she founded SMJ Speaks, a consulting and motivational speaking company. Jordan also has professional experience in financial services, consumer products, telecommunications and retail industries.
She recently answered a few questions about her career and her role as a program mentor.
What is your role as a program mentor at WGU? What does it entail? How does your background tie into what you do now?
As soon as you enroll at WGU, you are assigned a program mentor. We guide, motivate and instruct students throughout their schooling. My role is to support adult learners who are pursuing their undergraduate business degree by having weekly 15-minute academic meetings with them. Students can discuss their wins from the previous week, set goals for the upcoming week, and discuss challenges that they faced or may face. My background as a coach has equipped me in helping students create a personalized term plan that fits their life and goals.
What makes WGU’s mentor program different? How does it compare to other online universities’ programs?
Many online universities have academic advisors that help students with their course planning for the semester. I provide guidance from enrollment to graduation. All WGU program mentors have direct work experience in our corresponding fields, and we are passionate about seeing our students succeed.
What is your favorite part about being a mentor? Has there been a particular student or experience you found inspiring?
My favorite part of being a mentor is being able to give my students the gift of possibility. When students first come to WGU, they are excited and believe they will achieve great results. It’s when life happens that they can begin to lose hope. My role is to step in and provide inspiration and hope when they are struggling.
All my students truly inspire me in different ways. I’ve had students who have overcome deaths, loss of careers, setbacks, illnesses and much more. But they still forged onward toward their dream of earning a college degree.
What are some of the biggest trends you are seeing in online education? Where do you see it going in the future?
Micro-credentials are the fastest growing post-secondary credential in the United States, offering students an opportunity to focus on additional areas of study for a validated and earned set of skills. Micro-credentials differ from certifications in that credentials are issued by educational institutions, while certifications are issued by third-party industry associations. Going forward, we will see more micro-credentials that are stackable, meaning they can earn credit toward a degree.
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