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Western Kentucky University

Information for Graduate Students

Information for Graduate Students

We would like to invite you to come visit the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching. We have many resources to help you prepare to teach your classes if teaching will be your assistantship . You may browse through our resources and materials by going to our home page.

A Graduate Student's Survival Guide to Western
Visit to learn about a basic training program for students wanting to become Instructor of Record.
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Classroom Presentations
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Other Help



A Graduate Student's Survival Guide to Western


Following is a collection of information that might be of use to graduate students  new to Western. You can read straight through it by scrolling down or use the Table of Contents to jump to the area of information you need. I would appreciate any help you can offer with corrections or additions to the information. Please Email me at Thanks!

Table of Contents:

Campus Information:

Photo Identification Card, Time Zone, Campus Mailing Address, Course Schedule, Parking, Food Facilities, TOPNET

Campus Equipment and Resources

Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching, Phones, Computer Information, Email, Professional Copying, Preston Health and Activities Center

Pronunciation and Directions Guide

Campus, Community

Local Customs

A brief guide for those who come from other nations

General Household Needs

Post Office, Personal Copying, Banking, Shopping, Entertainment, Sports, Driver's License, Car Registration, Electricity, Recycling, Gas, Newspapers, Telephone, Television, Internet

Kentucky Information

State Cities, Voting Registration, Elected Representatives

A "To Do" Item List




Campus Information


Photo Identification Card
Time Zone
Campus Mailing Address
Course Schedule
Food Facilities


May be obtained in the basement of Downing University Center (across from the basketball arena). Walk around to the downhill side and enter from the back. The ID center is down the hall on the right, or enter from the ground floor of DUC (where the cafeterias are) and take the elevator to the bottom floor. The ID card is processed while you wait. You must bring a photo ID to obtain the Western ID card. Use your card to obtain discounts at the bookstore (in DUC), at the on-campus cafeterias and to check out books from the libraries. You can put "Dining Dollars" or "Big Red Dollars" on it and get added discounts when making purchases on-campus.


Bowling Green is on Central Time (CST). We are near the dividing line for time zones, and you should become aware of which cities near us are on what time zone to avoid misadventure. Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort are on Eastern Time (EST). Nashville is on Central Time (CST).


(Your Department), 1906 College Heights Blvd., Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, 42101-3576

To mail to other campus departments, use a campus mail envelope with the name of the person and department listed.


Academic calendars can be obtained here:

You can look at your class schedule here:

Evening Classes begin at 5:00 or at anytime deemed to fit the needs of students & when classrooms are available.

A word of warning: The Community College on occasion changes the schedule (reducing the time between classes to 10 minutes) to fit another class in during the day. Once you have access to the TopNet system (see later in this material) you'll be able to get a personal schedule, suitable for using in your syllabus if you are teaching.

For those who are teaching undergraduates: Students seem to have relatively more difficulty showing up for class on Fridays. If attendance is important to your teaching philosophy, then you will need to plan for incentives for those who attend and expect to experience some "limit-testing." It is recommended that you discuss your attendance policy with your students the first day of class. A course schedule is automatically generated for you in the TopNet System.


As on any college campus parking can be a problem. A parking permit (actually a piece of plastic, you hang from your mirror) can be obtained at the Parking and Transportation Services office. Student employees and graduate students are not considered faculty/staff for parking purposes, so you may obtain only a commuter pass.

After Labor Day parking improves considerably. Be careful the first week of school as there are many drivers unfamiliar with the streets around campus and you are likely to meet a driver heading the wrong way down a one-way street. The campus police ticket and tow vigorously the first weeks of school.

Campus Tour:

Online Campus tour is at


WKU Dining and Catering Services are operated by Aramark Corporation, which offers a wide variety of dining options around campus. Faculty may purchase food with cash or Big Red Dollars (with 11% discount) added to their ID card.

At Downing University Center (DUC): Campus food services include The Fresh Food Company; Bene Pasta, Chick-fil-A, AFC Sushi, and Izzi's Southwest ; Red Zone (a sports bar) , Starbucks Coffee, Freshens Smoothies, and Subway.

Garrett Conference Center:  Bene Pizza and Pasta, Izzi's Southwest, Salad Garden, Grille Works and Home Zone; and a Subway.

Helm Library: Java City offers gourmet coffees, drinks, sandwiches and desserts/pastries for a quick snack or pick-me-up.

Mass Media and Technology Hall: Einstein Bros. Bagel Company.

