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 22nd: Fall 2019 courses starting on August 26become available in Blackboard to students
  • August 22nd: Instructor-led orientation sessions will be held in the Center for Advanced Technology (CAT) building from 5:00-7:00 PM. Click here to see if your instructor is holding a mandatory orientation session.
  • August 26th: First day of the Fall 2019 semester
  • August 26th: First day of Fall 2019 online and hybrid courses

Full Semester Courses

Full semester (15-week courses) begin for the Fall 2019 semester on August 26th. 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 (August 26, 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 August 28th, you can log in to Blackboard on August 24th.)


Your Course Start Date
Date Your Course is
Available in Blackboard
August 26
August 22
August 28
August 24
August 29
August 25
August 30
August 26
September 3
August 30
September 5
September 1


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 during the spring and fall semsesters:on campus and online. To see which orientation session is right for you, click here. We do not hold online orientation sessions for the summer session.


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 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!