Getting Started Checklist


I've registered for an online class - now what? The online classroom is different from attending a class on campus. Complete the following tasks to get started in your Online, Hybrid/Online or Accelerated Online course.


Important Dates

  • August 24: Fall 2017 courses starting on August 28th become available in Blackboard to students
  • August 24: The on-campus version of the Online Student General Orientation will be held in the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building from 6:00-7:30 PM
  • August 28: First day of the Fall 2017 semester
  • August 28: First day of Fall 2017 online and hybrid courses

All courses that begin after August 28, 2017 are Accelerated Online courses. Students registered for an Accelerated Online course will have access to the Blackboard course site 4 days prior to the start date of the course. If you don't see your class in Blackboard, check the start date of your course.


Accelerated Courses

All courses that begin after the beginning of the semester (August 28, 2017) or end before the official end of the semester are Accelerated Online courses. Students registered for an Accelerated Online course will have access to the Blackboard course site 4 days prior to the start date of the course. (For example, if your course starts on September 1st, you can access your course in Blackboard on August 28th.)


Your Course Start Date
Date Your Course is
Available in Blackboard
August 28
August 24
August 29
August 25
September 1
August 28
September 12
September 8
October 19
October 15
October 23
October 19


Unsure what day your course starts? Check individual course start dates here. Don't see your course listed? Check your "Class Schedule" in Owl Link.



All first-time online and hybrid/online students should complete orientation. There are two Online Student Orientation Options:

on campus and online. To see which orientation session is right for you, click here.


Some instructors also conduct mandatory Instructor-led Orientation sessions.  Be sure to check the Orientation page to verify if you must attend a Course Orientation session.

Orientation contains information about:

  • The basics of online learning and your online course(s)
  • On-campus requirements for online students
  • Online student responsibilities
  • How to determine if your computer has the minimum hardware and software requirements
  • The learning and technical skills you will need to be a successful online student
  • How to log in and use Blackboard
  • The virtual campus and resources available to online students



Activate your email account


You must activate your Owl Mail account. This is your PGCC student email account. Once your course begins, the ONLY email address the college and your instructor will use to communicate with you is your student Owl Mail account and all email sent through Blackboard goes to your Owl Mail account. Click here to activate your Owl Mail account.


Please note: if you have an existing Hotmail account you MUST sign out of your Hotmail account in order to log in and view your Owl Mail email. Click here for more information about Owl Mail.


Online classes are conducted through Blackboard, the college’s online classroom platform.


Students will be able to access their course in Blackboard 4 calendar days prior to the start date of the course. (For example, if the course begins on August 28, students will be able to log in and see their course on August 24.)



If you are uncertain about the exact start date of your course, please check Owl Link or visit the Class Schedules page on the eLearning website.


You can access Blackboard in a variety of ways:



You must have your Owl Link account set up in order to access Blackboard. Use your Owl Link username and password to log into Blackboard. Click here for information about Owl Link.


All online classes have due dates and deadlines just like campus classes. It is important that you log in to your course as soon as it is available so that you can begin your course work.


Once you log in to your course, if you have any questions about the course be sure to contact your instructor immediately!


obtain your id

If you have to visit the campus, you must have a PGCC Student ID. Click Here for information about where you can obtain a PGCC student ID, lanyard and ID holder. Students must keep their IDs current by requesting the appropriate sticker each semester from the Admissions & Records Office or extension centers. Students taking tests at the Student Assessment Services Testing Center MUST have a current college ID card to utilize that service.



Have a Great Semester!