Falcon Forward

Welcome to FalconForward First Year Success, BGSU’s online resource hub for first year students! From information on academic expectations and resources, how to build relationships with faculty, information from key offices and initiatives on campus, career exploration and resume building, to how to manage your transition to college, FalconForward FYS contains all the information you need to know to succeed in your first year at BGSU.

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First Year Success - Academic Expectations

High School vs. College

FOLLOWING RULES IN HIGH SCHOOL - Guiding principle: You will usually be told what to do and corrected if your behavior is out of line.
  • High school is mandatory
  • Your time is structured by others
  • You need permission to participate in extracurricular activities
  • You can count on parents and teachers to remind you of your responsibilities and to guide you in setting priorities
  • Each day you proceed from one class directly to another, spending 6 hours each day--30 hours a week--in class
  • Most of your classes are arranged for you
  • You are not responsible for knowing what it takes to graduate
CHOOSING RESPONSIBLY IN COLLEGE - Guiding principle: You are expected to take responsibility for what you do and don't do, as well as for the consequences of your decisions.
  • College is voluntary
  • You manage your own time
  • You must decide whether to participate in co-curricular activities
  • You must balance your responsibilities and set priorities. You will face moral and ethical decisions you have never faced before.
  • You often have hours between classes; class times vary throughout the day and evening and you spend only 12 to 16 hours each week in class
  • You arrange your own schedule in consultation with your advisor. Schedules tend to look lighter than they really are.
  • Graduation requirements are complex, and can differ from year to year. You are expected to know those that apply to you.
GOING TO HIGH SCHOOL CLASSES - Guiding principle: You will usually be told in class what you need to learn from assigned readings.
  • The school year is 36 weeks long; classes generally have no more than 35 students
  • You may study outside class as little as 0 to 2 hours a week, and this may be mostly last-minute test preparation
  • You seldom need to read anything more than once, and sometimes listening in class is enough
  • You are expected to read short assignments that are then discussed, and often re-taught, in class
SUCCEEDING IN COLLEGE CLASSES - Guiding principle: It's up to you to read and understand the assigned material; lectures and assignments proceed from the assumption that you've already done so.
  • The academic year is divided into two separate 15-week semesters, plus a week after each semester for exams
  • Classes may vary in size from 6- 30 students or more
  • You need to study at least 2 to 3 hours outside of class for each hour in class
  • You need to review class notes and text material regularly
  • You are assigned substantial amounts of reading and writing which may not be directly addressed in class
HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS - Guiding principle: High school is a teaching environment in which you acquire facts and skills.
  • Teachers check your completed homework
  • Teachers remind you of your incomplete work
  • Teachers approach you if they believe you need assistance
  • Teachers are often available for conversation before, during, or after class
  • Teachers provide you with information you missed when you were absent
  • Teachers present material to help you understand the material in the textbook
  • Teachers often write information on the board to be copied in your notes
  • Teachers impart knowledge and facts, sometimes drawing direct connections and leading you through the thinking process
  • Teachers often take time to remind you of assignments and due dates
  • Teachers carefully monitor class attendance
COLLEGE PROFESSORS - Guiding principle: College is a learning environment in which you take responsibility for thinking through and applying what you have learned.
  • Professors may not always check completed homework, but they will assume you can perform the same tasks on tests
  • Professors may not remind you of incomplete work
  • Professors expect and want you to attend their scheduled office hours
  • Professors expect you to get from classmates any notes from classes you missed
  • Professors may not follow the textbook. Instead, to amplify the text, they may give illustrations, provide background information, or discuss research about the topic you are studying. Or they may expect you to relate what happens in class to the textbook readings.
  • Professors may lecture nonstop, expecting you to identify the important points in your notes
  • When professors write on the board, it may be to amplify the lecture, not to summarize it. Good notes are a must.
  • Professors expect you to think about and synthesize seemingly unrelated topics
  • Professors expect you to read, save, and consult the course syllabus (class outline); the syllabus spells out exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded
  • Professors may not formally take roll, but they are still likely to know whether or not you attended
TESTS IN HIGH SCHOOL - Guiding principle: Mastery is usually seen as the ability to reproduce what you were taught in the form in which it was presented to you, or to solve the kinds of problems you were shown how to solve.
  • Testing is frequent and covers small amounts of material
  • Makeup tests are often available
  • Teachers frequently rearrange test dates to avoid conflict with school events
  • Teachers frequently conduct review sessions, pointing out important concepts
TESTS IN COLLEGE - Guiding principle: Mastery is often seen as the ability to apply what you've learned to new situations or to solve new kinds of problems.
  • Testing is usually infrequent and may be cumulative, covering large amounts of material. You, not the professor, need to organize the material to prepare for the test. A particular course may have only 2 or 3 tests in a semester.
  • Makeup tests are seldom an option; if they are, you need to request them
  • Professors in different courses usually schedule tests without regard to the demands of other courses or outside activities
  • Professors rarely offer review sessions, and when they do, they expect you to be an active participant, one who comes prepared with questions
GRADES IN HIGH SCHOOL - Guiding principle: "Effort counts." Courses are usually structured to reward a "good-faith effort."
  • Grades are given for most assigned work
  • Consistently good homework grades may raise your overall grade when test grades are low
  • Extra credit projects are often available to help you raise your grade
  • Initial test grades, especially when they are low, may not have an adverse effect on your final grade
GRADES IN COLLEGE - Guiding principle: "Results count." Though "good-faith effort" is important in regard to the professor's willingness to help you achieve good results, it will not substitute for results in the grading process.
  • Grades may not be provided for all assigned work
  • Grades on tests and major papers usually provide most of the course grade
  • Extra credit projects cannot, generally speaking, be used to raise a grade in a college course
  • Watch out for your first tests. These are usually "wake-up calls" to let you know what is expected--but they also may account for a substantial part of your course grade.
IDENTIFYING AND CITING SOURCES IN HIGH SCHOOL ESSAYS - Guiding Principle: High School teaches you to report on the research of others, not to be an active participant in investigating new knowledge.
  • Using the exact words and phrasing of your sources is acceptable
  • You are not required to use discipline specific citation styles
  • Bibliographies are rarely required
  • Maintaining sources for long-term use is rare
  • The type of sources used is less important than having them
IDENTIFYING AND CITING SOURCES IN COLLEGE RESEARCH PAPERS - Guiding Principle: Colleges are communities of scholarly inquiry where original knowledge and research is valued.
  • Your papers should always reflect your own analysis and thinking. If you use the words of others, you should always indicate you are doing so through quotation marks.
  • You will be expected to learn and appropriately use discipline specific citation styles
  • Bibliographies are the norm
  • You will want to develop a personal reference library to facilitate on-going research interests
  • You will be expected to know what sources are appropriate for each discipline and assignment
HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS - Guiding Principle: Someone else is keeping track and will inform you of what you need to do.
  • It is their full time job to carefully monitor your progress on graduation requirements
  • Will pick your classes for you each term
  • Help you find and apply to college
  • Will seek you out to check on how you are doing
  • Will inform your parents about your grades and your progress towards graduation
COLLEGE ACADEMIC ADVISORS - Guiding Principle: You are responsible for your academic life and for seeking out the resources you need to be successful.
  • Are professionals with many students to advise, or are faculty members with many other responsibilities: teaching, research, administration
  • Make recommendations about class selection, but leave the final decision to you
  • Are available to assist you with planning and making the most of your college career, but will expect you to initiate contact and take responsibility for your decisions
  • Are not permitted to speak with your parents about your academic life unless you sign a waiver. Advisors expect you to inform your parents about how you are doing, and may only speak to your parents if you approve.

