BGSU receives national recognition

BGSU was recently one of five U.S. colleges recognized for their curricular engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

According to the Carnegie Foundation’s Web site, out of the 88 total applicants only 76 institutions were chosen. The chosen institutions were classified in one of three categories, including curricular engagement, outreach and partnerships.

Sandra MacNevin, director of the BGSU office of engagement, believes it’s an important milestone to have received external recognition.

“It is a very prestigious national organization and to be in the inaugural group is a real honor,” MacNevin said. “It reflects well on our University to be recognized by the Carnegie Foundation and we deserve it.”

Don Nieman, the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences, emphasized many times that the Carnegie Foundation is one of the most respected bodies involved in higher education.

“This is very special to us,” Nieman said. “It speaks very highly of what the faculty is doing and is a great recognition of BGSU.”

According to the Carnegie Foundation’s Web site, the Foundation, founded in 1905, is an independent policy and research center that works to uphold teaching standards.

“We have really tried to develop service learning which is good for the University and especially good for students,” Nieman said.

Students can be involved in service learning in many ways. The Chapman Learning Community’s “Journeys into Science” is a general education science course where students sample water in Wood County.

In addition, certain Political Science 110 courses offer service learning by having students work with a league of women voters. Students go to city and county board meetings to observe and make reports, which helps them learn more about how the government functions.

Another course that offers service learning is an upper level ethnic studies course which focuses on urban race relations. Students work with the Lucas County Metropolitan Housing Authority in Toledo which monitors housing availability and race discrimination that occurs.

“It helps students apply what they learn in classes by being hands on,” Nieman said. “It really helps them learn more deeply and prepare for careers by having a better sense of different areas in which they might work.”

This was the first year for designation. BGSU had to apply as a university and follow many guidelines to be considered for the recognition. There is a national panel of faculty and advisors who worked as a team and reviewed all of the applications and choose which schools to honor.

“This recognition is great motivation to continue on the road toward community engagement,” MacNevin said. “We have our own standards but to meet national standards is good feedback that we’re going in the right direction.”

However, the recognition is not permanent.

“BGSU has to re-apply to keep the designation,” MacNevin pointed out. “And this is not something we want to lose.”