Online Student - Getting Started

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Step 1 Meeting Computing Access and Technology Recommendations

As a student of an online course you are required to have regular access to a computer that meets the recommended requirements standard to all students. You will also need reliable internet access. It is required that the internet connection you use is high speed. For full compatibility, the use of Microsoft Office is also recommended to online students.

Related links:

Step 2 - Activate your Banner Account (Student Grades, Financial Aid, Student Billing, Class Registration)

Self Service Banner (SSB) is a service that allows you to view your student record. Your Self-Service Banner account provides you access to such resources as:

  • Class schedules
  • Class registration
  • Academic transcript (grades)
  • Financial Aid information
  • Student billing information
  • Emergency communication setup
  • MyMCLA account setup and management

To setup your Banner account, you are required to have a valid student ID (A#). If you do not know this number, please call the registrar's office at 413-662-5216 to obtain it.

To setup your Self-Service Banner account after you have your student ID (A#) - follow these steps:

  • 1. Go to
  • 2. Enter your Student ID in the "MCLA ID (A#):" field (Ensure you include the A)
  • 3. Enter your birth date (MMDDYY format) in the "PIN"
  • 4. You will then be asked to set a new PIN of your choice.
  • 5. Once your PIN has been setup, you will be logged in to the main menu of SSB.

If you have already setup your Banner account, but have forgotten your PIN then follow these steps:

  • 1. Go to
  • 2. Enter your Student ID in the "MCLA ID (A#):" field (Ensure you include the A)
  • 3. Click on "Forgot PIN"
  • 4. You will then be asked to answer security questions to validate your identity.
  • 5. You will then be asked to set a new PIN of your choice.
  • 5. Once your PIN has been reset, you will be logged in to the main menu of SSB.

NOTE: If you are unable to validate your identify through the security questions and have locked your account out, please call 413-662-5276 for assistance with manually resetting your PIN.

Step 3 - Activate your MyMCLA Account (MyMCLA Portal, Email, Canvas, BlazerNet, Lab Access)

As a student at MCLA you are expected to regularly check your MCLA email through the MyMCLA Portal. Many of our courses also use virtual online classrooms on our Canvas learning management system, also accessible from the MyMCLA Portal. In addition, the MyMCLA account provides access into other on line services and technology resources such as:

  • Electronic course content (Canvas Learning Management System, as mentioned above)
  • E-mail (Office 365, as mentioned above)
  • Productivity software such as Microsoft Office (free to all students)
  • On-campus computing lab access with printing
  • On-campus wireless access (BlazerNet)
  • Resident student dorm network
  • Library Database Access
  • Virtual desktop access through the MyLab system

To setup your MyMCLA account, you are required to claim your account by activating it using a link located in Self-Service Banner (previous step). Follow these steps to activate:

  • 1. Go to
  • 2. Login using your SSB account (refer to Step 2)
  • 3. Click the 'Claim Your MyMCLA Account' link located on the main menu of SSB.
  • 4. Follow the account claim procedure, setting a password at the end which should be a combination of numbers as well as letters.
  • 5. Confirm activation is complete by logging into with your newly setup MyMCLA account.

If you have already setup your MyMCLA account, but have forgotten your MyMCLA password then follow the steps found [Reset a Lost MyMCLA Account Password|here]

Step 4 - Login To MyMCLA Portal (Email)

MCLA uses an online communication portal that is integrated with Office 365. Every student should be checking Office 365 Email. Once you have activated your MyMCLA account, you can use it to login to:

Click on 'Mail' located on the left side navigation area on MCLA's portal site.

Note: Your user name is your MyMCLA ID (A#), NOT your MCLA e-mail address.

Step 5 Canvas Learning Management System

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 Canvas. For more information on Canvas, see our informational page located on this site.

You will need your MyMCLA account that you obtained in Step 3 to log on.

  • Note: In some cases Canvas user access will not be open until the first day the class starts.
  • Note: It will take up to 1 hour after you have created your account to access Canvas.

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:

  • BlazerNet 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, MyMCLA account problems, and full repair support for laptops purchased through the MCLA Laptop Initiative program.