Snell Hall: Da Vinci's , which is like Panera Bread.

South Campus: Grille Works and World's Fare.

Tower Court at PFT: Popeye's chicken, Greens to Go, and Burger Studio.

Close Off-Campus: Many fast-food restaurants are located near campus. Several nice restaurants and coffee shops are located around and near the downtown square, and our wonderfully international community offers exquisite local Mediterranean (Bistro, Brickyard, You and Me) , Indian (Taj Palace), Thai (Royal Thai, Thai Express), Greek (Anna's), Chinese (China Express, China Express, China 1 Buffet King), and good old American food ( Mariah's). There is only space to list a few close by , so please explore and give all merchants a chance at your dollars.

Glasgow: The Glasgow campus offers snacks and lunch at a convenient campus location from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.

WKU is a Pepsi campus. For more information go to:


TOPNET is an interface for assigning grades and various other teaching administrative tasks. If you are teaching you will need to get training and a Password. The following is a link to it:



Campus Equipment and Resources

Campus Phones
Computer Information
Professional Copying
Preston Health and Activities Center
WKU Classified Mail List

FACET can provide various resources as you prepare for your classes, not the least of which is knowing the campus resources. Please visit our home page for some ideas of how we can assist you.


On campus dial a 5 and the last four numbers of a phone number. Dial 9 to get off campus. However, if you are calling South Campus, you must dial 9 and the complete 7 numbers.


When on campus dial 5-7000, Information Technology, to get information about setting up an email address and for information on web pages. Call 5-7000 for help with supported software.

Your WKU email address will be: Check, for more information. WKU students are contacted officially (as in through Banner, TopNet or Blackboard) through their WKU email address, not a yahoo or other address.

Academic Technology offers classes on software which are periodically announced via email, or the schedule can be referenced online at

Our course software for web support of classes is currently Blackboard and it is administered by Academic Technology, 5-3754. You are required to attend a short training before an account is set up for you if you are teaching. Academic Technology and the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching (5-6508) periodically offer instruction on teaching on-line. Contact either for further information. To view the Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching's upcoming seminar schedule, please visit


(Classroom materials and library materials):
Every department has provision for copying of materials for instruction. You may not be permitted, as a student, to copy items for your personal use. If you have not been given other instructions, ask your departmental office associate for information.

In the library, faculty may request that materials be copied (usually library materials, journals, etc.) at the Circulation Desk on 4th floor Cravens.

Check with your department to see if they have any restrictions concerning copying and/or to obtain use of the copy card. Some departments have restrictions on how many copies an instructor may make, even for a course they are teaching.


The Preston Center offers a state-of-the-art facility, outdoor rental center, health and fitness lab, plus a variety of programs and activities--everything from line dancing to karate to personal weight management. To find out more about their programs and services go to


WKU has a classified list which faculty and staff may use to announce items for sale, etc. To subscribe, go to:


Pronunciation and Directions Guide


Buildings: Downing University Center is often abbreviated DUC and called "duck." Wetherby Administration Building (WAB) is usually called Wetherby, not "Wab." Tate Page Hall (TPH) is sometimes called CEBS, which also refers to the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. (There is a temptation to leave off the "S" as if it were pluralized; however, CEB alone offends some people.) Thompson Complex is usually known by TCCW or TCNW ("teecee-cee-w"; for Central Wing and North Wing). The parking garage is called a parking structure.

Many campus directions are given using the terms "up the hill" or "down the hill" which can be translated literally. "Up the hill" may also refer to the University administration, as in "It's an idea from up the hill." "Parking in Egypt" refers to a student lot at the bottom of the hill (the very bottom). Usually used in a phrase of disgust ("I had to park in Egypt!") to express how far away someone had to park as an excuse for coming to class or work late.


At first learn 1) 31-W By-Pass, 2) Scottsville Road-Broadway-12th Street, 3) Campbell Lane and 4) Fairview Road-Cemetery Lane. Those four roads will bring you close to most facilities in Bowling Green.

Community directions are often given by mentioning a facility "that used to be there." For example, you may be told that one movie theater is "near the old mall." Translation: It is just off Campbell Lane, on Great Escape Drive.

"Where Sam's used to be" is where Hobby Lobby is currently located-- on Scottsville Road, about halfway toward the mall from campus.

The Mall vs The Old Mall ("where the mall used to be"). "The Mall" is Greenwood Mall which is on Scottsville Rd almost to I-65. "The Old Mall" is located where 31-W and Campbell Lane intersect on the south side of town. There is a large Kroger's and some discount stores located across the street from it.