Adapted from materials developed by several other universities, including Macalester, Southern Methodist, Ball State, State University of New York at New Paltz, and the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Regardless of the assignment, department or your professor, adopting these two habits will be helpful:

  1. Read the assignment carefully as soon as you receive it. Do not put this task off⎻reading the assignment at the beginning will save you time, stress, and problems later.
  2. Ask the instructor about anything you do not understand. Do not hesitate to approach your professor. Professors would prefer to set you straight before you hand in the assignment. That's also when you will find their feedback most useful.

Most assignments are formatted with an overview, information about the task of the assignment, additional material to think about and instructions about format or guidelines. Be careful to avoid reading more into the assignment than what is there. This can cause you to feel overwhelmed or even confused about what your professor is asking of you. Your professor most likely assigned this assignment for you as a student to gain a learning experience of some kind. Your professor wants you to think about something in a particular way for a particular reason.

Your professors are not fooled when you:

  • Use huge fonts, wide margins or extra spacing to pad the page length. These tricks are immediately obvious to the eye. Most professors use the same word processor that you do. Such tactics are especially irritating when the professor has a stack of 60 papers to grade and yours is the only one that low-flying airplane pilots could read.
  • Use an assignment from another class that covered "sort of similar" material. Your other assignment may not cover this material, and turning in the same assignment for more than one class may qualify as an Academic Honesty violation. Ask your professor beforehand.
  • Get all wacky and "creative" before you answer the question. Showing that you are able to think beyond the boundaries of a simple assignment can be good, but you must do what the assignment calls for first. Again, ask your professor beforehand.

When you ask for feedback, you are no longer working in a void, wondering whether or not you understand the assignment and/or making yourself understood. By seeking feedback from others, you are taking positive, constructive steps to improve yourself as a college student.

You should wait a good 24 hours before scheduling a meeting with your professor to talk about your grade on an assignment. If you are upset or angry about a grade, a day off gives you time to calm down and put things in perspective. This also allows you to read through your professor's comments and think about why you received the grade that you did. You can underline or circle comments that were confusing to you so that you can mention them during your meeting.

Why People Don't Ask for Feedback

  • You worry that the feedback will be negative. Many people avoid asking others what they think about an assignment because they have the assumption that the feedback will not be good. Constructive criticism from others is always helpful.
  • You don't know who to ask. Don't wait for the expert (your professor); share your assignment often and with a variety of feedback from others (i.e. classmates, your roommate, your parents, your siblings, close friends, another professor).
  • You don't want to take up your teacher's time. The office hours that these busy people set aside, though, are reserved for your benefit, because the professors on this campus want to communicate with students about their ideas and their work. If you can't meet during their office hours, try setting up an appointment. If you can't schedule an appointment, remember there are plenty of other people around who can offer you feedback.
  • You've gotten feedback in the past that was unhelpful. Ask a different person or ask for feedback in a new way. Figure out when you benefit from feedback the most, the kinds of people you get the best feedback from, the kinds of feedback you need, and the new ways to ask for that feedback effectively.

What Kinds of Feedback to Ask For

  • Understanding the assignment: Do I understand the task? Do I have to answer all of the questions on the assignment or are they just prompts to get me thinking? Are some parts of the assignment more important than other parts?
  • Factual Content: Is my understanding of the course material accurate? Where else could I look to get more information?
  • Interpretation/Analysis: Do I have a point or argument? Does it make sense? Is it logical and consistent? Is it supported by reliable evidence?
  • Organization: Are my ideas in a useful order?

What to do with the Feedback You Get

  • Don't be intimated by the amount of feedback you get from your professor. Your professor believes your assignment has potential. They also think your ideas interesting and they want to see you develop them further.
  • Do not feel like your assignment is garbage due to the lack of feedback from your professor.
  • If you receive feedback before your assignment is due, think about what you can and can't do before the deadline.
  • Read ALL of the feedback you get, whether it be from your professor or a close friend.
  • If you don't understand the feedback you receive, ask questions. Feedback that you don't understand is feedback that you cannot benefit from.

Just because someone says to change something about an assignment doesn't mean you should. Don't follow those suggestions blindly. Talk about them, think about other options and decide for yourself whether the advice you received will benefit your assignment.

How to get Started Talking to your Professors

An essential piece of advice given to college students over and over again is "get to know your professors" or "talk to your professor". This advice is very beneficial if you want to build a good and possibly lifelong relationship with your professors. Having these relationships can be useful down the road, whether you need advice for certain situations, references for when you apply for a job or a letter of recommendation for graduate school.

For many students, the first steps to getting to know and talking with your professor can be nerve-wracking. What do I say to my professor? What questions should I ask? Should I talk to them right after class or go to their office hours? Many questions and concerns will come up if the thought of talking to your professor is down right terrifying for you.

To confront this fear of yours, the first step is avoid contacting your professor via social media (i.e. Facebook or Twitter). In an academic setting, this can be seen as unprofessional to your professor and you make give them the wrong first impression of you. For example, if your professor asks to be your friend on Facebook, this is more acceptable since they're the ones inviting you to become apart of their social network. Do not ask your professors if you can add them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter or Instagram or add them on Snapchat. You may see your professor almost everyday throughout the week but they do need their privacy outside of campus.

Here are a few other techniques that can help you get started:

  • Prepare ahead of time by gathering any necessary materials (exams, quizzes, papers, class notes, an assignment) and writing down things you want to remember to ask or share with your professor.
  • Use your professor's office hours. Dropping in to the professor's office during office hours may be fine, but there is no guarantee that the professor will have time to talk. If you are nervous about the meeting and get there to find out that your professor is busy, this can add to the stress. If you want to avoid this conflict, e-mail your professor ahead of time asking if they have time during their office hours to meet with you.
  • Make an appointment if you can't make your professor's office hours. Having an appointment ahead of time assures that your professor will be free and also gives you the chance to break the ice first via either e-mail, phone or conversation after class.
  • Err on the side of formality in addressing the professor. Dr. _________ (if the professor has a doctorate) or Professor _________ is usually appropriate. Never use first names, Mr., Ms., or Mrs. unless specifically asked.
  • Think about how to begin your conversation. If you are armed with a beginning, you will know that will start off on the right foot.
  • Be as clear and objective as you can be in stating your questions, problems, needs. Help your professor understand exactly why you are there. Then be prepared to listen and possibly jot down some notes.
  • Build on what your professor has to say. Ask for clarification of anything that isn't clear. Ask follow up questions. Restate something to be sure you understand it. Share your ideas or perspective.
  • Always try to leave with an action plan. What are the next steps? Do you, or do your professor, need to follow up with anything?

