Faculty Resources for First Year Students


From highly structured programs to classroom instruction, advising, and in more personal ways, faculty can enhance involvement and improve the likelihood of learning. The following list offers some suggestions for getting started:

  • Promote student involvement in learning by incorporating active learning techniques in the instructional setting. For example. faculty can plan activities that organize students into cooperative groups to accomplish academic tasks. Cooperative learning groups actively integrate students into their learning environment.
  • Promote student involvement through your role as adviser and mentor to the students. Help students navigate the demands of academic life by providing challenge, support, and tacit knowledge.
  • Be expressive and enthusiastic. Convey to students your own intellectual excitement for the discipline. When appropriate, talk about your involvement in the subject, the work you have pursued and how it bears on the topic under consideration. Try to make it clear that one of your goals is to pique student interest and excitement in the course.
  • Interact with students in and out of the instructional setting. Students are sometimes hesitant about going to office hours for fear they might be disturbing faculty. By emphasizing your availability and encouraging them to visit your office, you can help break down this barrier. In addition, spend some time talking to students about the course before and after class. Ask them how the class is going, what they find exciting or difficult.
  • Be approachable. Invite student views and discussion. Leave time for questions at various points in the class. You will generate more discussion if you give students a chance to take time to think and write down their ideas, even share them with a neighbor, before starting a general discussion.
  • Express concern about student progress throughout the semester. Try to provide regular feedback to students so that they know there they stand. For example, give short assignments throughout the semester rather than one major assignment at the end of the course. Whenever possible, use these assignments to help students identify strengths and weaknesses. This can be done on individual papers, or you can discuss common problems and misunderstandings with the class as a whole.
  • Be open to helping students with problems. Be flexible when students have legitimate difficulties that interfere with their academic work. Familiarize yourself with the support offices on campus, such as Accessibility Services and the Counseling Center, so that you can let students know what resources are available to them.
  • Learn students' names and use them. Spend time on the first days of class doing activities to help you with this. Some faculty ask students to take the same seats each time at the beginning of the semester. Others ask students to bring in small pictures of themselves so they can start associating names and faces.

Joseph Fenty. 1997. Knowing your Students Better: A Key to Involving First-Year Students. The University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/CRLT_no9.pdf

Reports have shown that students in introductory courses often have little prior knowledge about the topic or field, and what they do know is poorly organized, incomplete or simply inaccurate. Even when facing their first low grades, some students remain confident and are slow to adjust their study strategies.

Some faculty use the approaches below to help students understand the expectations early enough to adapt quickly and develop the new study skills and time management habits they will need to succeed at college.

  • Be explicit about your expectations in order to counteract naive or inappropriate presumptions students may have. For example, explain to first-year students how many hours of work they should plan for three credit hour course. Be very clear about course policies both in your syllabus and in class.
  • Be explicit about the type of learning expected in your course because some students' high school teachers may have defined learning as memorizing, not analysis, synthesis or evaluation. You might explain to students that problems won't always map directly from the ones they've seen before because one of the goals of learning is to be able to use concepts and principles in new situations. When you design assignments that include complex problems or questions, you can tell students how it prepares them for similar challenges on exams and later in life. Similarly, if you ask students to work in groups, tell students why you value teamwork and how teamwork skills are valued in the professional world.
  • Give an ungraded quiz or exam based on what students should know from prior courses. Feedback on their performance can help them quickly identify areas where they need to review old course material or seek tutoring.
  • Teach students how to prepare for college assignments and exams. Besides teaching content, we need to provide suggestions on how to master material and help our students to develop the general learning skills they need now and in the rest of their careers. For example, faculty members might make available prior exams so students can see what to expect and test themselves as they study. Or, faculty might explicitly discuss and model the various stages in the writing process. Many faculty put sample exams and papers online.
  • Encourage students to ask questions or seek assistance as a normal part of the learning process. Let them know that many students spend a great deal of time "spinning their wheels" needlessly and that challenging assignments may require both advance planning and willingness to ask questions. Reminders about office hours and other resources can make it easier for reluctant students to seek help early.
  • Help students to acquire better self-monitoring skills to change study and time management behaviors that aren't working. For example, periodically ask students to track how much time they are spending on their assignments and advise students whose strategies may need some improvement. If taking notes is important in your lecture, you might want to demonstrate effective note-taking by providing copies of notes from the first two or three lectures taken by an "expert note taker" (Review Note Taking Tips in the student-facing content of FalconForward FYS). Students can then compare their notes to the "expert notes" and adjust their approach.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

With students coming from a variety of academic backgrounds, you can expect a broad range of knowledge and skills that may require adaptation on your part. Since the students are new to college workloads, they often need more explicit instruction than you are accustomed to giving in other courses. Stress the importance of patience and understanding of the unique difficulties these students may encounter.

The methods here provide some ways of adapting to make your expectations explicit and guiding students' learning strategies in order to help them develop the habits of mature learners more quickly.

  • Check your assumptions about these students know or can do. An ungraded assignment or quiz can show you if a majority of students are weak in the same area so that you can adapt, for example, by holding a review session.
  • Remember that most of these students are 18-year-olds. They are excited about and overwhelmed by their new environment. They are bright and ambitious, but may lack the self-discipline of more experienced students. Some are naive and some are immature, but almost all are very enthusiastic about learning.
  • If you are teaching a small class with a lot of contact hours, students may come to lean on you very heavily. Be prepared to set clear boundaries with students who may want you to give of yourself as generously as a parent.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

Particularly in the fall semester, first-year undergraduates are adjusting to many changes in their environments - making new friends, handling increased responsibility and exploring new personal freedom. Many are less certain of themselves that they were in high school. The formality of large classes may exacerbate the sense of isolation and anonymity that troubles a number of students. You can demonstrate your interest in student through small but important symbolic gestures.

  • Learning the names of first-year undergraduates is important. Since these students are unaccustomed to and often turned off by the depersonalized nature of large courses, you or should be strongly encouraged to know all of the students as soon as possible. You may want to enlist the aid of photographs, mnemonics or seating charts to improve their name-learning.
  • Since first-year students often perceive faculty as "too important to bother," it can help to come to class early and talk to students. By targeting three or four students in each class session to "meet" and talk with informally before class begins, you can establish good working relationships with many individual students as well as demonstrate your accessibility.
  • Take time to mingle with students any time you assign group work in class. This informal interaction provides an environment in which students can immediately ask questions, and fosters a connection for future exchange after class or in your office.
  • Ask students about themselves. For example, many faculty ask students for information about related courses they have taken or their interests in the course. At the same time, you might also ask students where they are from, their majors, hobbies or other personal information to help you relate examples to their experiences and interests and to facilitate small talk both in and out of class.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

Even after announcing your office hours at the beginning of the course, you may likely find that only the most assertive or problematic students take you up on them.

Faculty have found the following techniques to take advantage of the time you offer to help them outside of class:

  • Tell students why office hours are important. Explain in the syllabus, in class, and in e-mail that you really want to meet with the students individually and what the benefits will be for them.
  • Consider required appointments as an "icebreaker". This helps students understand that seeing their professors isn't like going the dentist.
  • Come to class early and stay late to chat with students informally. Being approachable and showing students you are interested in them as individuals is likely to increase office hours attendance.
  • Return students' work with a "Please see me during office hours" note. This invitation on an assignment, paper or exam will motivate poorly performing students to show up. Research shows that such notes can yield a 75% response rate when attached to a specific problem.
  • Choose your office hours strategically. We know that students won't attend office hours on the day after an assignment is assigned. Students prioritize their assignments and will only work on yours after their more pressing deadlines are met. On the other hand, some faculty do not want to encourage the habit of starting an assignment the day before it's due, and will therefore not schedule office hours on that day. Instead, holding office hours two or three days before the assignment is due appears to be the preferred choice.
  • Consider holding individual conferences by appointment or having an open-door policy in addition to regularly scheduled office hours. Such a policy can become a burden on your time - especially if some students take advantage of it - but some students' classes or extracurricular activities may prevent even the well intentioned from attending regularly scheduled office hours.
  • Adjust to the rhythm of the semester. Students are more likely to come in before a midterm (to review concepts), after a midterm (to debate grades), before a major assignment or project is due and before the final. You may want to schedule extra office hours to accommodate all the students at those times.
  • Always strive to conduct exemplary office hours. Word of mouth is very powerful among college students. If they find you unprepared, unapproachable or disrespectful at office hours, they won't come again and they will tell their friends.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

As first-year students learn to handle the new-found freedom of college life, many experiment with skipping classes. Some may inaccurately view the lecture as a repetition of the text and perceive attendance as optional. Others may sleep through class or work on other assignments during that time because poor study and time management habits cause them to fall behind.

Faculty members who report concerns about drops in attendance offer the following strategies to keep students in class regularly:

  • Be explicit about the importance of attending class. If you introduce information in lecture that is not in the book, be sure to tell students. If you provide alternative examples to the ones in the text or other ways of approaching the material, tell them. If your exam draws on both the book and lectures, tell them. By presenting novel information that is not in the book and highlighting when you do, students can more directly see the role of attending class in their learning.
  • Structure your course in a way that makes students accountable for attendance. Some faculty give regular assignments to turn in and/or short quizzes to ensure attendance.
  • Start class on time so that students understand the importance of promptness. End class on time as well to show that you understand and respect their time constraints. It is easy to forget how much time students need to get to in another part of campus.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

Among the noticeable differences between high school and college is that students need to take much more responsibility for managing their time and monitoring their own learning. With a challenging workload and numerous diversions in their new environment, first-year undergraduates often need a lot of structure and ongoing feedback to help them stay focused, practice new skills appropriately and assess their progress continually.

Since frequent assignments can be time-consuming for faculty to prepare and for students to complete, faculty offer strategies that be both efficient and effective for everyone involved:

  • Establish a routine for due dates, distribution of solution sets and reminders to help students better plan their time. A weekly or biweekly routine makes it easier for inexperienced students to set aside regular blocks of time for completing assignments, papers or projects. When such a routine isn't practical for a course, in-class reminders help students handle their workloads while they begin to develop better planning and time-management skills.
  • Make assignments that require students to identify patterns or strategies within or across problems, papers or projects and discuss these common patterns in class. All too often students are so concerned with just getting assignments completed that they don't look back on their work to consolidate what they learned from it.
  • Allow students to "redo" incorrect work with documentation that indicates "what I did wrong last time" and "what I learned from reworking the issue,".
  • Advise students to rework incorrect work in preparation for exams because many think that simply re-reading their solutions is sufficient. If you conduct review sessions, incorporating practice on sample problems during the session can alert students who have overestimated what they know.
  • Meet individually with any student who is performing poorly in the course and give the student an exam from a previous semester to complete as an assignment. Remind the student that the process will alert them to where the student is weak and that they should schedule extra sessions to work on those areas. This strategy can help the student follow through on a recommendation to seek help.
  • When you review and grade students' work, analyze error patterns and discuss common errors and their possible origins. Discussion of common misconceptions and errors can help students to detect them on their own more quickly and avoid similar problems in future work.
  • Help students develop a greater awareness of their thinking strategies and ways to enhance them. These strategies are rarely explicitly taught but are an important step toward developing more complex learning skills. For example, faculty can model how to verbalize steps in thinking through a problem or issue and then ask students to do the same in small groups or by writing explanations of their solutions. You can also encourage reflection about readings via short writing assignments, or teach diagramming and clustering to help students organize their thinking visually.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

Students beginning college are facing increased workloads, but dwindling amounts of time to do it in. This stress, combined with the pressure to do well in school, can make plagiarizing or cheating irresistible. On the other hand, some students may not realize what they're doing is wrong. No matter the cause, the end result is the same: a compromise of the student's academic honesty.

Faculty agree that an early and proactive approach to academic honesty issues is best. Here are a few general tips to follow:

  • Clearly explain on the first day of class and/or on the syllabus collaboration boundaries, citation rules and how you define cheating. Defining any "gray areas" early on can deter problems before they become habits.
  • Beware of the internet. The internet provides students useful information, but it can also provide a shortcut to producing what should be original work. Make students aware that you know that such temptations exist.
  • Remind students that if they're unsure if what they're doing constitutes plagiarism, they can come to you as a resource.

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

Academic success is often a major part of students' developing identities, early encounters with "failure" (sometimes defined as a B or C grade) can throw them into emotional turmoil. Early in a course, inexperienced students may honestly believe that they can handle any difficulties on their own, but may find that the difficulties grow progressively worse, especially when the material later in the course depends heavily on the earlier concepts. Some students may be too embarrassed or too proud to seek help. Intervening early in the course to offer support and assistance can be a key strategy for promoting students' success.

  • Remind students that struggling does not indicate lack of talent or intelligence, but often reflects a need to acclimate to the university environment. Otherwise, too often students internalize thoughts and feelings such as "I'm just not smart enough or creative enough."
  • Contact every student who does poorly on the first exam or major assignment for a five-ten minute appointment to determine what kind of help the student may need.
  • Remember that it is impossible to deal with first-year students on an intellectual basis only; they are also social-emotional beings. Often they simply need reassurance or someone to just listen. Some will need a push in the right direction because they are not used to asking for help. Help may involve study groups, tutoring or other referrals.
  • Be proactive in reaching out to students because they often won't seek help on their own. Some faculty members invite students (alone or in groups of 2-3) to their offices for just a 5-10 minute "introduction" conversation that can pave the way for talking about difficulties if they arise later. Others use e-mail or notes on returned assignments/exams to set up a time to talk with students who seem to have difficulties.
  • Run some extra, optional class sessions for a targeted group of students who are having trouble. Use this time to offer interactive help and "get inside their heads."
  • After an exam or key assignment, ask students who did well for a description of their study strategies and post it to the course online so that other students can learn from them. Or, do a simple written questionnaire about study strategies and report back to the class what the most successful students did.

The signs of student difficulty are not always easy to detect. As a group, first-year undergraduates have a wide variety of problems adjusting to the responsibilities and opportunities college presents. Underlying difficulties, such as poor organizational skills, depression, substance abuse, stress-related illness, conflicts with roommates or family, or personal loss are not uncommon. While faculty do not need to be able to "diagnose" the underlying difficulties, it is useful to recognize some of the indicators that may suggest that a student could benefit from additional outreach and support.

