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Episode 4 of the “Sage Advice” podcast features Mike Grote, a key figure in supporting WGU’s mission to bridge the digital divide and make low-cost online education accessible. In this episode, Grote discusses his belief in digital infrastructure as a fundamental human right. In a world divided between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots,’ he underscores the importance of a level playing field.

Grote also talks about how the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need for skilled healthcare practitioners throughout the state, leading to WGU’s initiative to create a centralized opportunity for practicums and in-service experience opportunities. He shares about his collaboration with Senator Hough to increase the number of people in healthcare professions through the Nursing Lab and Governor Mike Parson’s role in providing pathways to opportunity. Above all, Grote underscores the immense rewards of working to empower students, emphasizing that this work is not only fulfilling but also contributes positively to the world.



“Digital infrastructure really is becoming a human right because you just do not have an even playing field. There are the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’.” — Chris Bonnell [0:11:50]

“One of the things I think COVID also helped with is that we saw this increased need for making sure that we had healthcare practitioners throughout the state.” — Michael Grote [0:13:22]

“But when you’re working on behalf of our students and helping them find pathways to success, yeah, that’s definitely something that allows you to sleep at night, allows you to put a check in the checkbox of knowing ‘I’ve actually done something good for this world.’” — Michael Grote [0:16:35]