 Credit to College Parent Central

Discussion Questions when Meeting with your Professors

  • What mistakes do students make in study for your course?
  • What study techniques would you recommend in your course to help students earn the grade that they desire?
  • From your experience, what are the major causes for failure in this course?
  • How should I use the textbook and materials for the course?
  • What should/can I do if I read and take notes but don't understand the material?
  • What are your exams/quizzes like? Multiple-choice, essay, true-false, etc. How can I best prepare for your tests?
  • What do you expect from your students as a result of taking this course?
  • What general suggestions would you make for success in college based upon your experience?

Do's and don'ts

Being a college student requires similar semester habits in order to stay organized. Below are some practical tips for college success:

  • Come to class regularly and arrive on time
  • Read over the syllabus, it was given to you for a reason
  • Take responsibility for your education
  • Read the assigned reading and actively participate in class discussion
  • Visit professors during office hours
  • Complete all assigned work on time
  • Do not make excuses

College Professor Pet Peeves

What are things to avoid? Here’s one list:

  • Failing to come to class regularly
  • Arriving to class late (and especially making a big entrance), and worse, making a habit of it
  • Shuffling papers, putting books away, and other “end-of-class” behaviors before the professor has ended class
  • Questioning whether some of the homework for the class is just “busy work.”
  • Asking if “we’re doing anything important in class” when informing the professor that you may have to miss a class
  • Asking about what is happening in class when it is clearly marked on the syllabus
  • Allowing your cell phone to ring in class
  • Text messaging while in class
  • Holding a private discussion with someone during class
  • Asking inane or off-topic questions
  • Eating a meal in class
  • Telling the professor you went to his/her office for help, but that he/she is never there
  • Claiming you did not know an exercise was due, that there was a test, or any other class work that is clearly identified on the class calendar
  • Telling the professor you deserve a break because of who you are
  • Not completing the assigned reading before class
  • Going to the restroom in the middle of class (unless it’s an emergency)
  • Sleeping during class
  • Complaining about the workload in class, stating “you know, this isn’t the only class I’m taking”
  • Wearing inappropriate clothing (or the lack of it) to class
  • Asking to “borrow” a stapler to staple a homework assignment for the class. (Would you ask your boss for a stapler to staple a report?)
  • Turning in assignments that do not follow the class procedure (and every professor has different guidelines; know them!)
  • Making excuses for missed exams, class assignments. (Especially don’t use the time-worn dead grandparent excuse, or that you have to pick someone up at the airport)

Positive Student Behaviors Professors Love

Here are the things college professors love:

  • Students who take responsibility for their education
  • Students who have read the assigned reading and actively participate in class discussion
  • Students who complete all assigned work on time
  • Students who sit toward the front of the classroom
  • Students who visit professors during office hours
  • Students who do not make excuses
  • Students who ask for help more than a day before a test or an assignment due date

Credit to Quintessential LiveCareer


Below is a video that has some helpful advice on how to communicate and what is expected from your Instructor/Professor.

Video presented by: Kelsey Meyer, Office of Undergraduate Education, Undergraduate Advising and Academic Services.

Most importantly, please don't be this student. (A short conversation after class about why a student isn't doing well in their class. Retrieved from: Telapas).

Dear College Student,

If you're reading this sentence right now, you're probably wondering how should you e-mail your professor.

In part, because only a click or swipe or two separate emails from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and texting, the lines between professional emails and more informal modes of writing have become blurred, and many students find the conventions of professional emails murky. We think we can help sort things out.

In the age of social media, many students approach emailing similar to texting and other forms of digital communication, where the crucial conventions are brevity and informality. But most college teachers consider emails closer to letters than to text messages. This style of writing calls for more formality, more thoroughness and more faithful adherence (sometimes bordering on religious adherence) to the conventions of Edited Standard Written English ⎻ that is, spelling, punctuation, capitalization and syntax.

These different ways of writing are just that ⎻ different ways of writing. The letter approach to emails is not always and forever better (or worse) than the texting approach. Knowing how and when to use one or the other ⎻ based on why you are writing and whom you are writing to ⎻ makes all the difference. So, if you use emojis, acronyms, abbreviations, etc., when texting your friends, you are actually demonstrating legitimate, useful writing skills. But you aren’t if you do the same thing when emailing professors who view emails as letters.

Effective writing requires shaping your words according to your audience, purpose and genre (or type of writing, e.g., an academic email). Together these are sometimes called the rhetorical situation. Some of the key conventions for the rhetorical situation of emailing a professor are as follows:

1. Use a clear subject line. The subject “Rhetorical Analysis Essay” would work a bit better than “heeeeelp!” (and much better than the unforgivable blank subject line).

2. Use a salutation and signature. Instead of jumping right into your message or saying “hey,” begin with a greeting like “Hello” or “Good afternoon,” and then address your professor by appropriate title and last name, such as “Prof. Xavier” or “Dr. Octavius.” (Though this can be tricky, depending on your teacher’s gender, rank and level of education, “Professor” is usually a safe bet for addressing a college teacher.) Similarly, instead of concluding with “Sent from my iPhone” or nothing at all, include a signature, such as “Best” or “Sincerely,” followed by your name.

3. Use standard punctuation, capitalization, spelling and grammar. Instead of writing “idk what 2 rite about in my paper can you help??” try something more like, “I am writing to ask about the topics you suggested in class yesterday.”

4. Do your part in solving what you need to solve. If you email to ask something you could look up yourself, you risk presenting yourself as less resourceful than you ought to be. But if you mention that you’ve already checked the syllabus, asked classmates and looked through old emails from the professor, then you present yourself as responsible and taking initiative. So, instead of asking, “What’s our homework for tonight?” you might write, “I looked through the syllabus and course website for this weekend’s assigned homework, but unfortunately I am unable to locate it.”

5. Be aware of concerns about entitlement. Rightly or wrongly, many professors feel that students “these days” have too strong a sense of entitlement. If you appear to demand help, shrug off absences or assume late work will be accepted without penalty because you have a good reason, your professors may see you as irresponsible or presumptuous. Even if it is true that “the printer wasn’t printing” and you “really need an A in this class,” your email will be more effective if you to take responsibility: “I didn’t plan ahead well enough, and I accept whatever policies you have for late work.”

6. Add a touch of humanity. Some of the most effective emails are not strictly business ⎻ not strictly about the syllabus, the grade, the absence or the assignment. While avoiding obvious flattery, you might comment on something said in class, share information regarding an event the professor might want to know about or pass on an article from your news feed that is relevant to the course. These sorts of flourishes, woven in gracefully, put a relational touch to the email, recognizing that professors are not just point keepers but people.

We hope that these rules (or these and these) help you understand what most professors want or expect from academic emails. Which brings us back to the larger point: writing effectively does not simply mean following all the rules. Writing effectively means writing as an act of human communication ⎻ shaping your words in light of whom you are writing to and why.

Of course, you won’t actually secure the future of the planet by writing emails with a subject line and some punctuation. But you will help your professors worry about it just a little less.

Credit to Inside Higher ED

Click the link below for additional helpful email tips.

