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Flexibility allowed BGSU to move forward during global pandemic

University looking forward to returning to sense of normalcy in fall

Quality education always has been a top priority at Bowling Green State University. As a public university for the public good, providing an educational experience is essential for BGSU graduates to move their families, communities and professions forward.

Since its establishment in 1910, BGSU has never closed — even through world wars, record-setting blizzards and a global pandemic, the University’s doors have remained open to ensure each student receives a transformative experience, preparing students for timely graduation, post-graduation opportunities and to live a meaningful and productive life.

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused BGSU to turn to remote learning, the University’s flexibility was showcased in Fall 2020 with the introduction of Design My BGSU.

Design My BGSU was an initiative that allowed students to customize their 2020-21 learning experience. Driven by student feedback over summer 2020, Design My BGSU changed and enhanced course delivery options, providing more flexibility for students to decide how they wanted to learn during the academic year.

Dr. Joe B. Whitehead, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, led academic planning amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

“Design My BGSU allowed students to customize their learning experience,” Whitehead said. “Based on student feedback, we launched Design My BGSU to give students the opportunity to tailor their classes across three delivery modes: in-person/hybrid, remote and online. Students were able to complete coursework virtually by taking online and remote classes, opting for a face-to-face experience through in-person/hybrid courses or enrolling in a mixture of all three. All delivery modes provided opportunities for students to engage directly with faculty and other students in multiple ways.”

About 70% of University courses for the 2020-21 year had an in-person component that allowed students to interact with faculty and their peers in a safe, physically distanced manner. Classroom spaces were redesigned to ensure that as many students as possible were able to take classes on campus during the pandemic while all COVID precautions were followed.

With the health and safety of the BGSU campus community in mind, students, employees and visitors were required to wear a face covering in all indoor public and shared environments, including classrooms. In addition to face coverings and physical distancing, enhanced cleaning in classrooms and frequent cleaning of high touch points, additional hand sanitizer stations and the use of electrostatic spraying units and autonomous vacuums were used. 

The University is committed to providing a fully open fall semester with few restrictions. Most courses currently listed as remote or blended will be taught fully in person. Courses that have historically been taught online will remain in that mode.

“It has always been the mission of Bowling Green State University to provide educational experiences inside and outside the classroom that enhance the lives of our students,” Whitehead said. “We continue to strive to help students be prepared for lifelong career growth, lead lives of engaged citizenship and be leaders in a global society.

"As we return to face-to-face learning in Fall 2021, we reiterate that within the BGSU learning community, we provide a welcoming, safe and diverse environment where the creative ideas and achievements of all can benefit others throughout Ohio, the nation and the world.”

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | mbratto@bgsu.edu | 419-372-6349