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iDesign | Latest News | Bowie Partnership | Bowie State University

Bowie State Expands Digital Learning Initiative to Accelerate Growth of Online Programs

BOWIE, MD. (September 26, 2023) -- Bowie State University, the oldest Historically Black college in the state of Maryland and a member of the University System of Maryland ranked in the Top 10 public HBCUs by U.S. News & World Report 2022-23,  today announced the next phase of growth for its ambitious digital learning initiative, Bowie State Online. Working with instructional design firm iDesign, the university will build 31 new online courses to greatly expand its capacity to deliver online and hybrid learning experiences to its 6,000+ students.

“HBCUs are seeing an increase in enrollment and, in many cases, record applications. It’s a reflection of a revival of national interest in the important role that we play in driving social and economic mobility for Black learners,” said, Dr. Kimetta Reynolds-Hairston, the Assistant Vice President for Regional Higher Education Centers and Online Programs at Bowie State University. “An effective online strategy has been a key component of how we are meeting the needs of the diverse students that we serve. The expansion of Bowie State’s online programs will help expand access to courses online—and provide students with additional flexibility as they work to achieve their education and career goals.”

The instructional design partnership with iDesign dates back to late 2020, when the two organizations worked together to enhance Bowie State’s online offerings, adapt to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and upgrade the quality of online programs available to students. The expansion of Bowie State Online was made possible with funding and support from USM’s William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation, which drives academic innovation and digital transformation activities across the 11 member campuses of the University of Maryland System.

During the upcoming academic year, instructional design experts will collaborate with administrators, staff, and faculty from BSU to build out a suite of 31 new courses and provide ongoing support and continuous improvement for an additional 20 existing courses.

Each of the new online courses will be developed and taught by BSU faculty members, while leveraging cutting-edge synchronous teaching methods coupled with professional video production and course design.

"Bowie State is demonstrating why building and sustaining online excellence and investing in faculty-led innovation go hand in hand," said Dr. Whitney Kilgore, co-founder and chief academic officer of iDesign. "This is about helping Bowie State build capacity—and working with faculty to unlock learning experiences that are not just accessible and flexible, but dynamic, engaging and responsive to the needs of students.”

Bowie State is nationally well known for its contributions to social and economic mobility, including as a top producer of African American graduates (Diverse Issues in Higher Education 2022). More than 80% of graduates remain in the state of Maryland, making BSU a major contributor to state and regional economic growth. In addition to offering blended degrees, BSU also offers three fully online undergraduate degrees and an additional five 100% online graduate programs.

For more information on the university’s new offerings, visit Bowie State Online.

About Bowie State University: Bowie State University (BSU) is an important higher education access portal for qualified persons from diverse academic and socioeconomic backgrounds, seeking a high-quality and affordable public comprehensive university. The university places special emphasis on the science, technology, cybersecurity, teacher education, business, and nursing disciplines within the context of a liberal arts education. For more information about BSU, visit

About iDesign:

iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether they are fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled, fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and course quality. From statewide university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions pair instructional design with technologies to enable great teaching. To learn more, please visit