18 Tips for Emailing your professor.pdf

First Year Success - your rights & responsibilities

Student Handbook - Make sure you review and familiarize yourself with the BGSU Student Handbook. This eHandbook is a great resource containing important information you need to know as a BGSU student.

Codes of Conduct - BGSU is a community of scholars. As members of this community, we each have the individual and collective responsibility to conduct our personal lives in the context of mutual regard for the rights, property and privileges of others.

Links to additional information and resources:

FERPA - FERPA provides students the right to review these records and prohibits unauthorized dissemination of educational information by the institution or its employees.  

Title IX - Title IX, as a landmark civil rights law, profoundly affects all aspects of education by requiring equal opportunity for all genders and sexes.

Resources - Safety, Security, and Emergency Services

Student Conduct - Student Conduct Program serves to educate the University Community in regard to the Code of Student Conduct and to assist those students who fail to adhere to the expectations described within the Code.

Wellness Connection - The Wellness Connection at BGSU is committed to supporting healthy lifestyle behaviors through programs which incorporate all aspects of wellness.

Student Wellness Network - The Bowling Green State University Student Wellness Network is a prevention, education, and advocacy group that promotes holistic wellness through interactive presentations, community events, service, and role modeling.

Academic Integrity at BGSU - The purpose of the site is to educate students about ethical and fair use of their own and others' intellectual property. Click on the link to find out more. 

Sexual Violence Prevention (It’s On US!) - Join the It's On Us cultural movement aimed at fundamentally shifting the way we think about sexual assault.

Bowling Green State University's definition of plagiarism, according to the Academic Code of Conduct is representing as one's own in any academic exercise the words or ideas of another, including but not limited to, quoting or paraphrasing without proper citation.

A web definition of plagiarism states that it is an act or instance of using or closely imitating the language and thoughts of another author without authorization and the representation of that author's work as one's own, as by not crediting the original author.

A web definition of paraphrasing is the act or process of restating or rewording a text or passage giving meaning in another form.

Examples of Plagiarism

Original Passage

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith. It was written out of the conviction that it should be possible to discover the hidden mechanics by which all traditional elements of our political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value, and has become unrecognizable for human comprehension, unusable for human purpose. Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 ed.), p.vii, Preface to the First Edition.


This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith. Interestingly enough, Arendt avoids much of the debates found in some of the less philosophical literature about totalitarianism.

When material is taken directly from a book, article, speech, statement, remarks, the Internet, or some other source, the writer must provide proper attribution. In this example, no credit is given to the author.

The Footnote Without Quotation Marks

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith.1 Interestingly enough, Arendt avoids much of the debates found in some of the less philosophical literature about totalitarianism. 1 Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973 ed.), p.vii, Preface to the First Edition.

When material is quoted word-for-word, a footnote alone is insufficient. The material that represents a direct quotation must either be put within quotation marks or indented. For example:

A. As Hannah Arendt explains, her book was “written against a backdrop of both reckless optimism and reckless despair.”1 The book “holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal . . . .”2

B. As Dr. Arendt has explained:

This book has been written against a background of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. It holds that Progress and Doom are two sides of the same medal; that both are articles of superstition, not of faith.1

The Mosaic

The first edition of The Origins of Totalitarianism was written in 1950. Soon after the Second World War, this was a time of both reckless optimism and reckless despair. During this time, Dr. Arendt argues, the traditional elements of the political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value. In particular, the separation between the State and Society seems to have been destroyed. In this book, she seeks to disclose the hidden mechanics by which this transformation occurred.

Even though this example includes some original material, selected phrases of the original are woven throughout the passage­ ­- a. reckless optimism and reckless despair, b. traditional elements of the (our in original) political and spiritual world were dissolved into a conglomeration where everything seems to have lost specific value, and c. hidden mechanics.

The “Apt Phrase”

Following the Second World War, scholars from a variety of disciplines began to explore the nature of “totalitarianism.” One of the most pressing issues for these writers was understanding the “essence” of totalitarianism. How, for example, is a totalitarian regime different from an authoritarian regime? Although authors disagree on the precise answer to this question, a common thread running throughout most of the classic works on totalitarianism deals with the relationship between State and Society. In a totalitarian state, the traditional boundaries between State and society are dissolved into a conglomeration so that the two become indistinguishable.

This passage is almost entirely original, but the phrase “dissolved into a conglomeration” is taken directly from Arendt. Even though this is a short phrase, it must be footnoted. Only phrases that have truly become part of general usage can be used without citation.

Credit to Georgetown University

Example of Paraphrasing

Original Passage

Students frequently overuse direct quotation in taking notes, and as a result they overuse quotations in the final [research] paper. Probably only about 10% of your final manuscript should appear as directly quoted matter. Therefore, you should strive to limit the amount of exact transcribing of source materials while taking notes. Lester, James D. Writing Research Papers. 2nd ed. (1976): 46-47.

A Legitimate Paraphrase

In research papers students often quote excessively, failing to keep quoted material down to a desirable level. Since the problem usually originates during note taking, it is essential to minimize the material recorded verbatim (Lester 46-47).

An Acceptable Summary

Students should take just a few notes in direct quotation from sources to help minimize the amount of quoted material in a research paper (Lester 46-47).

Credit to Purdue Owl (Links to an external site.)

Watch the video below on how Dr. Marylynne Diggs, an English professor at Clark College in Washington, gives a lecture to her students of examples of how former students plagiarized both intentionally and accidentally.

Tips to Avoid Plagiarism and Paraphrasing

  • Take notes when doing your research on a topic
  • Keep track of what information comes directly from which source
  • Use a statement that gives credit to a source in a paraphrase or summary
    • i.e. "According to..."
  • Mark direct quotes from a source with quotation marks
  • Keep an author's name in the same sentence as a direct quote
    • i.e. "...(Author's Name)".
  • Use either parenthesis ( ) or brackets [ ] when citing a source
  • Attach a Work Cited page in order to list your sources with proper citation
  • Keep your progress saved in various files (i.e. RoughDraft1, RoughDraft2) to keep track of your progress
  • Save all your progress in various secure locations (i.e. personal computer, flash drive, Dropbox, etc.)
  • Check to make sure your citations are correct by using Purdue Owl's Citation Style Chart for MLA, APA and CMS styles


Advisee Responsibilities - What You Are Expected To Do

As an advisee, you have clear responsibilities in the advising partnership in order to be successful:

  • Schedule regular appointments or make regular contact with advisors during each semester
  • Come to each appointment prepared with questions or material for discussion
  • Be an active learner by participating fully in the advising experience
  • Keep a personal record of your progress toward meeting your goals
  • Organize official documents in a way that enables you to access them when needed
  • Complete all assignments or recommendations from your advisor
  • Gather relevant decision-making information
  • Clarify personal values and goals and provide advisor with accurate information regarding your interests and abilities
  • Become knowledgeable about college programs, policies and procedures
  • Become your own best self-advocate
  • Invest completely in the educational process and accept responsibility for decisions

Advisor Responsibilities - What You Can Expect

As an advisor, they can be expected to:

