- Programs and Locations
- Program Descriptions
- Off-Campus Course Search
- Off-Campus Course Charges
- Online, Blended, and Video Courses
- Student Support
- Community College Pathways
- Contact Us
- Off-Campus Academics Home
- RELATED WEBSITES
- Adult Learners
- NIU Online
- Professional Development
Meet Mandy Wescott
Off-campus student success specialist Mandy Wescott knows what it’s like to return to school. After serving in the British military, she decided to pursue her undergraduate degree at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. At the time, Mandy was in her mid-thirties.
“I know the difficulties faced by adult students firsthand,” says Mandy. “Juggling family, employment and other responsibilities can be challenging and often lonely for adult learners.”
While she was earning her undergraduate degree, Mandy cleaned houses, worked for Pizza Hut, and was a barista in the train station. She also had to deal with illnesses in her family and overcome the pressure she was putting on herself. “I felt like I had to make up for lost time, and I had to be perfect,” says Mandy.
Mandy decided not to face these challenges on her own. “I broke through my pride and asked for help from my instructors. They helped me realize that I wasn’t alone in my educational journey.”
Mandy successfully completed her degree and went on to graduate school at the University of Illinois. She taught writing and American Literature, but she never forgot the support she received when she was struggling.
She decided to put her experiences to good use by supporting and mentoring students who are returning to school. Mandy now works as Northern Illinois University’s student success specialist for all off-campus students. She makes NIU’s complete set of resources available and accessible to students taking classes at off-campus locations.
“The largest part of my job is communication. I answer questions and help facilitate workshops and information sessions,” says Mandy. Her rule of thumb for returning students: when in doubt, just ask.
“No question is too small or 'silly.' If something is bothering you, it could interfere with your studies.” Mandy fields questions about everything from sports tickets to financial aid, child care to study skills, study abroad opportunities to time management strategies. “If you don’t know where to start with a question, contact me. I will run around, make the phone calls, and track down the answer for you.”
If you have a question for Mandy, contact her at (815)753-5725 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She is happy to meet students in off-campus locations, at times convenient to them, even on evenings and weekends.
“Many adults find themselves changing direction professionally and going back to school,” says Mandy. “No one expects them to know everything about how college works. That’s why I’m here to help!”