Welcome to the Spring 2022 Semester

Semester Announcements

Spring 2022 credit registration is now open! The following courses are available: face-to-face, hybrid on campus, hybrid virtual (structured remote and online), structured remote, and online. Visit Admissions & Registration for more information.

Owl Mail (student email account)

Have you activated your Owl Mail Student email account? If not, click here for three easy steps to activate your student email account. You will need your 7-digit student id to activate your student email account.

Blackboard (Bb) Student Orientation Information

All credit students are automatically eligible to take the eLearning Smart Start orientation. While eLearning Smart Start is not required, it is recommended for all first-time online, structured remote, and hybrid/online students to complete. Click here to get started.

Internet Browser

eLearning highly recommends that either Firefox or Chrome is used with Blackboard. Please note that Internet Explorer is not compatible with Blackboard. Click here for more browser information.

How Do I

How do I clear my cache?
What is Cache, Cookies, and History and How Do You Clear Them

Each time you access a file through your web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc), the browser caches (i.e., stores) it so it doesn't have to keep retrieving the same files or images from the remote website each time you click Back or Forward. You should periodically clear the cache to allow your browser to function more efficiently. A cookie is a file created by a web browser, at the request of a website, that is stored on a computer. These files typically store user-specific information such as selections in a form, shopping cart contents, or authentication data. Browsers will normally clear cookies that reach a certain age, but clearing them manually may solve problems with web sites or your browser. A browser's history is a log of sites that you visit. When you press a browser's Back button, you are moving back one entry in the history log. Browsers will normally clear history at regular intervals, but you may want to clear it manually for privacy reasons.

This knowledge article describes how to clear cache, cookies and history.

How do I find my Owl Link username and password?
To obtain your Owl Link userID follow these steps:
  1. Go to the Owl Link website.
  2. Look up your Owl Link username.

    - Either from the login page or under User Accounts on the
        Credit Students menu, select What's my Username?

    - Enter your last name and either your social security number
        or your 7-digit student id number.

    - Your Owl Link username will be displayed.
To reset your Owl Link password follow these steps:

Note: You must have a valid email address on file with Admissions and Records to reset your Owl Link password. If you do not, please contact the Technology Service Desk at 301-546-0637 or email at servicedesk@pgcc.edu.

  1. If you do not remember your password, you must reset it. By resetting your Owl Link password, your Blackboard password will automatically be reset.
  2. Reset your Owl Link password by selecting Forgot my Password either from the login screen or under User Accounts on the Credit Student menu.
  3. Enter your last name and either your social security number or your 7-digit student id.
  4. Select the email address you want the temporary password sent to.
  5. Check your email to receive your password.
  6. Log into Owl Link using the temporary password. You will then get a screen that tells you that your password has expired and you must reset it. Re-enter your Username and temporary password. Then enter a password of your choice. It must be a minimum of eight characters in length and contain at least one upper case letter, at least one lower case letter, and at least one number.
  7. You can then use this same Username and Password to log into Blackboard.

The student email address in Blackboard is the Owl Mail for Students email address (YourOwlLinkUsername@students.pgcc.edu).

All emails sent from within Blackboard will be delivered to your Owl Mail for Students email address. 

Student Email For All PGCC Credit Students

All Prince George's Community College (PGCC) credit students will receive a PGCC email account called Owl Mail. Your Owl Mail account is different than your Owl Link account, which is used to access your class schedules, grades, transcripts, etc. This email account will be used by the College to communicate all College-related business, including:

  • All emails sent from Blackboard
  • Emails from your teacher
  • Financial aid information
  • Admissions and registration
  • Other College-related information 

You must setup your Owl Link account before you can activate your PGCC email account (Owl Mail) to continue receiving emails from PGCC.

Your new student email account will be YourOwlLinkUsername@students.pgcc.edu. For example, asmith23@students.pgcc.edu.

Get Started... Activate Your Owl Mail Account
  • Setup your Owl Link account, if you have not already done so.
  • Go to http://live.pgcc.edu and follow the instructions to activate your Owl Mail account.

If you have questions or problems with your Owl Mail setup, contact the Technology Service Desk at 301-546-0637 or servicedesk@pgcc.edu 

How Do I Log in to Blackboard?

Blackboard is a web-based program that serves as the College's online classroom. You will use Blackboard to communicate with your instructor, see your course materials, submit assignments, and discuss the course with your classmates.

To login to your Blackboard course, please follow these steps:
  • Go to the Prince George's Community College (PGCC) Blackboard website which is located at https://pgcconline.blackboard.com. Note: There is no "www" in the Blackboard address.
  • All PGCC Students must log in to Blackboard using their Owl Link username and password.
  • Type your Owl Link username and password into the Blackboard login box. If your login is successful, you will see the PGCC Blackboard homepage. In the module labeled My Courses, you will see the course(s) in which you are enrolled.  Click on the course name to access your Blackboard course.
  • Howard Community College (HCC) students will receive an email with login instructions. Your instructor will also be able to give you login information. Please check your HCC student email account.
Blackboard Email

The student email address in Blackboard is the Owl Mail for Students email address (YourOwlLinkUsername@students.pgcc.edu).

