I'm enrolled-now what?
Below are common tasks for students who have officially enrolled in online classes.
As a KCTCS student, you'll have three accounts that share the same username and password: student self-service, Blackboard, and webmail. If this is your first time to be enrolled, click the "Activate your account" link to activate these accounts. The same link can also be used to reset your password if you have previously had access to your KCTCS accounts.
Students enrolled in online courses should refer to the KCTCS Distance Learning Bookstore to find textbooks and materials required for online courses. Click the link "Order your books" to navigate to the KCTCS Bookstore portal, and select "KCTCS Distance Learning" from the drop-down box on that page.
Also, as a Jefferson student, you can install the full version of Microsoft Office 365 for NO CHARGE! More information and instructions can be found on our FAQ page.
Once you enroll in courses, you become financially obligated, regardless of whether or not you attend/complete the course(s). For information on paying your tuition, click the "Pay your tuition" link. Instructions on how to pay online through your self-service account.
Once you are enrolled in at least one class, you will gain access to your KCTCS webmail account within 24-48 hours. This is an important tool that you'll need for nearly every aspect of being an online student. Your KCTCS webmail account should be used for all correspondence with your instructor, as well as KCTCS staff. Be sure to check your email account regularly. Your login credentials for this will be the same as your KCTCS student self-service and Blackboard accounts. If you require any assistance with your webmail account, please contact the Help Desk at email@example.com.
Once you've completed each of the steps above, you're ready to log in to Blackboard and begin your course (as long as the course start date has arrived). KCTCS online courses are accessed via Blackboard. Your login credentials for Blackboard will be the same as your login credentials for your student self-service account and your KCTCS webmail account. To log in to Blackboard, click the "Go to your classes" link. If you're new to Blackboard, you'll also find several resources to assist you on the "Student Support" tab at the top of any Blackboard page.
Our Director of e-learning has made a video just for you! This short video walks you through step by step how to find your online classes and where to find information to get a head start with learning how to be a successful online learner.
You may have questions about what kind of computer will meet your needs. Our Chief Information Officer has provided some details you may find helpful. His simplest advice is to search for a new laptop with 8 gigabytes (gb) of memory installed. That should give a selection that can meet most general needs.
Whether you are shopping for a new or used laptop, or want to be sure the computer you have will do the job, these specifications should set you up to do most anything required for course work:
Operating System: Windows 10 or Apple macOS
Ram: 6-8 gigabytes of memory (4 gigabytes minimum) (does not include Optane Memory – not the same thing as RAM)
Hard Drive: 240 gigabytes or more solid state drive (SSD) (128 gigabytes minimum)
Processor: Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 or higher (any dual core CPU as a minimum)
1 year warranty or better on a new laptop
A laptop that meets the minimum criteria should be available for $250-$300, depending on the deals going on at the time you look. Most of the time Best Buy/Staples/Office Depot etc will have a laptop that meets the ideal criteria for around $350-400. I would avoid Chromebooks, Android tablets and iPads. Those devices can work to a degree but tend to have shortcomings based on previous student experiences.
Here are links that will show laptops that meet the preferred criteria.
The college has a limited number of desktop computers that have been retired from campus computer labs. To apply for a free desktop computer, please complete the Student Emergency Fund application and explain your need. You must be enrolled in fall classes to be considered. The link to the application on the college website.
A few important tips for being on camera in class:
- Be on time
- Mute your mic when you are not speaking
- Do your best to control distractions around you
- Dress as you would to go to class
- Practice with a friend before the first class meeting
- Participate and pay attention
Here’s a video with other tips borrowed from the University of California, Riverside.