Some signs of potential difficulty to watch for are:

  • Sleeping in class
  • Disruptive behaviors
  • Withdrawal or avoidance
  • Inappropriate humor
  • Cheating
  • Frustration with workload and/or grades
  • Absence (especially for an extended period of time)
  • Marked drop in performance
  • Isolation from peers
  • Poor testing
  • Wearing sunglasses in class

Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence. 2002. Best Practices for Teaching First-Year Undergraduates. Carnegie Mellon University. Retrieved from http://www.cmu.edu/teaching/resources/PublicationsArchives/InternalReports/BestPractices-1stYears.pdf

**If you see these or other potentially troubling behaviors in a student, you may raise an alert via Student Success Collaborative (SSC), accessed via MyBGSU, or by calling Cyndie Roberts at 419-372-7219 (crobert@bgsu.edu). Or you may complete Report an Incident Form.

Here are ways to prompt conversations about academic honesty in your classroom:

What is academic honesty? Why does it matter?

  • Ask students to write down their initial reactions to this question: When you think of academic honesty, what are the first three (or four) things that come to mind? Use students' responses to highlight that academic integrity is more than a list of "don'ts" (or "dos and don'ts"), but is an important university value.
  • Stage a debate on an issue such as "academic honesty only matters if you get caught." Divide students into three teams: pro, con, and evaluators. The evaluator team's role is to assess the soundness of the arguments. (Everyone loves a good debate.)
  • Give students 2-3-4 scenarios of academic honesty. Have students put themselves in the place of the offending student(s) and ask them to come up with other ways to resolve the situation that would NOT result in academic honesty violations.
  • Discuss the importance of codes of conduct. Have students develop a code of conduct for your course.
  • Use case studies to highlight particular aspects of academic honesty you wish to emphasize. Case studies of all shapes and sizes are available, or write your own. For example, use a recent news story about a professional ethical violation (there are plenty to chose from) to make connections between personal, academic, and professional honesty.

What is the university's policy? What are the professor's course policies?

  • Instruct students to read the academic honesty policy before coming to class. Possible assignments:
    • Give them a brief quiz. Have students self-correct. Discuss.
    • Ask students to write down three things they learned (or some other reflective assignment in relation to reading the policy).
    • Provide a scenario of a policy violation. Ask students to write down what penalty should be rendered and why. In the next class, share some of the outcomes.
  • Ask students to discuss plagiarism and the AH Policy specifically as it applies to your class.
  • Discuss when collaboration is and is not OK for your course.
  • Involve students in discussion of "why" a particular behavior is or is not OK. Here's one example: After you leave this class, you may be asked about the content of this exam by a friend who has the same class later today.
    • Do you think this conversation might have an effect on your friend's education?
    • Do you think it might affect your fellow students in this class? How?
    • How would you handle this situation?
    • Here's what I believe…..

Doesn't everyone cheat in some way to get ahead? No. Discuss taking responsibility for your actions.

  • Ask students why they believe students cheat. Write down the students' list of reasons on board, then have students prioritize the reasons. Ask them if any reasons are acceptable to excuse cheating.
    Next class, distribute the list of common reasons/excuses for academic honesty that your students developed. Break students into teams of two and assign each team two or more of the excuses. Have each team
    a) evaluate the excuses and
    b) develop alternatives to acting dishonestly.
  • Give students this scenario: It's two days before your paper is due and you haven't started. What are some honest ways to resolve your predicament?
  • Present this scenario: A student earned a final course grade of C. After course grades were turned in, the student complained that the professor had "given" this grade, and asked for extra credit to improve the grade to a B- because "I need a B average to keep my scholarship." If you were the professor, how would you respond? Next class, distribute the students' written responses and discuss.

What is plagiarism?

  • Ask students to write down the meaning of plagiarism in their own words, look up a published definition, and compare the two.
  • Devote a class period to academic honesty, offering samples of students' problems and errors that you personally have encountered in your classes.
  • Assign students an online plagiarism test such as http://education.indiana.edu/~frick/plagiarism [or MU's Academic Integrity Quiz]. Instruct them to take the test as many times as it takes to achieve a perfect score. In the next class, have students write down two learning points they found most valuable. Pick up those written comments. Discuss a few with the entire class.
  • Have students proofread a paper that has multiple examples of plagiarism. Next class, talk about what they found.
  • Include questions about plagiarism on a quiz or exam.
  • Have students peer-edit each other's work, focusing on plagiarism.
  • Have students debate the idea that "students should not be held responsible for plagiarism if they don't understand it." Use that debate to discuss unintentional plagiarism and why writers (including students) must be held accountable for plagiarism even when it may be unintentional. Engage students in a discussion about their responsibilities.

What am I doing wrong in my paper?

The ideas in this section are based on student writing problems that have been encountered in classes most often.


  • Have students write down, in their own words, why paraphrased ideas, not just direct quotes, must be cited.
  • Show examples of adequate and inadequate paraphrasing. Discuss.
  • Give students a passage to paraphrase. Have students trade papers, do peer reviews, and revise papers based on the peer feedback. Give group (vs. individual) feedback to the class, then have students rewrite again. Discuss key challenges students experienced trying to paraphrase.

Cut-and-Paste Problems

  • Discuss how "compiling" a paper is different from "writing" a paper. Have each person write down 3-5 disadvantages of submitting a compiled paper. Discuss.
  • In front of the class, illustrate how students sometimes "compile" papers by cutting and pasting selections from other sources and making superficial changes. Discuss.

Paper Mills, Buying Papers and Other Stealing

  • Present this scenario: your roommate reveals to you at midnight that she is downloading a paper from a free essay site because she is "freaking out" that her paper is due tomorrow and she's not ready. Should you do anything? If not, why? If so, why and what?
  • Discuss this scenario: Your roommate is making money by writing papers for other people. What do you do?

What's wrong with working together/collaborating on this assignment?

  • Present a scenario such as this one: Your roommate asks if you have finished your paper and you say yes. She asks you to e-mail her your paper to give her some ideas to start her paper. Discuss the following:
    • How would you handle this situation? List at least three possibilities.
    • Discuss the implications of this situation for you? Your friend? Others?
    • What are various ways this situation could unfold? List several.
  • Present 1-2 scenarios of collaboration issues your students might face, such as:
    • Lab report in a science class
    • A take-home test
    • A homework assignment that it's OK to discuss, but must be WRITTEN individually
  • Present a scenario such as this one: "Your roommate reviewed your paper and: Circled errors. Corrected errors. Rewrote a few sentences. Rewrote several large passages. Gave you ideas for how to better construct your argument." Ask students which of these actions are OK or not. Have your students grapple with collaboration that is acceptable and collaboration that crosses the line. Be specific about what is and is not OK for your course.

Renée Gravois Lee and Lisa M. Burns. n.d. 50 Ways to Jumpstart Academic Integrity Discussion in your Class. Missouri University. Retrieved from https://osrr.missouri.edu/workshops/classroomactivities.html

College teachers can reduce their own and students’ frustration about course-based reading if they will consider students’ full range of educational needs and expectations as they make decisions about course structure.

Here are some tips about how best to incorporate reading into your college courses:

  • Tip 1: Not everyone course is served by requiring a textbook.
    • Consider not having a required textbook if:
      • Course structure duplicates text material (i.e., in-class lecture and/or discussion primarily "covers" basic material found in the textbook).
      • No available text offers a good fit with the course. Instead, use custom publishing options to create a course reading packet tailored to the course.
      • No textbook earns a triage score of "absolutely essential". Use "Recommended Reading" lists with multiple copies of materials placed on library reserve.
  • Tip 2: "Less is more" applies to course reading.
    • A reading list should contain fewer, carefully chosen selections, thereby reducing student perception of a Herculean workload. Each of the remaining texts/reading assignments should connect obviously to the course: they should show up as part of in-class presentations, factor into course projects, or appear on exams. Connections as obvious as these offer students an indisputable higher yield on their reading investment, thus increasing the likelihood that students will attempt the course reading assignments.
  • Tip 3: Aim reading material at "marginally-skill" students.
    • Assess reading material to determine the level of reading skill students need in order to read the text in a manner and for the ends that the instructor has intended. A text included in the course readings primarily for entertainment purposes, for example, will require a less-strong set of student reading skills than will a text included for content purposes. Choosing reading material beyond the cognitive reach of the majority of enrolled students is unfair since it sets up an unequal learning environment tilted in favor of highly-skilled readers. It also invites dwindling levels of course-related reading compliance. Students will determine early on that further struggle to read “unreadable” assignments is not a warranted use of their study time.
    • Use Course Structure to Encourage Reading
      • The anecdotal literature on college student reading skills development offers other recommendations that can be adapted to foster the course structural and student motivational context needed to increase student reading compliance. Among the most useful are strategies that:
        • Help students understand course design choices, and related performance expectations
        • Shape the in-class experience to encourage reading as a learning tool
        • Develop needed course-relevant reading skills and attitudes
  • Tip 4: Use syllabus as a teaching tool.
    • At their best, strong course syllabi can affect student compliance with course reading assignments. Effective syllabi do more than identify required reading materials; they provide background about the materials so that students understand why the reading assignments contribute to learning and how they relate to other course content and course activities. The syllabus is viewed increasingly as an important teaching tool, one that can help to shift the classroom’s focus from teaching-centered to learning- centered. The passivity that marks students’ pre-collegiate academic experience is at odds with the faculty expectation that college students will engage actively in their learning. This expectation supports the inclusion of out-of-class reading as a central course component. The course syllabus can help students match their course-related activity to faculty expectations from the start.
  • Tip 5: Explain reading assignments' relevance.
    • Explaining the reading assignment’s relevance to the course topic and to the way that the course is structured is an investment worth making in the course syllabus and at strategic points within the term. This explanation is important to novices because they are not adept at making inferential connections between items that are seemingly dissimilar or only loosely related. Making the implicit explicit helps those students who need the most assistance in reading and comprehending course materials, particularly marginally skilled and unskilled readers. The more connective the web between course reading and course learning goals, the more likely students are to see the course’s reading assignments as relevant and worthwhile. Novices to higher education in general and to an academic discipline, specifically, need the scaffolding provided by explanations that relates reading to the course and the achievement of success in it. This reading agenda must be formally established by the course instructor through the mix of assignments placed at appropriate points within the term. Equally important, this agenda must be accepted by the student if the intended learning is to occur. Therefore, the more frequently students encounter explanations of reading-to-learning connections, the better. The course syllabus is the obvious point of first contact for persuading students that reading course assignments will be beneficial. The same opportunity should be available throughout the academic term whenever students prepare to interact with new course-linked texts.
  • Tip 6: Assign readings close to use date.
    • Providing students a rationale for assigning texts as they encounter new topics affects student reading compliance by highlighting the correspondence between the reading assignment and a meaningful part of the course. This timing decision closes several gaps that often limit the effectiveness of reading assignments: none-too-precise Day 1 overview statements combined with overly-focused day-to-day course activity; differences between perceptions about teacher-based and student-based activities; abstract course elements, such as goals and outcomes, and ever-present demands like class meeting topics and assignments. Bridging gaps such as these affects student behavior, particularly with regard to student reading compliance. Although mapping all course reading assignments in the syllabus provides an overall view of the course workload, several studies have found that such a presentation can contribute to non-compliance with reading assignments. When these assignments are made close to the “use date” — the class session during which the information contained in that reading appears — students are more likely to read the assignments found that the temporal point during the term when reading assignments were made was a significant factor in predicting compliance. In this study, for students who were given reading assignments at the start of the term, documented “use was concentrated just prior to either the mid-term or end-of-term examinations. In fact, the end-of-term checkouts reached a maximum during the examination week. On the other hand, when short but frequent lists were assigned, use was dispersed quite evenly over weekly periods as well as over the whole term” found similar differences between student groups assigned required reading at the start of the term and those assigned reading within two weeks of the material’s use in class.
  • Tip 7: Preview the reading.
    • Many texts used in college courses intimidate students because of their organizational complexity, length, foreign vocabulary, and expectations about readers’ background. Students can be helped “into the text” when faculty make the assigned reading material part of the in-class activity. Previewing course reading to increase student reading compliance can be accomplished in several ways. At the most basic level, the mention of specific readings during a class presentation will increase the likelihood that students will read that work. Allocating time during in-class lectures and discussions to tell students something about upcoming reading assignments in order to pique their interest. Because students often wonder why faculty consider reading assignments important, they will listen carefully to brief comments about why a reading assignment is interesting and connected to prior and future issues.
  • Tip 8: Use class activities that increase compliance and effectiveness.
    • Reading Guides: Summarize important concepts found in assigned reading and identify areas where students may find the going tough. Useful items to include in a reading guide are such things as help with technical vocabulary, explanation of background concepts and cultural values that the author expects readers to be aware of, and suggestions for making the most out of illustrations, charts, graphs, and tables in the text.
    • Study questions: Provided in class or via a course webpage, questions keyed to key points in the required reading can increase the numbers of students who read course material. However, the technique has a drawback in that students may use these questions as last-minute test preparation material, not as guides to help their “real-time” understanding of concepts.
    • Short writing assignments: Ask students to explore in writing links between reading assigned for a class meeting and the topic(s) that will be addressed during the current class period (or, that were the focus of a preceding class meeting).
  • Tip 9: Use class time.
    • Allow in-class time (approximately 15 minutes) for students to read material that is "high priority", particularly if that material will form the core of the class presentation or activities that follow.
  • Tip 10: Require prior reading.
    • One reason that faculty assign course-based reading is so that students will, hopefully, be prepared and want to participate in subsequent class activity and discussions Reading compliance is necessary to achieving this outcome. To combat low reading compliance levels among students, use the method of random questioning because relying on students to volunteer to participate in class discussion and activity helps reinforce the 'non-preparation' behavior of students who fail to volunteer.
  • Tip 11: Test over reading material.
    • Testing students over material contained in assigned reading and, in particular testing students over reading assignments not covered in class, is the most punitive of strategies presented to increase student compliance with course reading.
  • Tip 12: Teach reading strategies overtly.
    • Any teacher who includes reading assignments in a course should also ensure that students have the reading tools they need to use that material for the purposes intended. To read course material at the level of adroitness that faculty desire, students will need to be taught how to do so. Even skills that seem basic to faculty warrant direct instruction, including such a simple skill as marking texts.