All email sent from within Blackboard will be delivered to your Owl Mail for Students email address.  

Trouble Logging In?

Before calling for help, consider the following:

  • Are you using your Owl Link username and password? You must use your Owl Link username and password to login to Blackboard.

  • Can you login to Owl Link?  If you can’t log in to Owl Link, contact the PGCC Help Desk at HelpDesk@pgcc.edu or 301-546-0637.
Can you login to Owl Link but not Blackboard?
  • Did you register today? Typically it takes one business day from the time you register for you to access your course. If you register on a Friday, you will not be able to access your course until the following Monday.
  • When does your class begin? Students can access their courses four days (fall/summer) or five days (spring) prior to the start date. Click Here to view the online course schedule and check the start date of your course.
  • Are you registered for a credit course? Most non-credit courses use a different system. Click Here for the non-credit website.
  • Have you received an FX grade for non-participation?  Check your grades in Owl Link. If you have received an FX grade, contact your instructor.

If none of these applies to your situation, contact eLearning Services

These materials examine basic functions in Blackboard. If you are new to Blackboard, these tutorials will help you understand and navigate through Blackboard.

Note: Firefox is recommended to watch the video tutorials. They may not play in Chrome.

How do I use the Blackboard features?

How to Add a Profile Picture to Your Personal Profile
How to Create and Comment on Journal Entries

How to Create and Edit a Blog Entry

(Source: Blackboard, Inc.)

How to Create and Edit Wiki Pages

How to Find My Assignment Grades and Feedback

You can review your assignment grades and feedback either by using the My Grades feature found in the Quicklinks button in your Blackboard course or you can access the assignment's Review Submission History page and review the grade and feedback in context. Assignments are not graded automatically. Your instructor must grade each assignment.

Click here for more information on the My Grades page.

Quicklinks: Click on the Quicklinks button in your course, then click on My Grades.

Review Submission History Page:
To review your grade and feedback in the Review Submission History page, select the same link in your course that you used to submit your assignment. The Review Submission History page appears. If you uploaded a file, it automatically opens in the browser. You will only see this link as long as the assignment is open. Once the assignment is closed, you will need to use the My Grades option in the Quicklinks button.

Click here for more information on the Review Submission History Page.


Point to a comment icon to view comments your instructor provided. Select the highlighted text to see if your instructor provided a comment. You can also zoom in and out, and navigate to other pages in your file.

You can download and print the file from the menu in the inline viewer.

If your instructor used a rubric to grade your work, select the View Rubric icon to view details (it’s the icon just to the left of your score/grade).

How to Find Your Syllabus
How to Hide/Show Your Course List From My eLearning Tab

From the My eLearning page, you can change the way in which course information appears in the My Courses module. By checking or unchecking associated boxes, you can hide or show the course name, course ID, instructor names, announcements, tasks and calendar events. Please follow these steps to make the changes.

Note: Follow the same steps to show or hide your courses from the My Courses page.

Step 1: Locate the My Courses Module (from the My eLearning page).

From the My eLearning page (the first page you see once you log into Blackboard 9.1), select the pinwheel icon in the top right corner of the My Courses module.


Step 2: How to show or hide your course.

In the boxes under the columns for each item (Course Name, Course ID, Instructors, Announcements, Tasks and Calendar Events), check the box to show or uncheck to hide.


Step 3: Check your My Courses module to see the changes.

Once you have completed your choices for items to show or hide, click the Submit button.
When you return to the My eLearning page, you will see the changes you made under the My Courses module.

How to Locate Faculty Information
How to Send an Email in Blackboard
How to Set Your Notification Options

How to Submit an Assignment

How to succeed in your online course
How to Take a Test Online

How to Use the Blackboard Student Mobile App

The Blackboard app is designed especially for students to view content and participate in courses. The app is available on iOS and Android mobile devices.

Please note that due dates will only be displayed in the mobile app if your instructor uses the Due Date feature in Blackboard. You must check Blackboard for official due dates. Not all tasks can be completed with the mobile app and it is not recommended to take a test using the mobile app. 

Click here for more information on the Blackboard app for students.

How to Use the Discussion Board

How to Use YouTube in Blackboard

Use the "Mashups" tool when embedding YouTube videos.

The "Browse My YouTube Videos" tool in the Content Editor does not work. When you click on the tool, you will get a screen to "Sign in to YouTube". When you click on it, it doesn't go anywhere.

How to Use Zoom in Blackboard

Zoom will be used as the virtual classroom in Blackboard. You will see a course menu link in your course that says "Virtual Classroom". Click on that and you will see a Recording Release and a link to Zoom meetings.

Click on the Zoom meeting link and you will see any course meetings your instructor has scheduled. You can click on the "Join" button at the meeting time to join the meeting. Any meetings that your instructor has recorded will be available in the Panopto Video course link in your course menu.

menu link to zoom virtual classroom


How to Work in Student Groups

Important Resources

When Do Classes Begin

The Spring 2022 semester begins on Monday, January 24. 