The By-Pass is also known as Nashville Road or as 31-W. Scottsville Road becomes Broadway where it crosses the By-Pass (see above), which then becomes 12th Street as it heads into the downtown area.

[Pop Quiz Interlude. Translate this message: There were 4 theaters in town. One is out by the Mall on Scottsville Road and one used to be where K-Mart used to be. In addition, the new multi-plex movie theatre is located across from the Old Mall and movies are regularly shown in DUC during the school year.]

Streets in the area around the square ("downtown") are one-way. Study a map before venturing into the area. An easy tour is to take Normal (which becomes State) down the hill to the square, make a left and go half way around the square, then take College back up. The road in front of the statue (which College turns onto) is 15th Street. You can't get too lost in Bowling Green.

Caution: Drivers tend to push the limits on red lights. Look before proceeding when the light changes.




Local Customs

Many new faculty come from around the world. This guide to some local customs may help you acclimate.

Female instructors tend to be called "Mrs." by students. Male instructors are likely to be called "Dr." regardless of educational qualifications. If you have another preference for being addressed you will need to make it clear.

This is a sweeping generalization which you should test against your own experience but many of our undergraduate students have not travelled beyond their local community. However, lack of experience does not equate with lack of ability.

In addition, your students may have experienced difficult life events and tend to be very sensitive to the needs of their extended family, such as cousins. I urge you to spend some time one-on-one with students whom you are teaching, learning about what they value. You'll develop an appreciation for the richness and complexity of their lives.

Remember that the longer you spend in a graduate program, the more your sense may be distorted of what an "average" student is. You are not an average student or you wouldn't be in a graduate program so don't use your behavior as the norm.

Students will tend to introduce themselves by the county from which they come and they will often plan on returning to that county and their family. Beginning students may be intimidated by the size of the campus and the buildings here. They may be intimidated by you. If you have any Kentucky family, mention them as that makes it easier for students to identify with you.

Don't misunderstand if a waitress calls you "honey" (or even "sweetie") when serving you. This carries no meaning other than as a social greeting.




General Household Needs

Post Office
Personal Copying
Arts & Entertainment
Sports & Recreation
Driver’s License & Car Registration

If you are new to town, you will need to find out about everything from banks to utilities to cellular phone companies. The two web sites listed below can assist you in getting acquainted with our community:
The Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce “Online Directory” offers contact information on area businesses, listed alphabetically by category. Look up accountants, adult day care, advertising, airports, apartments, attorneys, automobile dealers, etc…and that’s just the ‘a’s!!

For information about utilities, education, health services, driver’s license and voter registration, local religious organizations, an interactive map of Bowling Green and much more, go to the City of Bowling Green home page.


A campus post office is located in the basement of Downing University Center (DUC). The main BG post office is located on 11th Street (from campus, drive down Normal (which becomes State), turn left onto 11th and go about 2 blocks. The Scottsville Rd. branch is past where I-65 crosses Scottsville Rd, then about another mile on the left, has longer hours than the other branches in town. However, this branch is closed on Saturday and may permanently close in 2010.


A Kinko's (open 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.) is located on Campbell Lane in the small shopping center in front of Walmart’s. Staples and Office Max are also on Campbell Lane.


Service One Credit Union used to be the university credit union and still has an office on campus as well as on Campbell Lane and the 31W Bypass. Other banks include Integra Bank, Independence Bank, BB&T Bank (with branches located in Kroger with later hours), South Central Bank (locally owned and operated), and National City, to name a few. Shop around for one whose hours of operation and branch office locations meet your needs. For more information, go to the online directory at


Hardware: Your biggest stores are Lowe's (on Campbell Lane next to Target) or Home Depot.

General Discount Stores: A Walmart Super Store and Target are located on Campbell Lane. A new Walmart has been built at the intersection of Morgantown Rd. and Veteran's Memorial. K-Mart is on Scottsville Rd closer to I-65 than the mall. A Roses is on Russellville Road. Bowling Green also has a number of consignment stores (often along the By-Pass). Also, a Sam's Club is located at 3200 Ken Bale Blvd, off Scottsville Rd near I-65.

"Green Living" Directory:  This Directory lists energy-saving and environmentally-friendly businesses, agencies, and educational programs in Bowling Green and south central KY which are working to reduce their environmental impact. Find it online at

Upscale shops can generally be found at the Mall on Scottsville Rd and around the downtown square near Main Street.