      Providing students with suggestions about how to mark texts that work particularly well in specific content areas does not have to be a big burden, nor does it need to entail onerous preparation. A good place to start is to reproduce several pages from the course textbook that are marked in a manner that can aid learning. Even better is to provide annotation of the marking that explains the strategy used and the choice made to determine what was marked and what was not. Such modeling serves two purposes.:
      • It brings reading material into class as an object of in-class discussion, and in doing so legitimates the textbook (or other reading materials)
      • It provides a model of how experts approach material presented in complex structures, including making sense of technical language, shuttling between text and supporting materials, cross-referencing topics via the text's index, and using study guides for formative assessment purposes.
  • Tip 13: Use Classroom Assessment Techniques (CATs) to assess compliance.
    • A number of classroom assessment techniques (CATs) can provide teachers with an accurate picture of student compliance with assigned reading. One approach is simple: periodically ask students to anonymously report if they have completed reading assignments for a given class period. CATs can provide teachers with important insight into the beliefs that students have about course-linked reading and rationale(s) used as they choose to read/not read for class.
  • Tip 14: Get assistance where/when needed.
    • Few college teachers are trained to teach reading. It behooves them to become familiar with specialists who staff campus reading programs.

Eric H. Hobson. n.d. Getting Students to Read: Fourteen Tips. Georgia Southern University. Retrieved from: http://www.ideaedu.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/IDEA%20Papers/IDEA%20Papers/Idea_Paper_40.pdf

1. Preview the assigned reading

  • Summarize it in the previous class

  • Ask interesting questions that will be answered in the reading assignment

  • Take a poll on some of the issues addressed in the reading assignment

  • Emphasize the interest, usefulness, and fit in the course sequence of the reading

2. Do not repeat the reading in a lecture

Do not make listening to your lecture become the student's reading strategy.

It is tempting when students do not or can not read the textbook chapters to make sure the course content is "covered" by telling the students what they should have learned by reading the textbook.  Among the reasons for not lecturing on assigned reading are

  • Your students will not learn to read for comprehension--a valuable skill in your discipline.

  • Your students will not learn to read critically--also a valuable skill in your discipline.

  • Your passive learners will not learn how to apply the course information if the time they spend on task is spent on the tasks of listening and taking notes.

  • Enough class time will not be spent on higher order thinking tasks, such as applying, conceptualizing, analyzing, synthesizing, classifying, comparing, evaluating.

3. Have students write something in response to the text

Demonstrate how to do it; provide a model.

Write your daily instructions in the daily course syllabus. Some examples are:

  • Outline or concept map
  • Summary
  • Ask/answer questions
  • Read it twice, annotating then text as a believer and then as a doubter
  • Write double-entry notes:

one page (or column) for summaries of the text, and an adjacent page (or column) for comments

  • Personal response

4. Design a focused, informal writing-to-learn task based on the reading

For example:

  • Connect the reading to a past lecture or to prior knowledge

  • Compare/contrast with another reading

  • Critique/evaluate

  • Apply the reading content to a scenario or case

For some suggestions for designing informal writing tasks that promote thinking, see the workshop on designing writing assignments that promote thinking, especially sections 7 and 8.

5. Monitor compliance

Develop ways to ensure that students do their homework without burdening yourself with daily feedback or record keeping.

William Peirce. 2006. Strategies for Teaching Critical Reading. Prince George Community College. Retrieved from http://academic.pg.cc.md.us/~wpeirce/MCCCTR/critread.html

Additional Resources

Reading Value Rubric

Information Literacy Value Rubric

Concept map or mind map?

Concept mapping and mind mapping are graphic organizers, strategies for visualizing knowledge or graphically representing ideas. The terms may seem to be interchangeable, but here are some typical differences in the way they are used:

  • A mind map is a creative way to represent an idea or task, while a concept map is a formal attempt to organize or represent knowledge.
  • Mind maps focus on a central idea; concept maps connect multiple ideas.
  • Mind maps are colorful, use wavy lines, and often include pictures. Concept maps are made with geometric shapes and straight lines.
  • A mind map builds outward from the center, while concept map expands downward from the top.

Uses of concept maps

This teaching-learning strategy is grounded in constructivist theory, which states that we create meaning from the interaction between our experiences and our ideas. Here are several strategies gleaned from the literature:

  • Assess prior knowledge – students create a visual representation of what they know about a concept
  • Show how experts organize knowledge – build a map that tells students how you think – this could also help in your own course design work
  • Summarize reading – represent ideas in an article, the main points of a chapter, or the theme of a novel
  • Plan a task – student groups visualize a project or lab assignment in order to get a handle on what is involved
  • Conduct an assessment – at the end of a unit or course, students create a map to show what they have learned

Practices to Consider

  • Construct maps with reference to a “focus question” that clearly specifies the problem or issue
  • Start with a partially constructed map
  • Provide a short list of key terms – or have students start by creating such a list
  • Create several maps over time, allowing students to see how their understanding changes
  • Students can work in groups – or start with individual maps and then form into groups
  • Develop maps on a large whiteboard to allow for easy revisions
  • Use software that allows multiple users to work on a map at the same time


The two most popular tools are:

  • CmapTools – a free tool provided by Florida IHMC
  • Inspiration –  commercial software that has been popular for over twenty years

Three special tools you might consider are:

  • VUE – an open source tool provided by Tufts – I’m surprised more people aren’t using this
  • Prezi – a tool that provides a “canvas” for developing presentations
  • iMindMap – a commercial product by Tony Buzan, who owns the Mind Map trademark

For a more complete list, see Ten popular concept mapping tools. You may also want to read about a new tool – Try Coggle for concept maps.



Chris Clark. May 10, 2011. Best tools and practices for concept mapping. University of Notre Dame. Retrieved from https://ltlatnd.wordpress.com/2011/05/10/best-tools-and-practices-for-concept-mapping/

The poor quality of student notes may reflect not only a lack of skills necessary to take accurate and complete notes but also the complexity of the task. Note-taking involves lis­tening to new and often unfamiliar information, transcribing that information quickly enough to keep pace with the lecture, and deciding how to organize the material to reflect the relationships stated by the speaker. Several studies indi­cate that students have difficulty organizing lecture materi­al and identifying main points. Furthermore, students say they experience the most difficulty with lecturers who speak too quickly or inaudibly, fail to present a clear outline at the beginning of the lecture, or fail to signal important infor­mation. Consequently, how faculty lecture (organization, pace, affect, inflection) and what fac­ulty do during lecture (give handouts, write on the board, emphasize and/or repeat important material, summarize complex information), strongly affect students' ability to take notes. Faculty can improve their students' note-taking ability by focusing on three areas: lecture strategies, the use of handouts, and strategies for engaging students.

Lecture Strategies to Support Note-taking

While the topic of effective lecturing is multifaceted, there are two factors that have a particularly strong impact on students' ability to take notes: 1) pacing, which includes both speed of delivery and the amount and difficulty of information delivered; and 2) "cueing," which involves ver­bal and visual signals of emphasis, structure, and relation­ships.

Pacing. The pace with which an instructor delivers a lec­ture has obvious implications for students' ability to keep up with the presentation and maintain attention. But how fast is too fast? Research indicates that a moderate speed of delivery, around 135 words per minute, best supports stu­dent note-taking. Faculty can evaluate their pace by asking a colleague to sit in on a lecture or by dis­tributing a short survey to students, including items such as "The pace of today's lecture was a) Too slow, b) About right, c) Too fast." CRLT consultants can also observe or videotape instructors' classes to assist them in assessing the pace of their lectures.

Appropriate pacing is also affected by the complexity and familiarity of the material. When lectures contain com­plex or unfamiliar material (or a lot of technical information and terminology), instructors should move more slowly to allow students to record the relevant information. Instructors may also want to balance the amount of new vs. familiar and simple vs. complex material when possible. Conversely, when lecture material is easy to understand or reviews familiar ground, instructors can pick up the pace and expect that students will easily keep up.

Pausing. The simplest way to engage students and improve their notes is to build in short pauses (two to three minutes) a few times during the lecture when students can review and rework their notes. At the end of the lecture, instructors can ask students to take three minutes to do a "free recall," that is, write down everything they remember from lecture. Pausing uses relatively little class time and requires minimal effort from instructors. Pausing also sig­nificantly improves student comprehension and retention of material.

Verbal and Visual Cues. Students' ability to discern the structure of a lecture will also play a role in the quality of their notes. Although the problem-centered, chronological, or cause-and-effect organization of a lecture may be self­ evident to faculty, students may not be able to identify this structure. To help students, faculty can signal lecture struc­ture and hierarchical relationships (e.g., key points versus detail, context versus cause) by verbal and visual cueing. Verbal cues provide clarity and emphasis as well as signal relationships (cause-and-effect, hierarchical, sequential, comparative, etc.). Verbal cues include phras­es such as "The four main arguments are...," "A major development was ...," "Applying that concept...," "This story was an example of..."

Instructors can use visual cues to emphasize specific concepts and/or relationships among concepts. Visual cues include writing information or simple diagrams on the board, presenting graphs or complex charts on transparen­cies, or presenting a running outline of the lecture on slides. The most commonly used visual cue is a topic outline on the board, slide, or overhead at the beginning of class to sig­nal what will be addressed in class that day. Instructors can refer back to the topic outline throughout the class to signal transitions from one topic to the next, to reinforce the rela­tions among topics and to summarize what has been dis­ cussed at the close of class. Written cues are particularly important in light of students' tendency to record material from the blackboard. However, students often record com­plex information (such as long definitions, formulas, or labeled figures and diagrams) incorrectly. When it is important to record exact wording or an accurate diagram, student learning is better supported with a handout containing the complete information. While visu­al cues and handouts are particularly helpful to non-native speakers and students with several types of disabilities, they benefit most students and are well worth the time and effort to use them.


Faculty can support student note-taking by distributing handouts for students to use while taking notes or while reviewing their lecture notes. Students take better notes and review material more effectively if faculty provide a "scaf­fold," such as an outline, an overview, or other advance organizer for students to use while taking notes. The research on note-taking focuses on three kinds of handouts: outlines, graphic organizers, and copies (full or partial) of the instructor's lecture notes. Students benefit from outlines during lecture because outlines provide a framework for note-taking. Students benefit from graphic organizers during review because graphic organizers facilitate understanding of lecture material. Copies of the instructor's notes help students as supplements to their own notes during review.

Outlines. Outlines provide students with headings and subheadings (identifying major and minor topics of lecture material) and include space to fill in the relevant informa­tion in the order it will be delivered during the lecture. The advantage of providing outlines is that they pre-organize lecture material and (through headings and subheadings) make clear the distinction between main and supporting ideas. Studies comparing test performance of students tak­ing notes on outlines provided by the instructor prior to lec­ture with students taking notes in their usual manner find that students given outlines take more complete notes and perform better on exams. This research suggests that outlines work best when used during lecture to record the material in the order it is pre­sented. Additionally, an outline can enable students to iden­tify gaps in their notes that can be corrected later through consultation with the instructor or peers.

Graphic Organizers. Graphic organizers show relations across categories, concepts, or ideas by organizing informa­tion in a two-dimensional format. A common graphic organ­izer is the matrix, which shows relations by using rows and columns to represent a concept, its subordinate concepts, and corresponding information. The advantage of graphic organizers is that they offer students a meaningful way to think through the infor­mation in their notes. As students enter information into the cells of the matrix, they construct a visual representation of the relationships between ideas or concepts presented in a given lecture. Research suggests that providing students with a matrix to complete during review facilitates learning, par­ticularly the ability to transfer the material to new applica­tions and/or synthesize the material.

Distributing Instructor Notes. Instructors might also con­sider handing out partial to full copies of their own lecture notes. Instructor notes can effec­tively supplement students' notes by ensuring their accura­cy and comprehensiveness. One study found that students who reviewed instructor notes (and did not take their own) performed better on recall tests than students who took and reviewed their own notes. However, most researchers suggest that instructor notes should be used only as a supplement to students' own notes, since the act of note-taking itself helps students learn lecture material and because students claim that their own notes are personally meaningful and represent their personal selection of impor­tant points.

Attendance and Dependence

Handing out the instructors' notes raises concerns about stu­dent attendance and students' potential dependence on external aids that may hinder mastery of listening and note­ taking skills. Instructors concerned about attendance have several options:

  • make handouts skeletal enough that stu­dents need to be present in class for the notes to be useful
  • use class time for activities and interactions that will enhance learning and cannot be reflected in simple written summary or outline form
  • document the impact of atten­dance on exam performance and convey that information to students;
  • require when students receive instructor notes, in the short-run, students may perform bet­ter on tests of mastery of factual material, but in the long­ run, students may not learn to organize ideas because of a dependence on external aids

Additional Strategies to Support Student Note-taking

Faculty might also consider supporting students' active engagement with their notes through short focused activi­ties during lecture or in office hours. These instructional strategies engage students actively and can help them remember and understand more of the lecture material.

Instruction on Notetaking and Tips Sheets. Instructors, particularly those who teach first-and second-year students, can take time in class to talk about how to take notes for their courses. Instructors can also distribute or post online tips sheets, adding their own suggestions that reflect the discipline they teach and their priorities for the types of materials they expect students to retain and master.

Providing models. Another option is to show students a sample of complete and correct notes, either provided by the instructor or borrowed from students in the class. By examining exemplary notes, students can see what they can do to improve their own notes. Instructors can point out that good notes:

  • are correct (or have been corrected)
  • identify all main points and selectively include sub­sidiary points or support
  • connect supporting materials to the appropriate main point
  • connect examples or stories to the concepts they demonstrate
  • summarize the main points of class discussions
  • describe interactive experiences in the classroom
  • include student comments
  • use abbreviations

Peer learning. Faculty can go a step further and allow time for students to compare their notes with those of a peer in the class, offering each other corrections or missing information. After three to four minutes of comparison, stu­dents can ask the instructor for clarification and elaboration. The process of peer discussion can also help students iden­tify and articulate questions about the material.

Writing summaries and questions. Asking students to summarize their notes or write discussion questions engages students in the active use of lecture material. Both activities are easily integrated into lecture and significantly improve student comprehension and retention of material. Instructors can collect summaries and select some common problems and particularly good exam­ples to discuss with the class. Faculty can help students formulate questions by offering "question stems" that lead students to ask the kinds of questions that generate improved comprehension (e.g., How is ... related to ...? What is the difference between...and...? In your opinion, what is the best way to...?). Additionally, student summaries and discussion questions provide evidence of how well students understand the lecture material. To further motivate students, instructors can include several ques­tions designed by students on their quizzes and exams.

