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

  • January 18th: Spring 2019 courses starting on January 22nd become available in Blackboard to students
  • January 17th: Instructor-led orientation sessions will be held in the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building from 5:00-8:00 PM. Click here to see if your instructor is holding a mandatory orientation session.
  • January 22nd: First day of the Spring 2019 semester
  • January 22nd: First day of Spring 2019 online and hybrid courses


Full Semester Courses

Full semester (15-week courses) begin for the Spring 2019 semester on January 22nd. If your course starts after this date, it is considered an Accelerated Course.


Accelerated Courses

All courses that begin after the beginning of the semester (January 22, 2019) 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 February 2nd, you can log in to Blackboard on January 29th.)


Your Course Start Date
Date Your Course is
Available in Blackboard
January 22
January 18
January 23
January 19
January 24
January 20
January 28
January 24
January 30
January 26
February 4
January 31
February 11
February 7
February 13
February 9
February 14
February 10
March 14
March 10
March 30
March 26


Unsure what day your course starts? Check individual course start dates here. Don't see your course listed? Check here.



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.


All online and hybrid/online students are automatically enrolled in a Blackboard course “eLearning Online Student Orientation.” From this Blackboard course, students can access the online student orientation and other helpful information to help them get started in their online course. First-time online students, view the Student Online Orientation from your list of courses. Note: The orientation course is not graded or required but is highly recommended.

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




You must setup your Owl Mail account. Once your course begins, the ONLY way the college and your instructor are allowed to communicate with you is through your Owl Mail account and all email sent through Blackboard goes to your Owl Mail account.


Please note: if you have an existing Hotmail account you MUST sign out of your Hotmail account in order to login and view your Owl Mail email. Click here for 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 February 2, students will be able to log in and see their course on January 29.)


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!