Getting Started Checklist for Students

Welcome Columbus State students! We hope you are ready to get off to a great start this semester. Here is a checklist you can use to be sure you are technology-ready before your courses begin. You can also check out, CSCC's virtual resource portal for a successful online learning experience.

Click each item to read more:

  • Purchasing or using a personal computer? Check out the College's technical requirements page to ensure your device will meet your needs.
  • Need information about software and browsers? Review our new computer recommendations
  • Need Microsoft Office to complete your coursework?  Beginning on the first day of the semester, enrolled students can download Office 365 for free. 

Missing technology that you need to learn online? We can help. Columbus State has a supply of computers and mobile hot spots for Wifi access available for loan to eligible students as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you are interested, fill out the appropriate form for the item you are interested in borrowing: Computer or mobile hot spot. Contact Lisa Phillips by email at for more information. 

  • After you have been accepted to Columbus State, you will be prompted to discover your login name(username) and password at
  • This account information will be used to access many CSCC applications including CougarWeb, Blackboard, and more.
  • For assistance with the discovery process, please review our instructions at Discover my Login name and password or watch the video instructions below.

  • This is the website you will access to manage your student account. It is important to be familiar with the resources that are available here. 
  • You can login to CougarWeb at to register for classes, access financial aid information, pay your fees, setup proxy access and more. Student Central is a great resource if you need assistance with registration, financial aid, and student forms.
  • For assistance with accessing CougarWeb, please review our instructions here: Login to CougarWeb.
  • Be sure you review the academic calendar carefully to ensure you are aware of important due dates, like the fee deadline and the deadline to add or drop a course. 
  • It is vital that you check your Columbus State email regularly after you have been accepted to ensure you receive all official campus communications in a timely manner. 
  • Communications will come from a variety of sources including financial aid, marketing, Columbus State leadership, and your instructors.
  • To access your email, go to To login enter your full email address ( and your Columbus State password.
  • For assistance with accessing your email, please review our instructions at access email in the browser or view the video tutorial below. You can also setup Outlook on your phone or computer if desired.

  • Blackboard is where you will access your course materials online. Every course will use Blackboard to some extent.
  • For a brief overview of Blackboard and how to login, review our Getting started with Blackboard article. Having trouble finding your course? Why aren't my courses in Blackboard yet?
  • To learn how to navigate and complete common tasks in your online course, check out our Blackboard crash course video series
  • For a more in-depth and interactive tutorial, check out the online Blackboard orientation, often required for COLS 1100 (First Year Experience Seminar). 
  • Use the Blackboard Help page to watch tutorial videos and read the answers to FAQ’s.

Each online classroom will be made available in Blackboard 4 days before the start date of the course. We recommend that you access your course early to find your syllabus and due dates, and to see what course materials or books you need for each class. Make a note of each instructor's contact information so you can access it even when you are offline.

Starfish is one way that professors provide feedback on how you are doing in your classes. You can also use Starfish to make appointments for academic advising or other student supports.

  • To access this resource, login to Blackboard and click the Starfish link in the Tools module.

  • In Starfish, click on the 3 parallel white bars in the upper left to access the menu. Here you can edit your profile, access your support network, or request help. For additional information, review this resource: Starfish

  • Starfish features a "Raise Hand” option through the Request Help feature that allows you to ask questions about any topic, whether it is something related to your class, or information about any aspect of the College. 

  • If you need technical support, contact the IT Support Center. Call 614-287-5050, email, or access online resources at
  • If you need help with your academic content, free tutoring is available to students. Click the green N symbol  in the top-right corner of your Blackboard course to access NetTutor. For additional information about tutoring services, you can review the following: Tutoring at CSCC
  • If you need additional help with other Columbus State services, review the Resources for Students page or call the Telephone Information Center (TIC) at 614-287-5353 for more information. The TIC will answer your question or help direct you to the appropriate department or resource. 


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Article ID: 478
Mon 12/21/20 2:00 PM
Thu 4/8/21 8:27 AM