Office hours. During office hours faculty can suggest to students ways to improve their notes and help students iden­tify gaps in note-taking that did (or will) impact test per­formance and learning. The importance of review can also be demonstrated to students when the correct information needed for a specific exam question is found in their own notes.

Supporting Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities often experience difficulty tak­ing notes in lectures. Students overcome these unique chal­lenges by using various support technologies, such as tape recorders, or relying on sign language interpreters.

Notetaking Services for Students with Disabilities. Note-taking services are often used by students with disabil­ities, particularly when a sign interpreter is used, a student cannot see the lecturer or visual aids (the board, trans­parencies or PowerPoint slides), or a student cannot keep up with the pace of the lecture. Faculty can help students who have trouble with note-taking by:

  • providing complete notes as a supplement
  • providing study guides for exams
  • giving assignments in written and oral form
  • encouraging students and their note-takers to sit together, close to the instructor

Interpreters. Interpreters make it possible for hearing­ impaired students to learn from lectures. However, class­room interactions and discussions can be fast-paced. Faculty can help hearing-impaired students by repeating questions raised by students before replying to the question, identifying speakers so that the student knows who is speaking, and by regulating cross-talk among students (e.g., students can be asked to raise their hands so that the hear­ing-impaired student can identify the speaker).

Classroom Management to Support Students with Disabilities. Communicating with disabled students requires sensitivity and flexibility, particularly with seating arrangements. For example, lip reading depends upon a clear view of the speaker. Hard-of-hearing or learning dis­abled students who use a tape recorder may need to sit close to the instructor. Sight-impaired students may need larger type and an uncluttered format to be able to read handouts. Faculty can prepare and share handouts of the material they will present on the board.

Deborah DeZure, Matthew Kaplan and Martha A. Deerman. 2001. Research on Student Notetaking: Implications for Faculty and Graduate Student Instructors. University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://www.crlt.umich.edu/sites/default/files/resource_files/CRLT_no16.pdf


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). The Lib Guide is a multimedia resource around public policy issues, cultural groups in the United States, regional history, and, of course, commentary on the book Hillbilly Elegy.

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

2017 - 2018 Common Read

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 FAQ page.

Bowling Green State University's definition of plagiarism, according to BGSU's Academic Honesty Policy, 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.

Georgetown University Honor Council. n.d. 10 Examples of Plagiarism. Georgetown University. Retrieved from https://honorcouncil.georgetown.edu/system/what-is-plagiarism/x

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).

Purdue Owl. n.d. Paraphrase: Write in your own Words. Purdue Owl. Retrieved from https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/619/1/

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

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.

Here, we provide you with two great videos about developing good study habits and good organizational skills. There are links to the Learning Commons, and much more. By applying yourself, setting realistic goals, and finding the right combination of time management and study time, you can be successful.

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

Below are great links for assistance with Math, Statistics, Writing, and other subjects.

Study Groups - Study groups allow more in depth content discussions and are less focused on specific homework assignments.

Jerome Library - Jerome Library offers services for faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. Services include: study rooms and 1 hour one-on-one research consultations with a librarian.

Subject Tutoring - Subject area tutors hold regular hours in the Learning Commons that are FREE to all BGSU students.

Math & Statistics - Mathematics & Statistics Tutoring is available any time the Learning Commons is open on a drop-in basis. This means there is no need for an appointment.

Writing Assistance - From your first day on campus through graduation, experienced and informed Writing Consultants are happy to talk with you about any writing-related concerns you may have; visit us early and often—at any stage in your writing process.

The Learning Commons - Get help online, during drop-in hours or set up an appointment with one of our academic coaches or tutors. Located inside Bowling Green State University's Jerome Library.

Study Skills from The Learning Commons - The BGSU Study Skills area provides students with different methods and strategies they can apply to their college courses to more effectively study.

Click on the links below for additional resources.

Virtual Tools for College

7 Time Management Tips for Finals Week

A Student's Guide to Surviving College Finals

The BGSU Study Skills area provides students with different methods and strategies they can apply to their college courses to more effectively study. BGSU Study Skills are located in The Learning Commons on the first floor of the Jerome Library.

Good Study Habits

Different tips and tricks for establishing healthy routines that will make your studying more effective.

Study Resources

Hints and resources to help organize information in a way that aligns with your learning type.

For an overall perspective on studying, visit HowToStudy.org. This website is full of resources to help you succeed in college.  It includes links to help you study, as well as subject specific websites where you will learn strategies to help you retain information and understand concepts specific to a particular subject.

Student Perspective on Studying

I'm the type of student who would take studying very seriously. I was never that kid in high school and even in college where I felt like I could get by without studying. Yup, I'm a nerd but that's okay. I would spend two days in advance on any quiz or exam to start studying to make sure I would understand the material and pick out what I didn't understand so I could ask questions. With a final, especially in a class I'm really struggling in, I like to spend 4 days in advance studying for that final and two days in advance for finals where I felt I had more confidence to do well.

I also like to spread out how much I study because studying for long periods of time in one sitting can do more harm than good. To be honest, I've done this numerous times yet here I am telling you not to do it. Please take my advice, you'll fry your brain (not literally) but you'll feel like you want to nap for years. The first day before any quiz or exam, I'll study a couple of times that day. The following day, I would spend two or three more times and wake up early the next morning to study right before I go to class.

Here are a few tips of my own that I hope you find helpful:

  • Go to review sessions if you're struggling with the material. Don't feel embarrassed about going, your instructor wants to help you or else they wouldn't hold these sessions. I promise you won't be the only one attending.
  • Make flashcards if you need too. If you want to have a physical copy on hand, I suggest using the neon-colored index cards to make studying more fun. If you're lazy like me, I like to use Quizlet because there's a bunch of games to play with your flashcards.
  • If you take notes on your laptop, print them out as you make them so you have them in time to start studying!
  • Review old exams/quizzes and in-class assignments. Wait to throw that stuff away after the semester is over. You'll thank me later.
  • Take at least 30-60 minute breaks if you're wanting to study for long periods of time. Yes, napping does count as a break.
  • Tab your notes to make sure you focus on what to study and what to not study. This will make studying go by quicker because you're not wasting time flipping through your notes.

Credit to Delaney Borchers, a junior at Bowling Green State University

As you get involved with the complexities of note taking, you may tend to forget the simple things that can make life a lot easier. These tips are little hints that we all know but sometimes forget. They can be summarized by four directives:

  1. BE ALERT - so you are aware of and prepared for the lecture content and situation.
  2. BE ORDERLY - so you can process the lecture now and for review later.
  3. BE SYSTEMATIC - so you can establish a habit and pattern so you won't miss anything important.
  4. BE UP TO DATE - so that your well designed note taking system gets done.

Below is a list of tips which may help you to be alert, orderly, systematic, and up to date.

  • Attend lectures regularly. Once you miss one, it will be easier to miss more.
  • Use a standard 8 ½" x 11" loose leaf notebook, for continued organization and review. Spiral notebooks do not allow reshuffling your notes for review.
  • Keep the notes for one class separate from other classes. Best yet, keep each class in a separate binder.
  • Write on one side of the paper for easier organization. It's possible to overlook material written on the back of a sheet.
  • Leave your notebook at home and carry with you only enough pages to keep track of the lecture. This way you won't lose your entire set of notes should you misplace them.
  • Carry extra pens and pencils for editing and unforeseen obstacles (UFO's).
  • Don't doodle because it distracts. Keep eye contact when not writing.
  • Make notes as complete as needed and as clear as possible so they can be used meaningfully later.
  • Leave blanks where information is missed or not understood. Fill in gaps after lecture or as soon after as possible with the aid of the instructor or classmates.
  • Develop your own system of enumerating and indenting.
  • Use symbols such as asterisks for emphasis.
  • Mark or separate assignments given in class in a space apart from the lecture notes.
  • Separate your thoughts from those of the lecture; record your own items after the lecture.
  • Be alert for cues, postural, visual, etc.
  • Record examples where helpful.
  • Listen especially at the end of the lecture. If the instructor has not paced his lecture well, he may cram half of the content into the last 5-10 minutes.
  • Get into the five-minute technique of reviewing your notes right after class. At this time you can change, organize, add, delete, summarize, or clarify misunderstandings.
  • Recopying by itself is a debatable advantage but the five-minute technique is not.
  • Have study sessions once or twice a week to learn omissions, clear up misinterpretations and get other students opinions about interpretations.

Student Academic Services. n.d. Note Taking Tips. California Polytechnic University. Retrieved from http://sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/notetakingtips.html

Student Perspective on Note Taking

As a student here at BGSU, I've noticed that taking notes in college is a lot different then taking notes in high school. I quickly learned that you should only write down what your professor tells you is important rather than quickly trying to write down a whole slide of notes (unless you have too). I also realized that you should also write down important points your professor makes while they're talking as well, which may not be in the power-point they're presenting during class.

An important point I would like to make is that if you're the type of note taker who likes to write everything down, like me, it's easier to take your notes on your laptop using Microsoft's OneNote application. I realized how useful this process was while taking Intro to Sociology and Criminology during my sophomore year at BGSU. My professors didn't post the notes online, which can be nerve-wracking at first thinking you'll never get anything important written down. Then, I remembered I had OneNote on my laptop and quickly piece together that I would be able to get notes down quicker this way and I was right. During those two classes, I never missed a single line of notes. It was also easy to send notes to other classmates in my class who missed a day of class or missed a section of notes because the professor moved on. Using OneNote syncs your notes directly to your One Drive as well which it's always smart to have your digital notes in more than one place!

Here are a few tips of my own that I hope you find helpful:

  • Color code your notes by sections. This makes reviewing your notes for exams less boring.
  • Highlight and underline important key terms so they stand out more to you and easier to find when you're trying to cram right before your exam starts
  • Use bulletin points to make your notes more organized along with headers for each section your professor mentions through their power-point
  • Write your notes with a pen. I personally feel like this makes you write faster. If you mess up, oh well. Also, erasable pens do not work so don't waste your precious money.
    • My personal favorite pens:
      • G2 Pilot Premium Gel Roller Pens (I use these all the time for color coding. Yes, I'm a color coding freak.)
      • Z-Grip Flight Ballpoint Pens (88 cents at Walmart if you're cheap)
      • Those clicky pens that come in a bunch of colors. I have a ton but I have no idea what they're called. I just like all the colors they come in.

Credit to Delaney Borchers, a junior at Bowling Green State University

What is Test Anxiety?

Test anxiety is a feeling of agitation or distress. Test anxiety may be a physical or mental response you experience, such as feeling “butterflies in your stomach,” an instant headache, or sweaty palms before or during an exam. It is normal to feel some anxiety before a test, but too much anxiety may be harmful to your exam performance.

What Can You Do About Test Anxiety?

The mind is a powerful tool that may work either for you or against you. Test anxiety can be controlled with an attitude adjustment. Visualizing success can take you a long way. If you tell yourself you can't succeed, then you won't. If you tell yourself you can succeed and do well, you will. Start by preparing before, during, and after an exam.

What To Do At Least A Week Before an Exam

  • Give yourself enough time to review the material – start at least a week early.
  • Ask your professor what the format of the test will be: multiple choice, essay, fill in the blank, true or false, etc.
  • Ask your professor questions such as: How long will the test be (amount of questions)? Is there a time limit? Will there be a study guide? Will there be a review session?
  • Make a list of the topic/chapters/materials that will be on the exam. Write down any formulas, definitions or key facts that you need to know. Look for these in your lecture notes, textbooks, sample tests, quizzes, and handouts.
  • If it helps you, make flash cards, outlines, drawings, etc. that will help you learn and remember the material. Visual aids such as these can help during the test.
  • Pay attention to the areas your professor spends a lot of time on in class. If your professor spent two weeks emphasizing a subject, then assume it will be on the exam. Ask your professor if out of class reading material will be included on the test.
  • DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. Don't worry about the amount of material you need to know: that's wasting time. Instead, start studying! Give each topic enough review time and spend the most time on subjects emphasized by the professor.
  • Test yourself on the material. As you write problems on the board, talk out loud about what you are doing. (Give the lecture!) If you can talk and write about it, you know it.
  • The night before the exam, gather any materials that you might need: pencil, pen, calculator, scantron, etc. Then, get a good night's sleep.
  • Avoid cramming. Cramming requires a great deal of energy, contributes to stress and tension, and does not last. Cramming is one of the reasons you may “blank out.”
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. Some foods that are recommended to reduce stress include fresh fruits and vegetables. In general, high carbohydrate foods won't sustain you while proteins will. Figure out what's best for you to eat in the mornings.
  • Be on time. Start out early, get a good parking spot, walk relaxed; slow things down.
  • Don't talk to other students before the exam because you might just get confused. Other students may be suffering from test anxiety and they can make you feel anxious if they start asking you questions. Remember: it's a solo experience.

What To Do During an Exam

  • READ THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. Directions include vital information such as where to write your answers, how to write your answers, whether spelling counts, if you need to show all your work, etc. You may lose vital points because you didn't follow directions.
  • Pace yourself and budget your time. Avoid looking at the clock – just focus on the test.
  • If you blank on a question, skip it and move on. Sometimes reading other test questions will help you remember answers to those questions you skipped.
  • If others are turning in their tests, don't panic. There's no prize for finishing first. Stay focused.
  • Remember to relax, breathe, and don't think about fear or the consequences of the exam. Just put your best foot forward and do your personal best.

What To Do After an Exam

  • FORGET ABOUT IT. Yes! It's all over. Go home and relax.
  • Don't talk to others about what was on the exam. Asking questions such as “What did you get for #35?” will not help you or the other person. Many professors give different versions of the exam (i.e., Version A, B, C) so you might not be asking about the same question. Worrying about an answer after the test is over contributes to test anxiety.
  • Treat yourself. Spend some time relaxing and doing a whole lot of nothing.

Student Academic Services. n.d. Test Anxiety. California Polytechnic University. Retrieved from http://sas.calpoly.edu/asc/ssl/testanxiety.html

Specific strategies for learning and mastering material before the big test.

How to approach different types of exam questions successfully.

10 Ways to Reduce College Stress

At any given point in time, most college students are stressed about something; it's just part of going to school. While having stress in your life is normal and often unavoidable, being stressed is something you can control. Follow these ten tips to learn how to keep your stress in check and how to relax when it gets to be too much.