  • Understand and effectively communicate the curriculum, graduation requirements and university and college policies and procedures
  • Encourage and support students as they gain the skills to develop clear and attainable educational plans
  • Provide students with information about and strategies for utilizing the available resources and services on campus
  • Assist students in understanding the purposes and goals of higher education and its effects on their lives and personal goals
  • Monitor and accurately document students' progress toward meeting their goals
  • Be accessible for meeting with advisees via office hours for advising, telephone, e-mail or web access
  • Assist students in gaining decision making skills and in assuming responsibility for their educational plans and achievements
  • Maintain confidentiality
HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORS - Guiding Principle: Someone else is keeping track and will inform you of what you need to do.
  • It is their full time job to carefully monitor your progress on graduation requirements
  • Will pick your classes for you each term
  • Help you find and apply to college
  • Will seek you out to check on how you are doing
  • Will inform your parents about your grades and your progress towards graduation
COLLEGE ACADEMIC ADVISORS - Guiding Principle: You are responsible for your academic life and for seeking out the resources you need to be successful.
  • Are professionals with many students to advise, or are faculty members with many other responsibilities: teaching, research, administration
  • Make recommendations about class selection, but leave the final decision to you
  • Are available to assist you with planning and making the most of your college career, but will expect you to initiate contact and take responsibility for your decisions
  • Are not permitted to speak with your parents about your academic life unless you sign a waiver. Advisors expect you to inform your parents about how you are doing, and may only speak to your parents if you approve.

As a new student at BGSU, you will receive dedicated support and assistance from our staff of professional Academic Advisors. Establishing a strong relationship with your personal academic advisor is critical to your success. To help guide you in this process, we offer to you this Advising Syllabus. Similar to a course syllabus, this document outlines all of the key details related to successfully developing a relationship with your advisor, what you can expect to receive from your Academic Advisor in terms of support and guidance, your responsibility in investing in your educational experience, and helpful tools such as the graduation planning document, references to the University Catalog, and the Degree Audit (DARS), and information about SSC. Keep this document handy and plan to bring a printed copy to your first advising meeting in the fall.


BGSU advisors strive to challenge and support students to become independent and engaged citizens who are able to take responsibility for achieving lifelong educational, personal and career goals.

The Role of Advising

Effective advising fosters critical thinking and informed decision making which supports meaningful living in a global society. Like teaching, advising is a learning-centered process that challenges the student to:

  1. Clarify attainable goals
  2. Create effective strategies to realize personal, academic and career expectations
  3. Foster independence and accountability that results from accessing and utilizing accurate information.

(Adapted from NACADA resources)

At BGSU, academic advising provides students with the opportunity to build a relationship with their advisors for the purpose of gaining assistance in planning their educational career, in learning the skills needed for academic success and in learning how to access the variety of resources and services available to them on the BGSU campus.

Learning Outcomes

Through the academic advising experiences at Bowling Green State Univeristy:

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to make independent and effective decisions concerning their degree and career goals.
  • Students will take ownership to develop an educational plan for successfully achieving their goals and select courses each semester to progress toward fulfilling that educational plan.
  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the value of the general education requirements.
  • Students will utilize the resources and services on campus to assist them in achieving their academic, personal and career goals.
  • Students will make use of referrals to campus resources as needed.
  • Students will be able to accurately read and effectively utilize MyDARS Report, a degree audit, in their educational planning.
  • Students will graduate in a timely manner based on their educational plan.

Additional Resources

University Catalog - The web-based catalog is an important resource for students and advisors. In addition to access to relevant BGSU academic policies and deadlines, the catalog provides current requirements for all BGSU majors and minors, or "checksheets". It is the responsibility of the student to understand the information in the University Catalog.

DARS Report (available by logging into "MyBGSU") - DARS is system that allows students and advisors to access current information about the student's academic record. In addition to providing a current degree audit, DARS allows the user to "shop around" for other majors in that it will compare current completed courses with proposed degrees to determine which courses would apply to the proposed major.

Advising Website - This website is a useful resource to help students understand the purpose of advisors, how to find an advisor, the student's responsibility as an advisee, general student success tips and other frequently asked questions.

All new first-year students are required to meet with their academic advisor for the first three semesters at BGSU prior to course registration.

This requirement is designed to help students establish a meaningful, working relationship with their advisor who will help them become familiar with policies, procedures and degree programs and requirements early in their career at BGSU. The more informed you are, the more likely it is that you will make good decisions about appropriate course loads and course selections. You will have a registration hold on your account until you meet with your assigned advisor and they release the hold enabling you to register. You may check the status of holds on your account by logging onto MyBGSU and clicking on “Student Center.” Any holds that might prevent registration or other transactions at BGSU will be reflected on the upper right hand side.

After your first three semesters at BGSU, you will not be required to meet with your advisor prior to registration. However, we strongly encourage you to do so throughout your time at BGSU to ensure that you choose courses that will allow you to graduate in a timely manner.


Down below is an image that indicates where you can locate the information about your advisor in your Student Center.

College of Arts & Sciences
205 Administration Building
BGSU Firelands College
Academic & Student Services
129 West Building
Pre-College Programs
101 University Hall
College of Business
Office of Undergraduate Student Development
253 Business Administration Building
College of Health & Human Services
Academic Advising Center
131 Health and Human Services Building
Pre-Professional Programs
101 University Hall
Deciding Student Program
101 University Hall
Honors College
024 Founders Hall
College of Technology, Architecture & Applied Engineering
Undergraduate Services Office
102 Technology Building
College of Education & Human Development
Office of Student and Academic Services
102 Education Building
College of Musical Arts
1031 Moore Musical Arts Center
University Program For Academic Success
101 University Hall

How to Develop a Graduation Plan

We have provided a Graduation Planner to assist you with setting educational and leadership goals for your time at BGSU. This planner includes questions to ask your self about values, strengths, markers for success, and co-curricular/extra-curricular experiences. Your academic and faculty advisors are happy to discuss these goals and possible avenues to achieving them.

We strongly encourage you to print off this document and discuss this four year plan with your academic and faculty advisor to be sure that you take courses in the correct sequence and complete all necessary prerequisites for upper-level course requirements.

Looking for the list of all the classes you need to complete for your degree, major, and/or minor? Check out Programs and Checksheets to find out more information.

First Year Success - common read

What is the Common Reading Experience? One of BGSU’s long-standing traditions is the selection of a book that is required reading for first-year students prior to the start of the fall semester. When you and other first-year students arrive on campus in the fall, you will be involved in discussions about the common reading, which will take place in a variety of courses, in residence halls, and in a number of special events that have been created to support and deepen an understanding of the book. Guest speakers, including the author himself, will highlight these events.

What book was selected for the Fall 2017 common reading? All first-time, full-time students are required to read Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance prior to the start of the fall semester.

Why was Hillbilly Elegy selected as this year’s common reading? The theme of this year’s common experience is "Persistence, Resilience, and Grit.”  The numerous students, faculty, and staff who reviewed books and ultimately recommended Hillbilly Elegy believe that the book is an exceptional choice for helping readers consider these concepts within our own lives—in addition to providing a fascinating story.

Where can you get additional information about the common reading? If you have questions regarding the common reading, please feel free to contact Donna Nelson-Beene (dnelson@bgsu.edu).