Antique stores are tucked all over the place. Go to small towns around Bowling Green, too. Smiths Grove is a good place to visit for antiquing; also, Russellville and Glasgow.

Groceries: Bowling Green has Kroger, Walmart and Houchen's (a regional grocery store). For discount groceries, go to Aldi’s on Campbell Lane or Save-A-Lot at the intersection of 31W and Cemetary Rd./Fairview Ave.

Bookstores: The Western Book Store is located in Downing University Center (DUC) on the 2nd floor. At the end of the fall semester they typically have a pre-Christmas sale for faculty and staff with additional discounts. There's another bookstore for textbooks, Lemox, which you'll find just past the northwest corner of campus. Barnes and Nobles is across from Target on Campbell Lane near Scottsville Road. There is a used book store, the Book Rack, in Williamsburg Square on Fairview Rd. There's a discount book store next to HH Gregg near Greenwood Mall.

Retailer Discounts: If you are a WKU employee, there are a variety of local retailers who offer WKU faculty and staff discounts. Visit to find out details.


The Bowling Green Public Library is at 1225 State St., near the bottom of the hill. Contact: 781-4882.

Of course you can check books out from the WKU campus libraries, located in Helm Cravens, Tate Page Hall and Glasgow.


Besides the movie theaters mentioned previously, there are several live theaters (Capital Arts, Fountain Square Players and the Phoenix in Bowling Green, KY Repertory Theater in Horse Cave) in addition to Western performances. Many people also go to Nashville for performances. Watch the student newspaper, The Herald, for listings of events, or pick up a copy of The Amplifier at area businesses, to find out about community music and other events. To find out about events in Nashville, go to

For a list of both current and upcoming events, go to or


There are numerous parks in the city, an adult soccer league and other league play organized by Bowling Green Parks and Recreation (393-3249). The Preston Center on campus also organizes faculty-staff league play at various times during the year.

Mammoth Cave World Heritage Site is just up I-65 and is definitely worth several visits. Lost River Cave is conveniently located here in Bowling Green and offers walks, a butterfly house, and river trips into the cave. Many people go to nearby lakes for sailing and other water activities. There are 3 golf courses (Hartland, Hobson Grove, and Paul Walker) and some frisbee golf courses are laid out on campus and at Hobson Grove. The 4th floor of Downing University Center (DUC) has a bowling alley and ping pong. There are several other lanes in town.

Also, check out:
The Russell Sims Aquatic Center, Tomblinson Way. Call 393-3271 for information and current hours of operation.

Beech Bend Park, Beech Bend Park Road. Call 781-7634 for information and current hours of operation. Beech Bend offers a swimming pool, water slide, amusement park, race track and camping.

Bowling Green Road Runners at

Bowling Green League of Bicyclists at

Southern Kentucky Paddlers Society – Call 842-1266. Take advantage of the abundant and beautiful rivers in lakes Kentucky.

Nashville is home to the Titans. Bowling Green has the Hot Rods baseball park and a national racecar speedway.


For your driver’s license, go to the new Justice Center on Center near Main St. For car (or voter) registration go to the Old Court House on 10th Street. There are a lot of one-way streets downtown, so be patient when driving there.


In addition to the information below, to find out more go to


City: Bowling Green Municipal Utilities (water, sewer, electricity, trash) 782-1200.
County: Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp. 951 Fairview Ave. 842-6541


If your area's utility participates, you'll be charged a small fee on your utility bill and will need to call Southern Recycling at 781-3265 to request a red bin in which to place your recyclables (they do not have to be separated). Put it out by the curb on the appointed day for your street.


Atmos Gas provides natural gas service to customers in Bowling Green. To establish service call (888) 954-4321.


The local paper is the Bowling Green Daily News. For more information, call 783-3200. Many faculty subscribe to the Louisville Courier Journal, which often offers specials at the start of the school year. WKU’s student paper is known as the College Heights Herald and is published Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Telephone Service

Residential service is available through BellSouth at 757-6500
Digital telephone service is available in Bowling Green and Warren County. Numerous long distance services are available in the area including Bell South, AT&T and Sprint.

Cell Phone Services

Numerous cellular phone services operate in the area. Go to
for a list with contact information.