1. Don't Stress About Being Stressed

This may seem ridiculous at first, but it is listed first for a reason: when you're feeling stressed, you feel like you're on edge and everything is barely being held together. Don't beat yourself up too badly about it! It's all normal, and the best way to handle stress is to not get more stressed about...being stressed. If you're stressed out, admit it and figure out how to handle it. Focusing on it, especially without taking action, will only make things seem worse.

2. Get Some Sleep

Being in college means your sleep schedule is, most likely, far from ideal. Getting more sleep can help your mind refocus, recharge, and re-balance. This can mean a quick nap, a night when you go to bed early, or a promise to yourself to stick with a regular sleep schedule. Sometimes, one good night's sleep can be all you need to hit the ground running amidst a stressful time.

3. Get Some (Healthy!) Food

Similar to your sleep habits, your eating habits may have gone by the wayside when you started school. Think about what—and when—you've eaten over the past few days. You may think your stress is psychological, but you could also be feeling physical stress (and putting on the "Freshman 15") if you're not fueling your body appropriately.

Go eat something balanced and healthy: fruits and veggies, whole grains, protein. Make your mama proud with what you choose for dinner tonight!

4. Get Some Exercise

You may think that if you don't have the time to sleep and eat properly, you definitely don't have the time to exercise. Fair enough, but if you're feeling stressed, it may be that you need to squeeze it in somehow. Exercise doesn't necessarily have to involve a 2-hour, exhausting workout at the campus gym. It can mean a relaxing, 30-minute walk while listening to your favorite music. In fact, in a little over an hour, you can 1) walk 15 minutes to your favorite off-campus restaurant, 2) eat a quick and healthy meal, 3) walk back, and 4) take a power nap. Imagine how much better you'll feel!

5. Get Some Quiet Time

Take one moment and think: when was the last time you had some quality, quiet time alone? Personal space for students in college rarely exists. You may share your room, your bathroom, your classrooms, your dining hall, the gym, the bookstore, the library, and anywhere else you go during an average day. Finding a few moments of peace and quiet—with no cell phone, roommates, or crowds—might be just what you need. Stepping out from the crazy college environment for a few minutes can do wonders for reducing your stress.

6. Get Some Social Time

Have you been working on that English paper for 3 days straight? Can you even see what you're writing anymore for your Chemistry lab? You could be stressed because you're being too focused on getting things done. Don't forget that your brain is like a muscle, and even it needs a break every once in a while!

Take a break and see a movie. Grab some friends and go out dancing. Hop a bus and hang out downtown for a few hours. Having a social life is an important part of your college experience, so don't be afraid to keep it in the picture when you're stressed. It could be when you need it most!

7. Make Work More Fun

You may be stressed about one particular thing: a final paper due Monday, a class presentation due Thursday. You basically just need to sit down and plow through it. If this is the case, try to figure out how to make it a little more fun and enjoyable. Is everyone writing final papers? Agree to work together in your room for 2 hours and then order pizza together for dinner. Do a lot of your classmates have huge presentations to put together? See if you can reserve a classroom or room in the library where you can all work together and share supplies.

You may just lower everyone's stress level.

8. Get Some Distance

You may be handling your own problems and trying to help others around you. While this can be nice for them, check in and be honest with yourself about how your helpful demeanor may be causing more stress in your life. It's okay to take a step back and focus on yourself for a little while, especially if you are stressed and your academics are at risk. After all, how can you keep helping others if you're not even in a state to help yourself? Figure out which things are causing you the most stress and how you can take a step back from each. And then, most importantly, take that step.

9. Get a Little Help

It can be hard to ask for help, and unless your friends are psychic, they may not know how stressed out you are. Most college students are going through the same things at the same thing, so don't feel silly if you need to just vent for 30 minutes over coffee with a friend. It may help you process out what you need to do, and help you realize that the things you are so stressed about are actually pretty manageable. If you're afraid of dumping too much on a friend, most colleges have counseling centers specifically for their students. Don't be afraid to make an appointment if you think it will help.

10. Get Some Perspective

College life can be overwhelming. You want to hang out with your friends, join clubs, explore off campus, join a fraternity or sorority, and be involved in the campus newspaper. It can sometimes feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. That's because there aren't. There's only so much any person can handle, and you need to remember the reason why you're in school: academics. No matter how exciting your co-curricular life can be, you won't be able to enjoy any of it if you don't pass your classes. Make sure to keep your eye on the prize and then head out and change the world!

Kelci Lynn Lucier. March 22, 2017. 10 Ways to Reduce College Stress. ThoughtCo. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/reduce-stress-while-in-college-793560

 Additional Resources

For more tips on how to reduce stress, check out what BGSU's Counseling Center has to say by clicking here.

How to Stay Calm During Finals Week

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?

 Vicki Nelson. n.d. Help Your Student Get Started Talking to Professors. College Parent Central. Retrieved from https://www.collegeparentcentral.com/2012/03/help-your-student-get-started-talking-to-professors/

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?

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

Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D. n.d. College Professor Pet Peeves…and Positive Student Behaviors. Quintessential. Retrieved from https://www.livecareer.com/quintessential/college-professor-pet-peeves

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

Below is a great video on how to communicate with professors. (University of Toronto Scarborough Faculty share their tips on how students can develop a professional relationship with professors. Retrieved from: UTSC Academic Advising & Career Centre).

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.

Paul T. Corrigan and Cameron Hunt McNabb. April 16, 2015. Re: Your Recent Email to your Professor. Inside Higher ED. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2015/04/16/advice-students-so-they-dont-sound-silly-emails-essay

Click the link below for additional helpful email tips.

18 Tips for Emailing your professor.pdf

FOLLOWING RULES IN HIGH SCHOOLGuiding 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 COLLEGEGuiding 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 CLASSESGuiding 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 CLASSESGuiding 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 14-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 TEACHERSGuiding 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 PROFESSORSGuiding 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 SCHOOLGuiding 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 COLLEGEGuiding 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 SCHOOLGuiding 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 COLLEGEGuiding 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 ESSAYSGuiding 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 PAPERSGuiding 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 COUNSELORSGuiding 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 ADVISORSGuiding 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.

HIGH SCHOOL GUIDANCE COUNSELORSGuiding 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 ADVISORSGuiding 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.


At BGSU, students are assigned an academic advisor from day one, and we strive to provide every opportunity possible for students to not only meet with an advisor, but to develop an important and on-going partnership designed to lead toward the important outcome of student success.

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.

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.

Across all of our programs and colleges, students work with advisors to:

  • establish educational and career goals
  • develop academic degree plans
  • explore experiential learning opportunities such as study abroad, service learning, internships, undergraduate research and many other co-curricular opportunities

There are many types of advisors here at BGSU:

Academic or College Advisor: This person helps to advise students about classes, registration and building a schedule. You can identify your college advisor by logging in to MyBGSU and clicking on “Student Center.”

Faculty Advisor: Faculty advisors are experts in their disciplines; they are responsible for teaching as well as advising a group of students within their discipline. Faculty Advisors are knowledgeable about specific courses in their major(s) and/or minor(s) as well as educational and career opportunities in their concentrations.

Financial Aid Advisor: Financial Aid Advisors are great resources to help you navigate the financial aid process, including forms, deadlines, and payment options.

Program Advisor: Program Advisors are faculty or staff advisors affiliated with specific programs, such as Athletics, Honors, TRIO, Office of Multicultural Affairs, and President’s Leadership Academy.

Below is a video that shows you how to locate your Advisor(s)

Below is a video describing academic advising.

Below are helpful links for academic resources at BGSU.

Advisor Directory - Use the Academic Advisor directory to locate the BGSU College, major, and/or Academic Advisor contact information.

Academic Policies - Click here to find out more about Academic Policies at BGSU.

Academic Advising - BGSU advisors strive to challenge and support students. Academic advising provides students with the opportunity to build a relationship with their advisors.

Academic Advisors - Every student at BGSU is assigned an academic or faculty advisor who is available to assist you throughout your path to graduation at BGSU. Please visit the link to begin, advance, or continue your journey at BGSU.

Academic Coaching - An Academic Coach is one of the best ways to stay on track with your academic pursuits at BGSU.

Mandatory Advising - All new first-year students are required to meet with their academic advisor for the first three semesters at BGSU prior to course registration. Click the link to find out more.

Registration & Records - The Office of Registration and Records is responsible for each student's class registration and is the official source of information for the academic record.

Pre-Major & Academic Planning - Pre-Major & Academic Planning will help you plan your course schedule, explore different areas of study, and learn more about your interests, abilities, and values.

Academic Advising Syllabus PDF - Click the link to view the Academic Advising and Support Syllabus.

Office of Pre-Professional Programs - The Office of Pre-Professional Programs supports undergraduates in pursuit of post-baccalaureate programs in medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary science, and law.

Special Academic Programs and Services - Click the link to find out more about Special Academic Programs and Services.

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 schooling by requiring equal opportunity for females and males.

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 ConnectionThe 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 BGSUThe 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.

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


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.


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.

Bowling Green State University offers an electronic degree audit to assist students, advisors, and the University of the progress toward completion of all degree requirements. This tool is designed for advisement. Final confirmation of degree requirements is subject to college and University approval.

What is a Student Degree Audit or DARS?

The degree audit report matches completed, in-progress, and registered courses with the degree requirements of the specified program to determine what requirements have not been met.

Your electronic degree audit can be found in MyBGSU under the Students option. The tutorial below will help in understanding how to request and view your electronic degree audit.

Contact dars@bgsu.edu or 419-372-8223 with questions regarding the electronic degree audit. Questions regarding applicability of coursework should be directed to the academic advisor.

Please watch the video below for Degree Audit Information.

Setting up your BGSU e-mail account.

This is a free account available to all current and admitted BGSU students, faculty, and staff. With your account, you will have access to your e-mail, contacts, and calendar on the BGSU's Exchange Server. As a member of the BGSU community, you will also need this account to access various online resources, including the MyBGSU web portal, MyFiles, ePortfolio, and to log-in to any BSGU computer, lab or office. Your BGSU User ID and Password are also called your Authentication User ID and Password. If you have a BGSU ID number and a computer with Internet access, you can register for a BGSU account using a current version of Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer just by accessing this link: BGSU Account Registration Page

Top 5 Reasons to Check your Email on a Regular Basis

1. It's FREE.

2. It is the official method of BGSU's communication with students.

3. You can synchronize your calendars and share calendars with others.

4. You never use personal data when you stay logged into the BGSU Wi-Fi network.

5. Your email account provides access to many free cloud based services and collaborative programs.

First Time You Can Use Your Account

After you complete the registration process, your BGSU e-mail account is created in approximately one hour. You will also use your BGSU account to log-in to the MyBGSU enterprise portal and access is available as soon as your BGSU account is created. Your eLearning (Canvas) account is created approximately 1 hour after your BGSU e-mail account is created. You will use the same Username and Password to access BGSU E-mail, MyBGSU, eLearning, MyFiles, ePortfolio, and other BGSU software.

For more information, please visit the following links.

BGSU Email - Click the link for email and calendar set-up assistance.

BGSU Email Policies - Click the link for information on email policies.

Click the links or PDF's below for some helpful email tips.

26 Easy (and Commonly Ignored) Rules of Email Etiquette

5 Quick tips from the BGSU Career Center.pdf

Please note: If you need help, please contact the TSC and a staff member will assist you. For assistance at Firelands Campus, please visit the Main Lab in room 231 North.

Every student is expected to register for classes before the start of the term.

Here is a link to a step by step enrolling process PDF (images included).

Checking Course Prerequisites

What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is something that must be completed or a condition that must be met before you can register for a class.

What is an example of a prerequisite?

Example: STAT 2120—You must have passed STAT 2110 or be currently registered for the course. Some courses might require the prior completion of another, lower level course while others might require you to be in a certain major or class standing. Not all courses have prerequisites.

Before I begin registering for classes, how do I learn whether there is a prerequisite for a course that I want to take? 

Browse the Course Catalog and review the course description prior to registering for classes.

How are prerequisites enforced? 

The registration system checks to see if a prerequisite exists for a course and will not let you register unless you have completed the prerequisite. You will receive the following error message: "You have not met the prerequisites for this course. See the department for assistance." Not all prerequisites, however, are coded in the registration system. Verify, using the Course Catalog, that you have met all the prerequisites prior to enrolling in classes. If you get registered for a course without having met the prerequisite, the department or faculty member will ask you to drop the class.

If I am currently enrolled in the prerequisite for a course, can I register for the second course?

Yes. But if you drop or fail the first course, you will need to drop the second course.

Who can I talk with about course prerequisites? 

The academic department that offers the course can explain the course's prerequisite. The detailed information you can find for each course by using the web-based schedule of classes includes the department's address and telephone number. Click HERE to access the online schedule of classes.

Fall 2017 Registration Checklist

Once your registration time has begun, it continues through August 27, 2017. Check your MyBGSU Student Center beginning February 27, 2017 for the specific date/time you may begin to register for classes.

Here are a few things you can do to make your registration go smoothly:

Check your holds

There are a number of reasons why you may have a hold on your record that will prevent you from registering. Log into MyBGSU and select Student Center. Holds are located under the Search for Classes button. If a hold exists, please click on the link and read any messages that appear. If the hold indicates that your services have been suspended, please contact the department for further assistance.


All new undergraduate students to BGSU for Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 must meet with their academic advisor prior to registration. The name and contact information for your academic advisor can be found on the Student Center in MyBGSU. Be prepared for your meeting: find out what classes are offered next semester and read the course descriptions. In addition to discussing the courses that you are interested in taking, be ready to talk with you advisor about your thoughts and interests for possible internships, co-ops, careers, etc.

Degree Audit

What classes do you need? View your degree audit report to see how you are progressing and what classes are still needed in order to graduate. You can access your report by logging into MyBGSU and selecting Degree Audit. It would be beneficial if you print your report and take it with you when you meet with your academic advisor.

Financial Preparations

See Financial Aid’s web page at: http://www.bgsu.edu/financial-aid.html

Schedule of Classes

Beginning February 27, 2017, view what classes are being offered for Fall 2017 at https://webapp.bgsu.edu/ClassSearch/search.htm

Browse Course Catalog

Provides descriptions to help you better target the courses you want to study by browsing the Course Catalog.