Best wishes for a terrific first year at BGSU—and happy reading!

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop a sense of inquiry around the constructs of innovation and creativity
  2. Promote academic discourse and critical thinking
  3. Provide an introduction to the expectations of higher education
  4. Create a sense of community among students, faculty, and staff
  5. Integrate an academic and social experience into the campus community
  6. Identify the manner in which life events play a role, but not an unchangeable direction, in the choices we make related to our own sense of self
  7. Recognize that our actions and a focus on self-development play key roles in determining the outcomes of the choices we make for ourselves
  8. Define how the concepts of persistence, resilience, and grit play out in our lives and reactions to events

About the Author

J.D. Vance grew up in the rust belt city of Middletown, Ohio, and the Appalachian town of Jackson, Kentucky. He enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school and served in Iraq. A graduate of the Ohio State University and Yale Law School, he has contributed to the National Review and The New York Times and has appeared on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and CNBC.  

Currently, J.D. works as a principal at a leading Silicon Valley investment firm. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two dogs, Casper and Pippin.

About the Book

In "Hillbilly Elegy," J.D. Vance—a former marine who served in Iraq and who is a graduate of Ohio State and of Yale Law School—narrates his story of growing up in Middletown, Ohio, in a family with strong Appalachian roots. From the book cover: “With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history. A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, 'Hillbilly Elegy' is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.”

For more questions about the Common Reading, please check out the page.

First Year Success - Diversity and Inclusion

Bowling Green State University and members of the BGSU community are charged with building a campus and community that fosters diversity and inclusion for all members of the BGSU family.

In this module, you will learn how you can be involved in promoting diversity and inclusion. Additionally, we will share information with you about some of the BGSU departments that promote diversity and inclusion, student organizations with a focus on aspects of diversity and inclusion, and a few highlighted programs you might consider attending to learn more about diversity and inclusion on campus. For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 419-372-2642.

How You Can Promote Diversity and Inclusion

There are infinite ways BGSU community members can promote diversity and inclusion, here are just a few:

  • Use inclusive language. Don’t assume someone’s gender or gender pronouns – use their name and the pronouns with which they identify. Don’t refer to a group of people as “you guys.” Don’t use offensive terminology (aka slurs), not even as a joke!
  • Ask questions. Make a point to learn about things that interest you. Make a point to learn about things you don’t understand. Make a point to learn about others. Take a diversity course
  • Make connections with people. Remember “the danger of a single story” (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful 2009 TED Talk). Learn about and develop an appreciation for other cultures. Attend an Office of Multicultural Affairs Dialogue Series Attend a student organization meeting.  
  • Include diverse voices in your academic work. Find out what “voices” are missing in your academic work and look to fill in those gaps. Intentionally cite women, people of color, women of color, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, etc.
  • Learn about other ways you can be an ally. Go to a Safe Zone Attend a Women’s Center weekly discussion series conversation. Meet with a Student Leadership Assistant. Get involved with Not In Our Town. Participate in the Inclusive Leadership Certificate program.

BGSU Departments that Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Here is a bit of information about some of the BGSU departments that promote diversity and inclusion (click on links to websites for further information). This is not a complete list:

The Counseling Center staff strives to promote the psychological wellbeing of students from diverse backgrounds; to foster their development, learning, and academic success; and to provide appropriate intervention when students are experiencing serious mental health concerns.

Disability Services has a mission of providing equal access and opportunity to qualified students, faculty, and staff with disabilities.

International Programs & Partnerships works with current and prospective international students and collaborates with units on campus to provide multiple services for students traveling internationally.

LGBTQ+ Programs and Services provides programming, education, and support for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community while building a stronger base of allies and advocates.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs promotes, facilitates, and advocates for a welcoming, socially just, and inclusive campus community by supporting the retention of diverse student populations and providing diversity education and multicultural programs for students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community. The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts the Ethnic Student Center and LGBTQ+ Resource Center. Check out student testimonials here.

Nontraditional and Military Student Services provides assistance to support nontraditional students starting or restarting their education and active-military or Veteran students in navigating the application process and easing the transition to BGSU.

The Office of Human Resources monitors University compliance with federal and state equal opportunity and nondiscrimination laws and regulations.

TRIO Programs at Bowling Green State University comprises several educational outreach and academic enrichment programs designed to motivate and assist students to enter and succeed in higher education.

The Women's Center's mission is to make manifest the University's commitment to maintaining a campus climate in which women receive equal access, just treatment, and opportunities to utilize their talents to their fullest and most meaningful extent.

Off-Campus Student Services provides resources to all off-campus students, including students living in Bowling Green and those commuting from a great distance.

BGSU Student Organizations That Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Here is a bit of information about some of the BGSU student organizations that promote diversity and inclusion (click on links to websites for further information). You can find all registered student organizations on OrgSync. This is not an exhaustive list:

African Peoples’ Association – An organization that focuses on the diversity of the African continent as well as other countries. Members learn facts about Africa and obtain cultural awareness, while exchanging ideas and values.

Black Student Union – BSU’s mission is to “create cultural and political awareness amongst the Black and overall campus community through programming and initiatives that promote unity, leadership, and scholarship.”

Chinese Culture Club - In Chinese Club you get to do all sorts of Chinese Cultural and Language Learning activities such as Chinese Language Practice over Tea, Calligraphy and Majohng, and much more!

Chinese Students and Scholars Association – CSAA is a student support association that provides academic and culture related programs and services to all Chinese students on campus.

Culture Club – The Culture Club promotes the critical study of culture, society, media, and history.

Disability Rights Education Awareness and Mentoring – D.R.E.A.M. spreads knowledge and awareness about disabilities on campus.

Fad Watch – Fad Watch promotes originality and self-confidence through the enrichment of fashion – for people of all cultures, sizes, genders, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, social preferences, and personal beliefs.

GradPride – GradPride provides a safe, welcoming, and affirming space for BGSU’s LGBT* graduate students (faculty, staff, and nontraditional students are also welcome).

Hillel – Hillel is an organization for Jewish campus life.

BGSU Japanese Club – The mission of Japanese Club is to increase the student population’s awareness of Japanese culture, language, and society in a fun and engaging manner.

K.I.N.G.S. – K.I.N.G.S. is an organization for men of color who strive for academic and social excellence.

Latino Student Union – LSU provides familia – a home away from home – for students who identify as Latino/Hispanic and/or have an interest in learning more about Latino culture, heritage, and issues that are affecting Latinos here and around the world.

Muslim Student Association – The Muslim Student Association is a group of brothers and sisters in faith who are seeking to make new friends, learn more about classes, understand the Islamic faith, and discover themselves in the process.

NAACP - The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.

National Council of Negro Women - The National Council of Negro Women, Inc. Bowling Green State University Section serves to lead, develop, advocate, inform, and unify the African American women of Bowling Green State University’s campus and its surrounding communities as they support their individual, family, and societal efforts and lifestyles.

Persian Students Association – PSA’s purpose is to gather BGSU students who are interested in Persian (e.g., southern west Asia, the middle east) culture for cultural, social, and entertaining purposes.

