Student - Getting Started

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Steps to do before coming to campus.

Step 1 - Laptop Minimum Requirements

MCLA recommends that all students have a laptop computer. Most laptop computers purchased within the last few years will connect to our network without any problems. However, if you are looking to purchase a laptop or bring one from home, you should check out our Laptop Minimum Hardware Requirements. Many students take advantage of our laptop program for the discounted price and 4 year on-site Complete Care accidental warranty. To check out the current ‘everything you need’ laptop bundle package - click here.

Those students who already have a laptop or prefer not to purchase the program laptop are still eligible to receive Microsoft software through E-Academy at a considerable discount. Microsoft Office is the standard productivity suite at MCLA. To learn more about MCLA recommended hardware and software visit the Computing Hardware and Software section.

2017 Laptop Program Orders:

Step 2 - Activate your MCLA Account

When you become an accepted student and your information has been entered into the student information system, you can then activate your account. The online activation process requires you to have your Student ID number (AKA 'A' number). To go through the activation process, please visit:
You do not have to be on campus to activate your account.

The MCLANET ID and password is used for authentication purposes for services such as campus computer access, wireless network access and email.

Note: Students will need their 'A' numbers to start the account creation process. This 'A' number also known as the Student ID number can be obtained from the Office of the Registrar. Phone: (413) 662-5216

Also, get familiar with the user policies that you agreed upon during this MCLANET account activation.

Step 3 - Login To MCLA Portal Site (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 MCLA account, you can use it to login to:

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

Step 4 - Activate your Banner Account (Student Grades, Financial Aid Info, Class Registration)

Log on to Banner to review your schedule, financial aid and transcript information.
Note: To login to Banner, you are required to have a valid Banner ID (A number). If you are logging in for the first time, you must enter your Banner ID with a capital 'A'. Enter your birth date (MMDDYY format) as the PIN number. You will then be asked to set a new 6 digit PIN number of your choice.

Step 5 - Become familiar with Canvas (Learning Management System)

MCLA's official learning management system is Canvas. Some of your classes may use Canvas for course information, course materials, distribution and submission of assignments. See our informational page located on this site.

You will need your MCLANET User ID and password that you obtained in Step 2 to log on.

  • Note: In some cases Canvas access will not be open until the first day the class starts.

Step 6 - For Resident Students - Additional Equipment To Bring

  • Network Cable - You will need to bring with you a network cable to connect your laptop to the dorm network for internet service. Even though wireless is avaliable in resident areas, students who rely solely on wireless may have a less than desirable network experience.
  • Analog telephone and line cord (4 wire) - You will need a telephone and line cord to use the college's telephone service.
  • Cell phone - Cell services within the dorm is challenging and difficult, so using a plug in phone is advised to stay in contact with the college community, family and friends. For those students who do decide to bring a cell phone with them, please note that Verizon and AT&T carriers have the best coverage outside the dorms and city area.

Steps to do after coming to campus.

Step 7 - Connect to the MCLA Network

  • Connection through Ethernet in Dorms

New and returning students attaching their computers to the network will be able to register their computers day or night and within minutes have access to the local MCLA Network and to the Internet.
For complete instructions on how to register a laptop on the dorm network hardwire connection, please see Connecting Your Computer to the Dorm Network. You can also register other devices such as media players, gaming consoles, and smart TV units by manually registering them using these instructions.

  • Wireless Network Connections

The MCLA wireless network (BlazerNet) covers all classrooms, offices, dorms, public areas and some open spaces on the main campus. Please refer to Blazernet connection instructions on how to register your device on that network.

Note: To register your computer the MCLA Network you are required to have a valid MCLA account (Step 2).

Step 8 - Set up your telephone and sign up for voice mail

The college does provide local calling and voice mail services to each resident student upon arrival to campus. Resident students must bring with them an analog phone to use in their dorm rooms. Using a plug in phone and setting up voice mail is advised to stay in contact with the college community, family and friends. The following links will provide you information on setting up your voice mail and answers to frequently asked questions about the telecom services available at the college.