Problems Registering

Additional registration information can be found at the Office of Registration and Records home page, http://www.bgsu.edu/registration-records.html, or calling the Registration Hotline at 419-372-4444.

 Fall 2017 Academic Calendar & Important Dates

August 21, 2017 Fall Classes Begin.
100% refund of fees for dropped classes
August 27, 2017 Last day to add classes without college permission
August 28, 2017 Late registration fee in effect. 80% refund of fees for dropped classes
September 1, 2017 Last day to apply for December graduation, undergraduate
September 3, 2017 Last day to drop or change grading option without college permission
September 4, 2017 Labor Day – No Classes.
60% refund of fees for dropped classes.
Students dropping a class on or after this date receive a withdrawal (W) grade on Transcript
September 11, 2017 40% refund of fees for dropped classes
September 18, 2017 Last day to apply for December graduation, graduates
September 18, 2017 0% refund of fees for dropped classes
October 9 - 10, 2017 Fall Break – No Classes
November 10, 2017 Veterans’ Day Observed – No Classes
November 10, 2017 Last day to withdraw and change grading option, undergraduates with college permission; graduates with coordinator and college approval
November 22 - 24, 2017 Thanksgiving Break – No Classes
December 8, 2017 Last day of classes
December 11 - 15, 2017 Final Exam Week
December 15, 2017 Commencement, graduates; undergraduates (tentatively Colleges of Business, Health & Human Services, Musical Arts, and Technology) and Firelands.
December 16, 2017 Commencement, undergraduates (tentatively Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Education and Human Development)

If you need tech support, we have links that will take you to the appropriate places. Below are links to the Student Technology Assistance Center and Information Technology Services. Take a few minutes and look over the technology policies here at BGSU. Need some equipment for your project, we have a link for that too.

Click on the links for additional information.

Technology Policies at BGSU - Click here to find out about our technology policies here at BGSU.

Digital Equipment Borrowing Program - Need to borrow equipment? Look no further, click here to find out more.


ITS (Information Technology Services) - Information Technology Services offers student support, faculty support, staff support, email support, password support, office support, and much more. Click to find out more.

STAC (Student Technology Assistance Center) - The Student Technology Assistance Center (STAC) offers peer-to-peer instruction on a variety of software applications for undergraduate, graduate, and distance students.

The Office of the Bursar supports the University’s strategic plan by maintaining the financial assets of the University while providing fiscal guidance, and quality customer service to the students, parents, other University departments, and external agencies.

Contact Information

132 Administration Building
1001 E. Wooster St.

Phone: 419-372-2815
Fax: 419-372-7665
Email: bursar@bgsu.edu

The Office of the Bursar is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Payment Plan Information

Installment Payment Plan (IPP)

  • Enrollment required each semester
  • 4 installment plan
    • Fall (August, September, October, and November)
    • Spring (January, February, March, and April)
  • 3 installment plan
    • Summer (May, June, July)
  • Based on actual semester charges
  • Must be enrolled in current semester
  • Automatic payment option 
  • Convenient way to manage your education expenses
  • Enroll promptly to ensure you maximize the number of installments 

You will have peace-of-mind knowing your educational expenses will be divided into manageable installments.

Installment Payment Plan Options (2017‐2018)

Fall Semester

Number of Installments Enrollment Period Payment Due Dates
4‐Pay 7/2/2017 ‐ 7/31/2017 8/1/2017
3‐Pay 8/2/2017 ‐ 8/31/2017 9/1/2017
2‐Pay 9/2/2017 ‐ 9/30/2017 10/1/2017
Last Pay   11/1/2017

PLEASE NOTE: All Fees must be paid in full or on a current payment plan by August 1st to avoid loss of Fall registration.

Spring Semester

Number of Installments Enrollment Period Payment Due Dates
4‐Pay 12/2/2017 ‐ 12/31/2017 1/1/2018
3‐Pay 1/2/2018 ‐ 1/31/2018 2/1/2018
2‐Pay 2/2/2018 ‐ 2/28/2018 3/1/2018
Last Pay   4/1/2018

PLEASE NOTE: All Fees must be paid in full or on a current payment plan by January 1st to avoid loss of Spring registration.

Summer Semester

Number of Installments Enrollment Period Payment Due Dates
3‐Pay 4/2/2018 ‐ 4/31/2018 5/1/2018
2‐Pay 5/2/2018 ‐ 5/31/2018 6/1/2018
Last Pay   7/1/2018

PLEASE NOTE: All prior semester fees must be paid in full before you can enroll in the Summer Installment Payment Plan.

Financial Responsibility Agreement

The Student Financial Responsibility Agreement (herein referred to simply as agreement) informs students of the financial responsibilities associated with enrolling for classes at Bowling Green State University and explains the potential consequences if a student fails to meet those obligations.

The goal is to help our students understand the cost of their education and the financial policies associated with their enrollment at Bowling Green State University.  This agreement, in conjunction with the our website, letters and other documentation, helps define the University’s expectations for payment, and allows us to clearly inform students of our policies related to billing, late payment penalties, contact methods, etc.

In order to sign the agreement, you must:

Log into your MyBGSU
Select Student Center
Select Financial Responsibility Agreement (Located in the To Do section)

Complete all required tasks. Upon completion, you will receive a confirmation email that you have successfully completed the Financial Responsibility Agreement. Students will be able to enroll into classes right away.

Students are asked to complete the Agreement only once per Undergraduate or Graduate career at BGSU.

What happens if a student refuses to sign the agreement? The agreement serves as notification of potential consequences of non-payment, and to provide vital account information.  If a student chooses not to complete the Agreement, they will not be permitted to register for classes until the issue is resolved.  Students with concerns about this policy are encouraged to contact the Bursar Office.

* * Please note: If students wish to obtain a copy of the agreement or to sign the agreement in paper form, please contact the Bursar Office. Please keep in mind that if you sign the paper form of the agreement that you might experience delays due to U.S. mail delivery and manual processing.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student educational records. FERPA also applies to student financial records. In accordance with FERPA, BGSU is required to have the student's permission in order to release financial information.

Why should a student submit a FERPA release?

Without a FERPA release, parents/guardians can only have access to:
  • Name, address, phone
  • Major/enrollment status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Activities and sports
With a FERPA release in place, parents/guardians can also have access to:
  • Account balance
  • Payment history
  • Specific charge information

How can I authorize FERPA for my parent/guardian?

  • Log into MyBGSU
  • Select Student Center
  • Select Share my Information
  • Select Delegate access to a new contact

Fill in the contact information which will include the parent/guardian name and email address. Ensure you select Bursar Information to authorize your parent/guardian to be able to receive billing and account information. For more information, please review the University Access BGSU webpage.

For more information, please check out the official University FERPA webpage. 

Watch the how-to video so you can become familiar with how to pay your bill.

Additional Resources

Office of the Bursar - The Office of the Bursar provides fiscal guidance and quality customer service to the students, parents, other University departments, and external agencies.

Access BGSUAccess BGSU provides BGSU students with a means for sharing important information with a designated proxy (parent, guardian, spouse, etc.).

Taking Care of Your Bill - As part of our commitment to affordable education, BGSU offers tools and services to you and your family to help manage finances.

Important Payment Policy - Click here to become familiar with the cancellation of student class schedule (deregistration) policy to help ensure there are no interruptions to move-in or loss of academic registration.

Pay BGSU Student Bill/Payment Options - Click here to explore BGSU's payment options

Click on the PDF's for additional information.

Pay Your eBill PDF

Access Your eBill PDF

Enroll in Bursar Text Message Alerts PDF

College of Arts & Sciences
205 Administration Building

College of Business
Office of Undergraduate Student Development
253 Business Administration Building

Deciding Student Program
101 University Hall

College of Education & Human Development
Office of Student and Academic Services
102 Education Building


BGSU Firelands College
Academic & Student Services
129 West Building

College of Health & Human Services
Academic Advising Center
131 Health and Human Services Building

Honors College
024 Founders Hall

College of Musical Arts
1031 Moore Musical Arts Center

Pre-College Programs
101 University Hall

Pre-Professional Programs
101 University Hall

College of Technology, Architecture & Applied Engineering
Undergraduate Services Office
102 Technology Building

University Program For Academic Success
101 University Hall

Welcome to Accessibility Services at Bowling Green State University! The mission of Accessibility Services at Bowling Green State University is to provide equal access and opportunity to qualified students, faculty, and staff with disabilities. Our goal is to increase awareness of disability issues and support the success of students with disabilities by providing opportunities for full integration into the BGSU community.

We offer some helpful information on accessibility services at BGSU. In the video below, students and faculty describe the importance of Accessibility Services to help level the playing field for students with a wide range of disabilities.

If you need assistance or have any questions regarding accessibility services here at BGSU, please visit the website: http://www.bgsu.edu/disability-services.html

Below you will find links to the Career Center and WorkNet. You will also find information about internships, Service-Learning, and Studying Abroad.

Career Center - Staff members are here to help students explore career and major options, identify and secure cooperative education and internship experiences, and search for job and graduate school opportunities.

WorkNet - Is an online job and internship database that connects you with employers looking to hire BGSU students.

Use WorkNet to view and apply for:

  • Career (Post-Graduation) Listings
  • Cooperative Education & Internship Listings
  • On & Off-Campus Part-time & Seasonal Job Listings
  • Online Interview Schedules

Co - Ops & InternshipsEmployers seek candidates with experience. Gain practical experience while applying classroom learning in the workplace. 

Focus: Find Your Career

Focus is an online interactive career exploration and planning tool designed to help you assess your interests, skills, values, and personality. Explore occupations compatible with your personal qualities, preferences, and needs. You can also find this information in the 8 traits to be great under Passion.

How to Access FOCUS

  1. Log in to MyBGSU web portal
  2. Click on the FOCUS: Find Your Career under the Tools Section

In an effort to promote unity and an appreciation for diversity on campus and in the surrounding community, we would like to express our empathy and support. The BGSU Counseling Center wants to acknowledge a range of reactions to recent local and national events including excitement, joy, relief, fear, sadness, anger, dread, hopelessness, anxiety, and numbness. You may find yourself within a circle of friends or classmates who do not share the same reactions as you. These interactions may evoke strong emotions and questions and may intensify your reactions.  In addition, some of you may have concerns about going home for the break and how to manage these feelings and reactions.

We are here to listen in a nonjudgmental manner. If you are struggling with the personal impact, tone of the discussions, or if you are experiencing negative treatment, threats or more subtle forms of oppression because of your race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, religious affiliation, political affiliation, country of origin or other aspect of your identity, please utilize our walk-in services if you wish to start engaging in services. Also, we always have a counselor available in case of an emergency.  These services are available during the break as well (except for holidays).

Contact Information

104 College Park Office Building
Phone: 419-372-2081
Fax: 419-372-9535

Office Hours

Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (some evening hours available)

Walk-In Hours

Monday - Friday: 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
No Walk-In hours during Fall, Winter or Spring break (please see Emergency Info)

What is counseling?

College years are an exciting time, but sometimes they can be stressful. Students may encounter problems that are not easily solved. When talking to friends or relatives about your concerns is impossible or unsatisfying, counseling is often the answer. Personal counseling is a way of talking about what is on your mind with an objective person who can help you to learn new skills and new ways of looking at situations so that you will be more capable of solving problems on your own now and in the future.

Why do students come for counseling?

Students come to the Counseling for a variety of reasons including relationship issues, depression, anxiety, homesickness, trauma, family problems, eating disorders, and grief.  Most students who seek counseling do not have a mental illness, rather they are having difficulty coping with a stressful life event.  Some students come to the Counseling Center for help getting connected to other University or community resources. 

Is counseling right for me?

If you feel uncertain about whether counseling is for you, we hope you will make an appointment for an introductory meeting and discuss your concerns with a counselor. There is no obligation to continue.

The Counseling Center staff welcomes all students. We aspire to respect cultural, individual, and role differences. Our goal is to create a safe, supportive and affirming climate for individuals of all races, ethnicities, national origins, genders, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, ages, abilities, sizes, socioeconomic statuses, languages, and cultures.

Am I eligible?

Counseling services are made available to any enrolled Bowling Green State University student. Services are free, voluntary, and confidential.

What about confidentiality?

Consistent with professional ethical standards, information that students share in counseling is held in the strictest confidence. Further information about the confidentiality policy and its limitations is furnished to all students who come for counseling.

Who are the counselors?

The counselors are qualified, trained mental health professionals and advanced graduate students with backgrounds in psychology. They are competent and caring people who can help students achieve more satisfying, educational and life experiences. Meet the counselors here.

 Additional Resources

To learn more about what different types of services are offered at the Counseling Center, click here.

To learn how to make referrals and request services, click here.

To learn about Self Care tips and online resources, click here.

Falcon Health Center is located on the campus of Bowling Green State University. BGSU has partnered with Wood County Hospital to provide a new facility and health services for BGSU students, faculty and staff members as well as the community of Bowling Green. Located on the corner of South College and Wooster Street, Falcon Health Center is a convenient location for all.

We now welcome general members of the Wood County and Bowling Green community who are six months and older, as well as students, faculty and staff members of BGSU. The staff at ReadyCare at Falcon Health Center provides treatment for minor ailments and injuries that need prompt attention, but don't require a visit to the emergency room - no appointment needed!

Falcon Health Center is committed to providing excellent patient care and services to help better serve the BGSU community body. Preventative and illness-related health services is provided by a medical staff of physicians, nurse practitioners, and a team of supporting colleagues. With 20 spacious private exam rooms, the staff of Falcon Health Center provides general radiology services, lab/blood draw capabilities, along with women’s health services. A drive-thru pharmacy is also a convenient feature of the facility.

Contact Information

Front Desk/Office

Phone: 419-372-2271
Fax: 419-372-8010


Phone: 419-372-7443
Fax: 419-372-7999

Student Insurance Office

Phone: 419-372-7495
Fax: 419-372-4812


Fax: 419-354-3216


Falcon Health Center  
Mon. - Fri. 8 am - 9 pm
Sat. & Sun. 9 am - 5 pm
Pharmacy (Summer Hours)  
Mon. - Fri. 8 am - 6 pm
Radiology & Lab  
Mon. - Fri. 7 am - 5 pm

Phlebotomy (Blood Draw)

 Mon. - Fri. 7 am - 5 pm


Falcon Health Center (FHC) provides primary and preventative care to students, faculty and staff of Bowling Green State University as well as the Wood County community. The medical staff consists of board certified physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses and medical assistants and our team of supporting colleagues. At FHC, we have access to a wide range of specialists and emergency services in collaboration with Wood County Hospital.