Queens of Color – Queens of Color seeks to uplift, empower, and build healthy relationships among women of color at BGSU.

Russian Club – Russian Club members share a variety of interests related to the culture, history, language, and people of Russia.

Saudi Students Association – The Saudi Students Association seeks to create a healthy social environment for all Saudi students and to represent the Saudi culture to non-Saudis at BGSU.

VISION (LGBTQ+) – A student group on campus that focuses on the LGBTQIA+ community and its supporters.

WA1T: We Are One Team – We aim to create a more inclusive environment at BGSU by uniting individuals with diverse cultural and social backgrounds through their mutual love and passion for sports. – 2017 NCAA Diversity and Inclusion Award recipient

World Student Association – To promote intercultural understanding and friendship among students from different cultures and backgrounds through cultural, educational, and social activities.

BGSU Fall Welcome Programs that Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Join us for some (or all!) of the fall welcome programs that have a particular focus on supporting students of color, international students, and/or LGBTQ+ students:

From Gay to Ze – 8/23/2017, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., BTSU 308

Speed Friending – 8/24/2017, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., TBD (contact International Programs and Partnerships for more information or look out for a Campus Update)

Multicultural Welcome – 8/26/2017, 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., BTSU Ballroom

Multicultural Talent Showcase – 8/30/2017, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m., BTSU Ballroom

The Big Gay Welcome – 8/31/2017, 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m., BTSU Ballroom

First Year Success - Engagement


The Office of Campus Activities provides meaningful opportunities that connect students and families to the University community. We are committed to leadership development, personal growth, and learning experiences that empower students to reach their potential.

Contact Information

401 Bowen-Thompson Student Union
Phone: 419-372-2343
Fax: 419-372-0455
Email: involved@bgsu.edu

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Student Organization Development

At Bowling Green State University there are over 350 registered student organizations that provide great opportunities for students to GET INVOLVED!

Involvement in student organizations or sport clubs is a great way to get connected to the campus, develop leadership skills, meet people, and have fun. Our Student Organization Directory lists all contact information for organizations currently registered at BGSU. Look it over to find one that's right for you!


"Joining a fraternity or sorority will help you make the most of your BGSU experience..."

...and with nearly forty organizations that all have different purposes and personalities, we are confident that every student can find their "home away from home" within our fraternity/sorority community. Additionally, as a community, we have defined a shared set of standards that guide the experiences provided to members:

▪ Academic Excellence   ▪ Civic Engagement           ▪ Leadership        ▪ Positive Relationships

Student Engagement Opportunities

University Activities Organization (UAO) – UAO is BG’s premier programming board. Structurally, the organization is composed of five Programming Teams: Collaborations, Monthly Programs, Excursions, Special Events, and Entertainment. Each Programming Team (PT) focuses on a different aspect of student life to give students a diverse variety of events around the Bowling Green State University campus.

Dance Marathon at BGSU (DM) – The mission of Bowling Green State University's Dance Marathon, is to raise money and awareness for Mercy Children's Hospital and the benefiting families. Through fundraising and the involvement of the campus and Bowling Green communities, students strive to make a difference in the lives of miracle children and their families.

Homecoming Student Steering Committee (HSSC) – “Once a Falcon, Always a Falcon” – To enrich the collegiate experience, the Homecoming Student Steering Committee will provide events for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community of Bowling Green, which celebrate tradition, spirit and pride in Bowling Green State University. This year Homecoming Week is October 11 – October 15. Click here to learn more about all Homecoming events.

Spirit Groups

The Bowling Green State University Spirit Program is to serve as public relations ambassadors of intercollegiate athletics and Bowling Green State University; to uphold, reflect and project the goals and ideals of the University; to inspire fans through spirit, leadership and character; and to strive to the best individual team, and Falcon possible. To learn more about the spirit groups at BGSU – click on the links below:

Cheerleading Squad     ▪ Dance Team     ▪ SICSIC  ▪ Freddie & Frieda

Major Fall Events

Campus Fest – August 31, 2017

Looking to get involved or just get some free swag and meet new people? Come to Campus Fest, an annual all-campus event with over 300 student organizations, departments, colleges, and businesses represented! Find out how to get involved and learn more about which organizations are active on campus and within our community. Fellow Falcons, fun-filled activities, and great giveaways make Campus Fest a must-see destination.

Falcon Family Weekend – September 8-10, 2017

Falcon Family Weekend is an annual tradition on Bowling Green State University's campus. Our goal is to bring parents and families to the BGSU campus to reconnect with their students and see what life is like as a Falcon. Join us this year for a weekend packed with activities, games, and events suitable for the entire family!

UAO Presents Falcon Music Fest – September 3, 2017

University Activities Organization is proud to present Juicy J, with special guest opener Cade for the inaugural Falcon Music Festival! Gates will open at 3pm in Lot N. Tickets go on sale August 1st and are $5 per student and students can purchase one additional ticket Join all of your favorite Falcons for a fun filled day! Be sure to check out @BGSU_UAO for more details.      

Constitution Day – September 15, 2017

Constitution Day, observed annually on September 17, was enacted in 2004 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, Public Law 108-447. The goal of this program is to provide education concerning citizenship, civic duty, and the U.S. Constitution. Participants can pick-up a pocket-sized copy of the U.S. Constitution, and a stars and stripes American flag wristband; engage in a quiz with questions concerning the U.S. Constitution; pick-up voter registration information/materials; and pick-up information about careers in Law while interacting with members of the Law Society.

Homecoming Weekend – October 13-15, 2017

More than just a football game, parade, pep rally, and step show, BGSU Homecoming is a time when alumni from around the world return to their alma mater to reconnect with people, places and traditions.

First Year Success - LEadership

Starting your Leadership Journey at BGSU

Why is it important to develop your leadership? What are the benefits?

  • Helps in developing flexibility and adaptability to changes
  • Gaining skills such as cultural sensitivity, people skills, and decision-making skills
  • Gain self-reliance
  • Appreciation for life-long learning
  • Gain conflict resolution and team building skills
  • Leadership skills are important to your future career; employers want to hire employees with leadership skills!
  • Networking with other student leaders

The Fundamental Importance of Leadership

2016 NACE Attributes Employers seek on Candidate Resume

Every year NACE surveys employers to see what skills are most important in considering hiring new staff. The list below indicates what employers found most important in new hires. (*connected to leadership)

  1. Leadership*
  2. Ability to work in a team*
  3. Communication skills (written)
  4. Problem-solving Skills*
  5. Communication skills (verbal)
  6. Strong work ethic
  7. Initiative*
  8. Analytic/quantitative skills*
  9. Flexibility/adaptability*
  10. Technical skills
  11. Interpersonal skills (relates well to others)

Credit to National Association of Colleges and Employers

How can YOU Develop Leadership Skills While at BGSU?

Check out the Center for Leadership and the programs offered!

Student Organizations

Omicron Delta Kappa – the national leadership honor society and it fosters leadership and community service at universities across the country.

Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) – is a student organization that provides leadership opportunities to the BGSU community.