The start date of courses vary during the semester. Blackboard course sites will be available to students five days prior to the start date of the course.

All Spring Classes

  • Classes beginning on January 24, 2022 will become available in Blackboard on Thursday, January 20.
  • Login to Blackboard using your Owl Link username and password.
Registered For An Accelerated Course?

Please Note: Accelerated courses are full semester courses (15-wk, fall and spring; 10-wk, summer) that are condensed to allow students to complete a course in a shorter timeframe. Due to the condensed nature of accelerated courses, it is imperative that you are ready to begin your course on the start date.

  • Accelerated courses are made available to students four days prior to the start date of the course for summer and fall courses. There are no accelerated courses for the winter intersession.
  • Accelerated courses are made available to students five days prior to the start date of the course for spring courses.
  • You can register for an accelerated course up to the start date of the course.
Free Online Tutoring - Smarthinking

Connect with a Tutor and interact live.

How To .... in Smarthinking?

Explore a series of Smarthinking video tutorials that will help you understand how to use the online tutoring service. Click on the links below to take you directly to each video.

View Smarthinking subject descriptions and times available.

Getting Started:

Accessing Smarthinking through PGCC is simple:

  1. Log in to Blackboard: http://pgcconline.blackboard.com using your Blackboard username and password (same as Owl Link)
  2. Go to your online course
  3. Click "Quicklinks" on the course menu
  4. Click "Smarthinking Free Online Tutoring"

Note: Each student is allowed 180 minutes per semester.

Technology Requirements and Troubleshooting Tips
  • Cookies/Javascript should be enabled.
  • Please disable all pop-up blockers for services.smarthinking.com
  • Make sure that your browser is set up to allow cookies and pop-up windows (Smarthinking uses both of these)
  • Make sure that you have Java installed. If you need to install Java, go to Java's Website and follow the instructions for the free download.
Need Help using Smarthinking?
  1. Once you log in, view the Smarthinking Student Handbook for all you need to know about navigating the website and using the service.
  2. The Smarthinking Technical Support team is available to assist you. First, check the information in the Customer Support Self-help options are available 24/7, where you can browse the support articles and use the Pearson Virtual Assistant. If you still need help, Live Online Chat Support is also available 24/7 to assist you here
  3. If you are a faculty/staff member with questions, please contact eLearning Services at (301) 546-0463 or eLearning@pgcc.edu.
Don't See Your Course?

There are two reasons why most students cannot see their courses in Blackboard.

  1. Blackboard course sites will appear four days prior to the start date of the course for summer, fall, and winter session courses and five days prior to the start date of the course for spring courses. 
  2. It may take up to 24 hours after registration or class schedule changes to see your course in Blackboard. Class schedule changes include new registrations, add/drop courses, drops for nonpayment, NA grade drops, and course withdrawals. You must have a students.pgcc.edu email account for your Blackboard account to be created.
  3. If you have confirmed your registration in Owl Link and the start date is within four days and you still do not see your course, please contact eLearning Services

This information also applies to accelerated courses that begin later in the semester. Check Owl Link for the start date of your course to determine when the Blackboard site will appear.

Confirm your course schedule in Owl Link by checking the "My Class Schedule" link. 

Contacting Your Instructor

You can find your instructor’s contact information via the PGCC DirectoryYou can also find your instructor’s contact information in your Blackboard classroom and in the course syllabus.


myPGCC Portal

Keep current on Prince George's Community College news, events, information, important announcements, and personal information like your grades. Go to myPGCC and log in with your Owl Link username and password.

Access Blackboard from within the myPGCC portal. Students are able to click on the Blackboard course link from the myPGCC portal and go directly to the Blackboard course, without additional login to Blackboard.

Library - Learning Resources and Tutoring

The Prince George's Community College Library is where you can find library materials, streaming videos, databases by subject, scholarship information, and other services such as research help and tutoring.

Math Learning Center

The Math Learning Center (MLC) provides remote tutoring services online through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra.

PGCC Bookstore - Books and Materials

Contact the PGCC bookstore at 301-546-0912 or pgccbookstore.com and refer to your class syllabus for information about textbooks and other course materials.


Technical Support

Visit our Technical Support page for technical requirements and recommendations for online courses. 

Enterprise Technology uses a service called askPGCC for the submission and resolution of a variety of issues. To submit an askPGCC ticket for eLearning technical support, please click the following link to log in (using your student email address and Owl Link password) ask.PGCC.edu. All tickets submitted within askPGCC go directly to the Area of Service.

If you still need help, please visit the Contact Us page.

Testing Center

The Testing Center provides placement tests for new students and instructional tests for students enrolled in specific disciplines and courses.

Tutoring and Writing Center

The Tutoring Center provides instructional support to all students. Services include individual tutoring by appointment, drop-in assistance (when a tutor is available), guided small-group study sessions, and assistance for related computer software.