Online Student - Getting Started

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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.

Related links:

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.

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.

Ensure that you activate and download FirstClass as soon as you can. The FirstClass activation and download appears as one of the last steps of your MCLANET User account registration (step 2).

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

  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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

Signing Up for a course

Taking a Course

Online Class Advising