Online Student - Getting Started
- 1 Step 1 Meeting Computing Access and Technology Requirements
- 2 Step 2 Activate your MCLANET User Account
- 3 Step 3 Read MCLA Policies
- 4 Step 4 Login To FirstClass
- 5 Step 5 Blackboard Learning System (BLS) Vista
- 6 Step 6 Be familiar with other resources available to you
- 7 Online Student FAQ
Step 1 Meeting Computing Access and Technology Requirements
As a student of an online course you are required to have regular access to a computer that meets the minimum recommended requirements standard to all students. You will also need reliable internet access. It is highly recommended the internet connection you use is high speed. For full compatibility, the use of Microsoft Office 2007 is also recommended to online students.
- For discount laptop purchases visit MCLA's Laptop Initiative page.
- For discount Microsoft Office 2007 software visit the E-Academy page.
Step 2 Activate your MCLANET User Account
You will be required to have a User ID and password to login to your online class.
The MCLANET ID and password is also used for such services as campus computer access, wireless network access and FirstClass email.
Obtaining and activating an MCLANET User ID and password is easy to do online.
Click here to activate your account.
Step 3 Read MCLA Policies
Get familiar with the user policies that you agreed upon during this MCLANET account activation.
- Network User Agreement
- Software Policy
- Computer Helpdesk Services for Students
- Peer 2 Peer Sharing (P2P)
- MCLA Electronics Communications Policy
Step 4 Login To FirstClass
MCLA uses FirstClass to manage email and is the official tool of communication among faculty, students and staff. Every online student should be checking FirstClass. As an online student, your instructor may use it to communicate with you. Primary class content and assignments are often accessed through Blackboard Learning System (BLS) Vista (see step 5). It is essential to check with your instructor for specific details as to where electronic class content is located.
Step 5 Blackboard Learning System (BLS) Vista
As an online student all course information, course materials, distribution and submission of assignments, in general, are found on our official learning management system which is Blackboard Learning System (BLS) Vista. For more information on BLS Vista, see our informational page located on this site.
The login page to BLS Vista is located at http://vista.mcla.edu
- Note: In some cases BLS user access will not be open untill the first day the class starts.
- Also Note: It will take up to 1 hour after you have created your account to access BLS Vista.
Step 6 Be familiar with other resources available to you
Online resources available from off-campus:
- Student Tools: Log on to Student Tools to review your schedule, financial aid and transcript/grading information. As with anything, this requires your MCLANET account information.
- TechHelp: Browse around on our help website for more information about our technology services at MCLA.
On-Campus resources available:
- MCLANET Wireless Network: MCLA has a wireless network that covers all classrooms, offices, public areas and some various open spaces on the main campus.
- Academic Computing Labs - Murdock Hall: Computer labs are available on-campus in Murdock Hall and are open every day during the regular semester.
- MCLA Computer HelpDesk: The Computer Helpdesk provides technical support for the campus community. This includes support for wireless network, MCLANET User ID and password problems, and full repair support for laptops purchased through the MCLA Laptop Initiative program.
Online Student FAQ
Student FAQ about BLS Vista
- What is BLS Vista?
- Where do I go to log on to my course?
- What is my log-in and password?
- I cannot get to the BLS Vista login page.
Signing Up for a course
- How do I register for an online course?
- How do I pay for an online course?
- How do I matriculate/apply to be admitted to MCLA?
- How do I withdraw from an online course?
- What are the registration and withdrawal due dates?
- How am I billed for an online course?
Taking a Course
- Can I use my home email account for online course work?
- How do I deal with password/technical problems?
- How will I get my grade?
- How do I get the login information for my online course account?
- How do I get the login information for my MCLA email account?
- How do I get textbooks for my online course?