Internet Options:

For a list of local internet service providers go to:
Other providers include Bellsouth, Earthlink
Cable Modem: Insight Communications
Dial-up: AOL, Walmart, MSNb


Cable TV: Insight Communications: 515 Double Springs Rd 782-0903
This is in the most out of the way location of the basic services. The other services are mostly downtown. For the shortest wait, try to get service before all the students return in the fall.

Satellite TV: Direct TV - 800-280-4388.
Dish Network - 866-883-5068


Kentucky Information

State Cities
Voter Registration
Elected Officials


The capitol is Frankfort (near Lexington). The largest city in Kentucky is pronounced "Louey-ville" or even "Lou-a-vull" not "Louis-ville," and is a center for the arts and home to the University of Louisville (U of L). The Kentucky Derby (first Saturday in May) is a significant event for natives. A relatively common occurrence is a "Derby Party." The custom is to drink mint julips, put small bets on the horses running in the Derby (often without actual money), and wear a highly decorated hat (women). You might be served Derby pie, chess pie, or burgoo. They won't do much for your cholesterol but are quite tasty. Do not try to plan an event involving many people (such as commencement) on that day. If you go to the Derby, expect to be in the infield, where you won’t see a lot of the race, but will see a lot of wild partying.

Lexington is the home of University of Kentucky (UK), Keeneland Race Track, and is surrounded by beautiful horse farms. Georgetown, north of Lexington, is home of the Toyota–Camry automobile manufacturing plant. Bowling Green is home to the GM-Corvette automobile plant. Owensboro, on the Ohio River west of Louisville, is home to several colleges including a WKU extended campus facility. Paducah is at the far west side of the state, on the Mississippi River.


You can register to vote when you get your driver's license or go to the Old Court House. Be sure to ask for the location of where you actually vote.


City Mayor: Elaine Walker
Visit: to find out about Bowling Green city officials, boards and commissions.
Warren County Judge Executive: Michael Buchanon (
Governor: See
For most up-to-date information on state officials, visit:
State Representatives: (Residents of Warren County & Bowling Green are represented by one of the following Districts ---20, 21, 22, or 23. You may call Voter Registration at 843-5306 for more information. )

For up-to-date information on national officials, visit:
US Senators:

US Representatives:

Check here to find names of senators and representatives:



Other "To Do Items" List

(get recommendations)

  • Physician(s)
  • Dentist
  • Optometrist/opthamologist
  • Allergist
  • Schools
  • Pharmacy
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Mechanic
  • Travel agency
  • Dry cleaners
  • Insurance co.
  • Resources for fun activities
  • Other. . .




Classroom Presentations

If you are teaching a class, contact the Outreach Coodinator at the Counseling & Testing Center, 745-3159, to arrange a classroom presentation on:

  • Test Anxiety
  • DepressionStress Management
  • Sexual Decisions
  • Eating Disorders
  • Time Mangagement
  • Study Skills
  • Adjustment to College
  • Motivation

Call early because the calendar fills quicky.


Other Help  

Basic Skills for College Teaching Program (BSCT)
FaCET Teaching to enhance your teaching Tools
Balancing Strategies for Graduate Students Who Teach

Tip Sheet No. 21 Ideas for students in the classroom

Aug 21, 1996

  1. Ask a faculty member to be your mentor. Find a mentor.
  2. Create a syllabus--it is like a contract between you and your students. List all policies in your syllabus and stick to it.
  3. Establish your authority during the first few days of school. You can lighten up later. Don't try to be their best friend. You are the instructor and need to maintain control of the class.
  4. Do not embarrass students. Do not react too strongly to situations until you have all the facts. Be ready for what "excuses" you'll accept.
  5. Understand the diversity of students. Each class has a personality.
  6. First day, ask the students "Why study ___ (your subject)?"
  7. Take attendance--there are various reasons why you may be asked to verify that a certain person was in class.
  8. Do not talk constantly--silence allows for student thought, questions, and a chance to catch up.
  9. Have fun yourself, and make it fun for the students. Relate the subject matter to everyday life! Make transparencies of comic strips. Make alternative lesson plans in case you lose the interest of the class.
  10. The day you stop being nervous is the day you stop teaching.

Tips generated by attendees at the workshop


The Faculty Center for Excellence in Teaching -- Phone (270) 745-6508 -- Fax (270) 745-6145.
Location: 1783 Chestnut Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
Mailing Address: 1906 College Heights Blvd #11095, Bowling Green, KY 42101-1095.
Page created date: c2000; Last modified: January 13, 2014.
Site created: July 1996. All contents © since 1996.

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 Last Modified 5/22/15