The services offered at the Falcon Health Center include:

  • Immunizations & Allergy
  • Laboratory Services
  • Pharmacy
  • Travel Health
  • Women's Health
  • Men's Health
  • Psychological Services
  • Other services offered such as: Sports Physicals, Massage Therapy at the Wellness Connection and Diabetes Education at the Wood County Hospital

 Additional Resources

To learn how to set up your MyFalconHealth account to gain access for all your medical needs as a student here at BGSU, click here.

To find the appropriate forms to fill out prior to your appointment at the FHC, click here.

Have a question? Click here to look through the FAQs to find your answer!

It's important to know your Rights and Responsibilities as a patient at the FHC, along with being familiar with their Privacy Policy.

We have several campus activities and student organizations available at BGSU. We also have excellent recreational, fitness, and wellness facilities. Are you interested in joining a Fraternity or Sorority at BGSU? We have that too. Click the links below to find out more.

Campus Activities - Make the most of your college experience by getting involved. Click the link for more information on how to get started.

Fraternity & Sorority Life - BGSU's Fraternity & Sorority community is comprised of nearly 40 chapters of inter/national fraternities and sororities. This isn't just a college thing, joining a fraternity or sorority is a lifelong commitment.

BGSU Student Organizations - There are nearly 350-registered student organizations that provide great opportunities for students to GET INVOLVED! Involvement in student organizations is a great way to get connected to the campus, develop leadership skills, meet people, and have fun.

Recreation & Wellness at BGSU - Check out the many activities, services, facility rentals, and open recreational options that are provided for you.

Click the links below for additional information & resources.

BGSU OrgSync - OrgSync is your way to connect to organizations, communicate with other members, and explore your BGSU. Discover where you belong, explore BGSU and beyond, and stay connected.

Student Life at BGSU - The student experience at Bowling Green State University offers you opportunities to explore, grow, and succeed.

Division of Student Affairs - Division of Student Affairs is committed to supporting and challenging you through a variety of new experiences you may encounter at BGSU.

Office of the Dean of Students - The Office of the Dean of Students is committed to the development of all students at Bowling Green State University.

The International Student Services Office leads Bowling Green State University's efforts in recruiting international students and supporting them throughout their career at BGSU by providing them with immigration advising, advocacy, and programming support.

We invite you to explore our website and find useful information about applying to BGSU, immigration regulations, and services and programs to help you succeed as a student.

We hope you will let International Student Services become "your home away from home!"

Contact Information

319 Administration Building
Phone: 419-372-2247
Fax: 419-372-2429
Email: iss@bgsu.edu

If you're interested on using the services provided by the International Student Services, please click here and here.

Off-Campus Student Services (OCSS) provides resources to all off-campus students, including students living in Bowling Green and those commuting from a great distance. OCSS is a program within the Office of the Dean of Students.

Mission Statement

The mission of Off-Campus Student Services is to serve as a conduit for information fostering a connection among students, the University, and the City of Bowling Green community to create a responsible and educated citizenry by providing programs and resources to students living off-campus. This program includes all non-residential students and encourages their active participation in the University experience.

Through its mission statement, Off-Campus Student Services addresses the overarching needs of off-campus students through effective communication, quality services and programs, and by building and fostering on- and off-campus partnerships.

Contact Information

301 Bowen-Thompson Student Union
Phone: 419-372-2843
Fax: Fax: 419-372-0499

Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 Off Campus Resources

Along with the independence and freedom, living off-campus comes with many responsibilities. Where you live and with whom you live greatly impacts your success and satisfaction as a BGSU student.

Should you choose to live off-campus, you'll find helpful tips and information below to help you navigate those freedoms and responsibilities effectively, while creating an environment for a positive experience.

Moving In & Moving Out Roommates
Off Campus Tips Off Campus Safety


 Additional Resources

To find housing off campus, click here.

To learn more about Bowling Green's laws and expectations, click here

The Office of Multicultural Affairs’ mission is to promote and facilitate a welcoming, socially just and inclusive campus community by supporting the retention of diverse student populations, providing diversity education and multicultural programs for students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community.

The office offers services such as academic coaching, social support, diversity education, and multicultural programs to enhance cultural awareness, knowledge, and skills for students to be better prepared for an increasingly competitive, global and diverse world and to support building relationships with diverse community members. The office fosters opportunities for diverse cultural, social, and intellectual engagement through:

  • The celebration of various heritage months,
  • Diversity and social justice workshops,
  • Intergroup dialogue series,
  • Cultural performances,
  • Academic courses,
  • Sponsoring attendees at conferences,
  • and more!

Contact Information

318B Math Sciences Building
Phone: 419-372-2642
Fax: 419-372-2124
Email: oma@bgsu.edu

Services and Resources

Whether you're looking for academic assistance, community resources, or a place to meet people and discuss your interests, the Office of Multicultural Affairs is here to support you with its services and resources.

Ethnic Student Center Falcon Success Initiative OMA Ambassadors

Diversity & Inclusion Resources

(Coming Soon)

LGBT Resource Center

 Community & Campus Resources

The Bowling Green State University community is charged with developing, sustaining, and extending living, learning, and working environments that are fair, inclusive and welcoming for all members of the BGSU family. It is with this initiative in mind that this informational website was designed in order to serve those individuals who are new to the area and who have the need for diverse resources that are important to their acclimation to their new home.

Bowling Green & Surrounding Areas (Findlay, Maumee, Perrysburg, Toledo) BGSU Campus Regional Resources

Multicultural Summer Link: Summer Bridge 2017

Bowling Green State University’s Multicultural Summer Link program is a three-day summer program geared toward first-year underrepresented students of color.  During this program, you will meet and connect with other first-year students, learn more about common aspects of college life and the BGSU experience, and enjoy academic and co-curricular activities.  The program will provide you with tools and resources contributing to the success of your first year in college.  This is also the perfect way for you to jump start your life as a Falcon!


Summer Link students will move in early and participate in programming to:

  • Build a supportive faculty, staff, and peer network
  • Create your toolbox of personalized resources and strategies
  • Develop a plan for academic and personal success

Student Eligibility

  • You are admitted to BGSU
  • You are a first-time, incoming BGSU first-year student (not transfer student)
  • You can commit to the entire duration of the program from August 15-17, 2017

Dates/Times: August 15-17, 2017

BGSU’s Multicultural Summer Link begins Tuesday, August 15, 2017 with an early residence hall move-in between 9:00 am – 1:00 pm and ends in time for Opening Weekend activities in the evening of Thursday, August 17, 2017.

Accommodations during the program:  You will move into your permanent, first-year residence hall for the duration of the program.

Program fee: $50.00

The fee will include meals, early move-in housing, and activities.  For more information, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at 419-372-2642.

Click here to register.

 ** To learn about the Multicultural Student Organizations and how to join click here.

Parking services can help you manage your parking needs. You will be able to purchase a parking pass, view your permits, manage your vehicles, and more.

Parking Services Website - We are here to manage and coordinate all of BGSU's employee, student, and guest parking needs.

Below is a video that shows you how to navigate your parking account.

BGSU Interactive Map Website  - Click the link to explore BGSU's interactive map.

FAQ's - Click the link for frequently asked questions.

Resumes offer a first impression to an employer, so make sure that yours is carefully written and organized. To enhance or develop a resume, make an appointment with a Career Center professional or stop by for Drop-In Hours.

Creating Your First College Resume

Are you are considering part-time employment while attending BGSU? You’ll impress employers if you have a resume that reflects the transferable skills and experience you’ve gained so far. No formal work experience? No problem! Student Employment Services has some helpful resume documents to help you create your first resume or give your high school resume a BGSU makeover.

A resume is a formal summary of your experience and education. It should be error-free, accurate, and well organized. Your resume often serves as an employer’s first impression of you.

In order for your resume to be accepted into WorkNet it must meet the minimum requirements. Taking the time to review the minimum requirements and the other helpful documents below will speed up the time it takes to make it through the WorkNet resume approval process.

If you find it challenging to find the words to describe your job responsibilities, O*Net OnLine is a great online guide to help identify tasks, skills, knowledge, and abilities associated with jobs/occupations. Below, you can view sample “resume language” for some common part-time positions such as Child Care Provider, Food Service Work, Groundskeeper and Sales Clerk.  For additional occupations visit O*NetOnLine and enter a job title or occupation in the Occupation Quick Search box.

These additional helpful resources will help you get started on your resume. At the start of each Fall and Spring semester, Student Employment hosts a series of Resume Rookie workshops to help you get a jump-start on your BGSU resume. Details can be found on the Resume Rookie page.

Click here to look at a resume sample.

Click here to look at a reference page sample.

Click here to look at job experience descriptions sample.

Click here to look at a variety of descriptive words.

Click here to read the “Resume Writing Chapter” of the B!G Job Search Guide to learn more about developing and enhancing your resume.

Click here to read the BGSU Career Center WorkNet Minimum Requirements. A resume is a formal summary of your experience and education. It should be error-free, accurate, and well organized. In order for your resume to be accepted into WorkNet it must meet the minimum requirements. 

**All first year students are required to have a resume built and ready by the end of their first year at BGSU.

Study Abroad, preferably for an academic year, is required of all International Studies Majors. Visit BGSU's Education Abroad website to learn more about their programs, financial aid, and more.

Click here to search programs (if a location does not have a specific link, use the previous link to search for that area), or click on links below to learn about the Bowling Green State University study abroad programs in each country/region:





The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (CURS) was established in 2004 to increase the visibility, prestige, and material support for participation in undergraduate research and creative activities, both for students and faculty.

The mission of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship is to enhance undergraduate education through the intellectual stimulation of active student participation in meaningful research and creative activities in all fields of study. Through experiencing the processes of scholarly discovery and dissemination of their results, students become fully engaged members of our learning community.

The Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship brings together students, faculty, administrators, alumni, and members of the greater BG community to foster the research culture as an integral component of the learning through inquiry process for all undergraduates at BGSU.

Contact Information

Dr. Cordula Mora, Director
Bowling Green State University
258 Hayes Hall

Phone: (419) 372-3873
Email: cmora@bgsu.edu

Student Resources

The purpose of this resource is to support undergraduate students who are interested in conducting research. As you view the content located here you will find valuable resources at that are available at BGSU and available online.

Research Resources at BGSU Additional Research Related Resources
Research and Oral Presentations Posters Resume Writing Resources at BGSU

For more information, click on the links below:

 Additional Resources

To browse through the list of scholarships, click here.

To browse through the list of departments about professors and their research opportunities, click here.

For many first year students, heading to college means leaving home for the first time. This new independence means caring for yourself and taking care of your own business and managing your own money responsibly.

PNC is dedicated to providing premiere financial education resources to help BGSU students understand their finances and inspire confidence to decide what is best for their own needs.

BGSU has partnered with PNC to provide financial literacy resources and workshops for students.

Financial Resources

  • Money Management Online Module
    • BGSU Banking Basics by PNC Bank aims to teach students about the essentials of money management, from depositing checks to understanding income and how to create a budget. Designed to be completed in about 45 minutes, students can use their BGSU email addresses to create course-specific accounts, which allows them to sign in and out of the course so they can complete it on their own schedule ⎻ and when they do, they'll get a certificate of completion that indicates how well they did on the knowledge-check portions of the site. Get started here.
  • Monthly Educational Seminars
    • PNC holds monthly seminars in BTSU (Bowen-Thompson Student Union). Dates posted for the 2017-2018 academic year will be available soon.
  • Group Seminars
  • Individual and confidential financial education sessions
  • Individualized spending plans
  • How to identify and track expenses during and after college
  • Tips for managing a checking account (and avoiding fees)
  • Help to locate resources in the event of identity theft
  • Tips and tools to avoid college related identity theft scams
  • Graduate with a plan for repaying your debt

**In order to reserve a seat for a monthly seminar, request a seminar for a group or organization, please call 419-353-4090, e-mail BGSUfinancialliteracy@pnc.com or stop by the PNC Branch located in the BTSU first floor across from Falcon Outfitters.

Topics covered in the Financial Seminars

  • FDIC check it out
  • Bank on it
  • Identity theft
  • Pay yourself first
  • Setting financial goals
  • Borrowing basics
  • Money lessons for graduates

If your topic of interest is not listed above, please contact PNC Bank for additional information.

Additional Resources

BGSU CashCourse - BGSU has partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education giving BGSU students access to financial education information specifically designed for college students.

nslds.ed.gov (National Student Loan Data System) - Find out the status of your student loans, repayment and deferment options, and information regarding the federal aid you have received.  

MyMoney.gov - The Federal Government's website dedicated to helping Americans understand more about their money - how to save it, invest it, and manage it to meet their personal goals.

Federal Student Aid  - US Department of Education website. Students and parents can explore the site for information about the types of financial aid available from the government and other sources; grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study. 

Daily Spending Plan (Excel) - This Spending Plan gives you the ability to track your income and daily expenses by category.

Monthly Spending Plan (Excel) - This Personal Monthly Spending Plan gives you the opportunity to track monthly income and expenses by category.

Financial Calculators

BGSU Student Financial Aid Estimator - This estimator provides an estimate of the financial assistance you may be eligible to receive for the upcoming academic year.

CollegeBoard College Calculator - This link takes you to a number of college financing calculators designed to help you project your income as well as the expenses associated with attending a college or university.

Credit Card Calculator - This calculator allows you to see the true cost of paying only the minimum balance on your credit card.

Investment Education

FINRA.org (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) - FINRA believes investor protection begins with education. Using the Internet, the media and public forums, we help investors build their financial knowledge and provide them with essential tools to better understand the markets and basic principles of saving and investing.

At Bowling Green State University, we recognize the importance of a quality education and are dedicated to helping you find a way to achieve your higher education goals. BGSU offers a variety of scholarship opportunities. More than $30 million in scholarships are awarded annually. Scholarship awards are based on a variety of criteria, including merit, demonstrated financial need, field of study, participation in a specific program, organization or activity, or any combination of these items. Awards range from $300 to full fees and do not have to be repaid.