Leadership Programs and Certificates


Exploring Your Leadership – a variety of sessions offered throughout the year by the Center for Leadership aimed at helping individuals engage their personal leadership. By actively engaging in topics students will be able to gain skills, knowledge, and attitudes required of ethical and life-long leaders.

Programs Throughout the Fall Semester

  • Starting Your Leadership Journey – 9/7/17 6:00-7:00pm, 9/12/17 12:00-1:00pm
  • Relational Leadership - 9/11/17 3:30-4:30pm, 207 BTSU
  • Understanding Yourself: Emotional Intelligence – 9/20/17 3:30-4:30pm, 208 BTSU
  • Understanding Others - 10/2/17 3:30-4:30pm, 208 BTSU
  • Leading with Integrity – 10/16/17 3:30-4:30pm, 207 BTSU
  • Being in Communities – 10/23/17 3:30-4:30pm, 207 BTSU
  • iSTAND – 11/3/17 3:30-4:30pm, 207 BTSU
  • Understanding Change – 11/13/17 3:30-4:30pm, 207 BTSU
  • Wellness – 11/17/17 3:30-4:30pm, 208 BTSU

Leadership Certificate program – a self-paced, comprehensive, leadership development program designed to encourage and recognize student leadership education and experiences.

The program is adaptable so all students can work toward achieving this distinguished recognition. To participate, students must answer yes to the following questions:

  • Are you interested in improving your leadership skills and abilities?
  • Are you or will you be an active student leader at BGSU?
  • Do you have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher?
  • Are you committed to giving back through community service?

The BGSU Leadership Certificate Program Advantage

  • Demonstrates student’s leadership and team development skills
  • Highlights developmental outcomes of each leadership experience
  • Assists students as they transition to leadership and team roles within a work environment

I feel I can influence and mentor others to become leaders in their fields and organizations. I also feel I can lead and motivate a good cause in whichever community I live. I feel I have to take responsibility of my community and society at large.” – Oluyemi Oyeniran, 2016 Leadership Certificate Award recipient



Leadership Academy - the premier, annual leadership conference at BGSU. This one day event takes place in November and engages emerging student leaders in educational sessions targeted toward their leadership development.

Why Participate? Emerging student leaders will have opportunity to:

  • Explore their own personal values
  • Network with other student leaders
  • Develop the skills necessary to achieve personal, academic, and professional success

November 4th, 2017



The Center for Leadership has developed three leadership certificates students and staff can achieve in order to increase and diversity their leadership skills. The Inclusive Leadership Certificate and the Ethical Leadership Certificate will be offered in Fall 2017. The Inclusive Leadership Certificate and Global Leadership Certificate will be offered in Spring 2018.

Click here to learn more.

Inclusive Leadership Certificate – helps to develop the attitudes, knowledge, and skills for inclusive leadership in an increasingly diverse world. This seven-session certificate is a perfect way to incorporate that competency into your leadership toolkit, meet people who share your interests, and contribute to making a more inclusive community.

2016 participants said “It allows me to be more conscious of the words that I choose and how I interact with individuals around me” and “it makes me think not just of others but of the position I might be putting them in in whatever I say.”

Sessions include:

  • Who am I? – Focuses on allowing participants to critically reflect on aspects of their own identity, engage them in meaningful conversation about identity, and enhance their skills in discussing identity with others.
  • Me & You – Different Perspectives – Focuses on engaging participants in an open and honest discussion on privileged and underrepresented identities and provides participants with a safe space and practical examples to understand difference in individuals.
  • Intercultural Communication – Focuses on helping participants understand the need to reflect on their own culture and how it impacts their view on others, helps participants recognize cultural differences, and shows how those differences effect communication.
  • Social Norms & Micro Aggressions – Focuses on engaging participants in a discussion about ways to confront oppression, microaggresssions, and other similar topics in a safe environment.
  • Power and Privilege - Focuses on providing participants with a safe space to open up and discuss controversial topics, allow their to walk away with a better understanding of how power and privilege are manifested in society, and gives participants tools and knowledge to help confront examples of power and privilege.
  • Social Justice – Focuses on teaching participants about various components of social justice and how different approaches work together to create a better world.
  • Final Reflections – A summary session that covers all that has been learned in past sessions.

Every Tuesday from October 17, 2017 – December 5, 2017

Register here!

Global Leadership Certificate – a program that will help you develop tools and skills that will help you lead and communicate effectively on a global scale with people from a variety of cultures and experiences.

Sessions include:

  • Interactions and Experiences – Focuses on allowing participants to reflect on their own interactions and experiences in order to better understand their values and role in society as well as a session aimed at understanding globalization.
  • Self-Awareness as a Global Leader – Focuses on emotional intelligence and adaptability and applying these concepts to one’s role in society as a global leader.
  • Diversity and Differences – Focuses on developing an understanding of cultural intelligence and sensitivity and the value of diversity and commitment to social justice.
  • Cross-Cultural Communications – Focuses on gaining more effective cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution and networking.
  • Reflections on Current Global Issues – Focuses on understanding global issues such as imperialism, ethnocentrism, emerging markets and the supply chain. This session then looks at taking this knowledge and comparing global and local issues in order to find trends or structures and determine interdependent influences.
  • Actions – Locally and Globally – Focuses on understanding foundational leadership strategies, discussing ethical dilemmas involved in global challenges and how these impact becoming a global leader.
  • Final Reflections – A summary session that covers all that has been learned in previous sessions.

2016 participant said “I loved attending the program because I feel like I personally got so much out of it and the facilitators were amazing and fun.”

Spring 2018

Register here!

Ethical Leadership Certificate - a six week personal development certificate that helps participants develop self-awareness as an ethical and intentional leader. This certificate incorporates the Center for Leadership’s integrity and purpose competencies into your leadership toolkit.

Sessions include:

  • Leadership and Values – Focuses on participants exploring the role of personal values in the process of being an ethical leader.
  • Leading Authentically – Builds upon one’s values and beliefs by exploring how congruency relates to ethical leadership. Participants will compare their values and beliefs to their daily actions, behaviors, and priorities.
  • Relational Leadership – Focuses on participants understanding how purpose, ethics, empowerment, inclusion, and process contribute to relational leadership with group contexts.
  • Ethical Dilemmas – Will provide information on ethical dilemmas and the “gray area” of decision-making, as well as different ways of looking at ethics, such as ethics of mercy vs. ethics of justice.
  • Purposeful Community Engagement – Explores how to purposefully engage within one’s community focusing on ethical leadership individually, within a group, and as a member of larger communities and society.
  • Leading with your “Why” – Participants will incorporate knowledge, reflection, and learning from the previous 5 sessions to determine their “why” and how they can create a plan to be an ethical leader.

Every Thursday from September 14, 2017 – October 26, 2017

Register here!

BGSU Leadership Competencies

Inclusion – creating broad and safe environments that engage and support diversity

Purpose – understanding personal and organizational value and establishing a sense of purpose that contributes to the development of others.

Global Citizenship – versatility in leadership and communication style that is respectful of cultural context and implications.

Integrity – acting in an ethical and legal manner that is harmonious with personal and organizational values

Group Development – the ability to manage and lead individuals in the establishment and execution of group goals.

For more information check out the Center for Leadership’s website

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