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Thursday, July 29, 2010

BGSU Firelands expanded summer course offerings a big success

The Firelands campus was lively this summer due to increased enrollment.

Student enrollment swelled to record levels at BGSU Firelands this summer, affirming the college’s decision to offer more course sections in response to interest by students to continue their education during the “third semester.”

The college saw a 28 percent increase in the number of undergraduate students, with headcount up from 689 in summer 2009 to 884 this summer. The total number of credit hours taken by students increased by over 72 percent, going from 3,000 last summer to over 5,000 this summer. And the number of new and transfer students coming to BGSU Firelands rose almost 13 percent, from 71 students last summer to 80 this summer.

While the 884 students shared a common interest in taking summer classes, their college goals were diverse. Among summer students, some are pursuing two- or four-year degrees at BGSU Firelands. Others are completing general education requirements and plan to transfer to the BGSU main campus or another institution. Still others are attending BGSU Firelands classes as guest students while on summer break from another college or university.

BGSU Firelands Dean Bill Balzer said the increased enrollment represents a greater impact than on numbers alone. “Given the steadily increasing enrollments during the fall and spring semesters, we sensed a growing interest from a growing number of students in our community to continue their education during the summer semester. That is, summer could serve as a third semester to help students reach their higher education goals in a more timely fashion.

“Thanks to the faculty’s interest in helping their students, we expanded the number of course sections and did some minimal summer promotion, and the numbers tell the rest. Overall, the campus was a vibrant place to study this summer and provided expanded opportunities for students to make progress on their higher education goals.”

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President’s Leadership Academy lends a hand to Lake High School

Singing and words of encouragement rang through the air as an assembly line of desks flowed through the dimly lit hallway of Lake Township High School. Members of the Sidney A. Ribeau President’s Leadership Academy (PLA) carried the desks to storage units outside the construction area. The high school, which suffered extensive tornado damage earlier this summer, benefitted from their eager helping hands last Friday (July 23).

Tim Coulter and Jason Storks-Sayles
PLA student Tim Coulter (right) hands off a desk to Jason Storks-Sayles.

The PLA is a unique four-year program that allows students who are serious about developing their leadership skills to follow a curriculum that engages them in classes, workshops, experiential learning and community service activities. Founded in 1997 by former BGSU President Sidney Ribeau, students follow the premise that you must be a servant first, and leadership will result from extending service to others.

Even though all PLA members have a passion for service, the Lake High School project was especially significant for many of them. “We can relate because we just graduated,” said broadcast journalism major Rianna Delgodo, an incoming freshman from Southfield, Mich.

“The experience has been moving because two months ago they were seniors and they are here to recognize that it could’ve happened to them,” said Dr. Julie Snyder, PLA interim director. “They may never know a student who walked these halls but that doesn’t matter.”

Incoming freshman David Walters, a music education major from Dexter, Mich., stressed the importance of community outreach. “It is really important for the campus because it is a way for people to see how Bowling Green makes a big difference in the community.”

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July 29, 2010