A number of scholarships are awarded annually by BGSU, including four-year, renewable Freshman Scholarships for incoming freshmen, Transfer Scholarships for transfer students, and General Scholarships for new and current students. Departmental Scholarships are also awarded each year to new and current students by the various colleges and schools on campus. In addition, External Scholarships are applied directly to students’ university billing accounts by the University Scholarships Office.

Student eligibility for BGSU scholarships is tied to the campus in which they are enrolled. Most University scholarships require students be pursuing a program at the Main BGSU campus. Scholarships for Firelands students require a student to be pursuing a program at the BGSU Firelands campus. Students are not typically eligible for University scholarships while pursuing a Distance Learning program, a Teacher Cohort program or a program through the Community College of the Air Force. Information about which scholarship programs are restricted to Main or Firelands campus is included in the Terms and Conditions document sent to University scholarship recipients, and online through SFA's Searchable Scholarship Guide.

Contact Information

Student Financial Aid & Scholarships
231 Administration Building

Phone: 419-372-2651
Fax: 419-372-0404

Office Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen



Incoming freshmen may be eligible for the University's Freshman Academic Scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $8,000. The amount awarded is based on cumulative high school GPA and ACT or SAT test scores. In order for full consideration for academic scholarships, students must apply for admission by January 15, 2017. Students may submit updated official credentials, including improved high school GPA or higher ACT or SAT composite scores, to the Office of Admissions for higher award consideration until March 1, 2017. No application other than BGSU's Admission Application is required. These awards are restricted to students pursuing a program at the Main BGSU campus.



This scholarship provides one-half off the non-resident fee to full-time non-Ohio residents.  Eligibility is based on cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale or 20 ACT composite or 900 SAT (critical reading plus math) scores. Students must apply by January 15th in order to receive the award for the following semester. No additional application is required and scholarship is renewable if all criteria are met.


This scholarship ranges from $1,000-$3,000 and is renewable.  It is based on financial need, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and 20 ACT or 1020 SAT** score, race/ethnicity, first generation college student, and commitment to diversity.  This scholarship is renewable if all criteria are met.  

To be considered, students need to apply for admission, complete the FAFSA, and have a complete financial aid file by January 15.

* Students admitted to Firelands Pathway or the University Program for Academic Success will not qualify for this award.

** Contact the Office of Admissions for SAT requirements for tests taken prior to March 2016.


The Robert and Ellen Thompson Scholarship Program is designed to assist students from working families who may struggle with the cost of higher education. Students receiving this scholarship are awarded a scholarship ranging from $1,000-$6,000 based on financial need. Students must have completed community service in high school and need to apply for fall admission and submit the FAFSA by January 15th.

 ** To search for additional scholarships, click here.


Students can apply for financial aid before they apply for admission to the university; however, students must be admitted to a degree-seeking program of study in order to be offered financial aid. See undergraduate admission information.

The 2017-2018 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be filed beginning October 1, 2016, using 2015 federal income tax information. Submit your FAFSA before BGSU’s priority filing date of January 15, 2017 to maximize the amount of aid you receive. Eligible students who apply by this date will be considered for all need-based aid. We encourage you to submit your FAFSA even if the priority date has passed.  The FAFSA is a free application; avoid online scams requesting payment to complete the FAFSA.

After filing your FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) listing all the information you provided in the online application. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) will be included in the SAR. BGSU then calculates your estimated Cost of Attendance (COA).  Your EFC is subtracted from your COA to determine your eligibility for need-based aid. Please review your SAR for accuracy and make any necessary corrections online. Contact the U.S. Department of Education if you do not receive your SAR or have questions regarding your SAR.

If your family’s financial situation is different than your 2015 federal income tax information, please contact the Student Financial Aid Office at 419-372-2651 to discuss the process of appealing to use 2017 income information.

To learn more about the Financial Aid process, click here.

BGSU School Code: 003018

 Types of Financial Aid

All prospective students and their parents are encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA. Changes in federal student aid programs have made nearly all families eligible for some type of financial aid.

In general, there are four types of financial aid:

  • Grants - Grants are a form of gift aid that doesn’t have to be repaid (unless, for example, the student withdraws from school and owes a refund.)
  • Scholarships – Money awarded to students based on academic or other achievements to help pay for educational expenses.  Scholarships are another form of gift aid and generally do not have to be repaid.
  • Student Employment – A program that provides part-time employment while enrolled in school. Students must obtain a job and earn their own money (self-help) in order to utilize these funds.
  • Loans – Borrowed money for college that must be repaid.

Additional Resources

To learn about the IRS Data Retrieval Tool and how it can make filling out FAFSA easier, click here.

How much will cost to attend BGSU? Click here to figure out tuition cost for undergraduate students living on campus, off campus or living with their parents.

Confused on how to manage your financial aid the right way? Click here to learn more.

It's important to understand how your financial aid will help you as a college student. Click here to learn more.

Check out the FAQs by clicking here.

Understanding how to manage your money is essential. We provide you with some helpful resources that will assist you in making solid financial choices so you can take charge of your money.

Budget - A budget is a financial plan that helps you track your money, make informed spending decisions, and plan for your financial goals. 


CashCourse - Is your guide to making informed financial choices. Get prepared for whatever life has in store. CashCourse is your real-life guide to taking charge of your money. These online personal finance tools help you build real-life-ready financial skills.

Managing a budget - Here is another resource that  can help you explore ways to create and manage your own budget. This is a great resource for several ways to help you manage your money.

Click here if you are thinking about only paying the minimum balance on your credit card. You might want to reconsider. Click the link that will explain why paying the minimum is a bad idea.


5 Awesome Apps for Setting up a College Student Budget

Mint (iOS, Android)

  • Easily pull all your accounts, cards and investments into one place so you can track your spending, create a budget, receive bill reminders, and get customized tips for reducing fees and saving money.  

Toshl Finance (iOS, Android)

  • Use Toshl, track your money spending and save money with ease. It's intuitive, safe, private, designed with character and attention to detail. Toshl is like your personal financial advisor that's with you all the time

Left to Spend (iOS)

  • 'Left to spend' cuts to the core of the task and gives you an immediate and intuitive overview of your current financial situation.

Debt Payoff Planner (Android)

  • Debt Payoff Planner is a great app that assists you in the most effective way to pay back debt. Users can prioritize debt and it allows you to see the projected debt payoff date.
  • ArtsX: This free event is an occasion for the University's artists and performers to show off their talents to the community. ArtsX takes place for one night only each December and offers interactive activities and performances perfect for all ages!
  • Ay Ziggy Zoomba: Ay Ziggy Zoomba is one of BGSU’s two fight songs, which you will hear at sport events and around campus.

Here are the lyrics:

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Zoomba

Ay Ziggy Zoomba Zoomba Ze

Roll along you BG warriors

Roll along and fight for BGSU!

  • BG Bucks: BG Bucks is spending money that students can put on their BG1 Cards. The bucks can be used for locations on and off campus like the bookstore, dining services, vending machines, the health center and community merchants.
  • BG1 Card: The BG1 Card is your official identification card but is much, much more than just your campus ID; it is used to access meal plans and services throughout campus.
  • Black Swamp: The Black Swamp is a name you will hear frequently around Northwest Ohio as part of its rich history. This is because the Bowling Green area is located in the heart of the former Great Black Swamp, which settled in the 19th century. Most notably, one of the on-campus dining options is named the Black Swamp Pub & Bistro. Each September the town of Bowling Green hosts the acclaimed Black Swamp Arts Festival. 
  • BTSU: This abbreviation stands for the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, which is a central gathering and meeting space for the entire campus community. Within BTSU, you can meet friends, grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffeemail a package, work on a group project, buy books, visit an ATM, catch a movie, and host an event. In conversation you will hear most people refer to BTSU as “The Union.”
  • Bursar, Office of The: The Office of the Bursar maintains the financial assets of the University. The Bursar, as you may hear it referred, is responsible for generating student bills and is where you will pay your bill; this office also organizes the payment plan and issues refunds. The word “bursar” is derived from "bursa," which is Latin for purse.
  • Campus Update: The campus update is a daily email newsletter that is sent to your @bgsu.edu email Monday-Friday; it includes announcements and advertisements for events that are taking place both on campus and in the community. If you want to be in the know, the Campus Update is where you should start. At times, the list of items in the Campus Update is long. It is still worth scrolling through, in order to catch that one thing that might be important to you.
  • Canvas: Canvas is BGSU’s learning management system. It is what you are using right now for the FalconForward course!
  • Carillon Place: Carrillon Place is an all you care to eat dining facility located centrally and near Centennial Hall, East Hall, the College of Business, Jerome Library, and the Education Building just to name a few neighboring landmarks. Students can either use a meal plan “swipe,” cash, or credit card to enjoy this dining facility.
  • Falcon Friday: Year round, students, faculty, and staff are decked out on Friday’s in orange and brown to show their school spirit. Between 12 and 1 pm in Fridays, you can find members of the BGSU Spirit Crew around campus giving away prizes and promoting upcoming events.
  • Falcon’s Nest: The Falcon’s Nest is located on the first floor of the Union and offers several dining options including: Marcos Pizza, Jamba Juice, Panda Express, and others.
  • Fall Welcome: The first two weeks of the fall semester are busy with activities as BGSU welcomes both incoming and returning students to campus. Many of the events during this time are a part of New Student Orientation & First-Year Program’s Fall Welcome. A full schedule of events will be published in late August.
  • FERPA: FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act and is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of our student’s educational and financial records. This means that you must provide BGSU with permission to release specific information to your parents/guardians/family or anyone else who inquires.
  • BGSU Firelands: BGSU Firelands is a satellite college that is connected to Bowling Green State University. BGSU Firelands is located near the shores of Lake Erie in Huron, Ohio, about 60 miles east of Bowling Green, Ohio
  • Freddie & FriedaAffectionately referred to as the Birds, Freddie & Frieda are BGSU’s beloved mascots. The real-life identities of the students who moonlight as the Birds are kept a secret and only revealed during the spring semester at “The Beheadings,” which typically take place at a basketball or hockey game. More on the Birds and other interesting aspects of BGSU History & Traditions can be found here: http://www2.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/page105573.html.
  • myBGSU: This is an online one-stop shop for students, faculty, and staff and can connect you with your @bgsu.edu email, Canvas, class registration, financial aid, and housing, among other things.
  • Not in Our TownNot In Our Town’s mission is to guide, support and inspire people and communities to work together to stop hate and build safe, inclusive environments for all. BGSU and the City of Bowling Green are committed to the goals and ideals of this effort.
  • The Oaks: The Oaks is another an all you care to eat dining facility located centrally and near MacDonald Hall, Falcon Heights, Offenhauer, and the Math Science building. Students can either use a meal plan “swipe,” cash, or credit card to enjoy this dining facility.
  • OWGLs: Opening Weekend Group Leaders (OWGLs) are upper-class students who will share the ins and outs of being and becoming a successful student at BGSU, introducing you to many resources and services available to you as a student and answer your questions as you prepare to start classes on Monday.
  • Opening Weekend: Opening Weekend is a required event for new students and serves as a comprehensive introduction to the academic and social environment of the university. Throughout Opening Weekend, you’ll meet other new students, faculty and staff while engaging in a variety of specialized academic programs and interactive events on campus. Whether you are living on campus or commuting from home, Opening Weekend is essential for your transition to BGSU.
  • Orange and Brown: “The story behind how BGSU began using brown and orange as its school colors dates back to 1914. Dr. Homer B. Williams, the University's first president, gathered a group of people, which included Dr. Leon L. Winslow from the Industrial Arts Department, as a selection committee for the school's new colors. While on an interurban (or trolley) ride to Toledo, Dr. Winslow sat behind a woman wearing a large hat adorned with beautiful brown and orange feathers. He was so interested in the color scheme that his committee recommended to the Board of Trustees they approve the combination of burnt orange and seal brown.” Read about this and other interesting aspects of BGSU History & Traditions here: http://www2.bgsu.edu/offices/mc/page105573.html.
  • Roll Along: Part of last line of Ay Ziggy Zoomba, it is common to see this slogan used as an email signature and hashtag.
  • SIC SICIn addition to Freddie & Frieda, BGSU has another spirit group on campus known as SIC SIC.
  • SOAR: The acronym stands for Student Orientation, Advising and Registration. It is also known as summer registration.
  • Student Legal Service: Each semester you have the opportunity to opt-in to receive help from Student Legal Services. The small fee associated with this coverage grants you access to legal services if you ever find yourself in need of representation.
  • SunDial: Located in the Kreisher Quadrangle, the SunDial is another all you care to eat dining facility. Students can either use a meal plan “swipe,” cash, or credit card to enjoy this dining option.
  • WorkNet: WorkNet is an online job and internship database that connects you with employers looking to hire BGSU students. You can use WorkNet to view and apply for campus internships and part-times jobs as well as post-Graduation, career opportunities. Current Students can access their WorkNet account using their BGSU username and password.
  • Ziggy Points: Throughout the school year you will see events advertised as a “Ziggy Point Events,” which means you can be rewarded for attending this event by earning points that will eventually qualify you for prizes. This initiative is sponsored by the Division of Student Affairs but there are more than 50 department across campus that host Ziggy Point events!

If you are looking to learn more BG Lingo, check out the BGSU Terms Glossary or the A-Z Website Directory. Also, more information about what it is like to live in Bowling Green can be found here.


Want to volunteer during fall or spring break? Maybe you are looking for opportunities to volunteer on the weekend? We provide links below so you can learn about volunteering on campus or in the Bowling Green and surrounding communities, check them out.

Volunteer Fair - Plan on stopping by the Volunteer Fair to speak with more than 80 community partners.

Wood County Hospital - Volunteers play a major role at Wood County Hospital. We have numerous volunteer opportunities to suit a variety of skills and interests.

Downtown Bowling Green - Downtown Bowling Green is a Special Improvement District within the downtown area. It serves the downtown as a liaison with government offices, other merchants and the media.

United Way in Wood County - At United Way in Wood County, our goal is to create long-lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of problems.

Resources in Bowling Green - If you choose to live off-campus in the City of Bowling Green, it is important that you become familiar with the different laws and expectations related to your residency in the City.

Wood County Humane Society - The Wood County Humane Society exists in order to bring about the best possible treatment and quality of life for all animals in Wood County.

Center for Community & Civic Engagement - The Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE) brings focus to our human and intellectual potential.