Welcome to FLC, new Skyhawks! We know that starting in college can be confusing and overwhelming, and the complications of the pandemic aren't helping! Please read below for some answers to commonly asked questions for new students, whether you're taking courses online or in-person. 

Online orientation for new first year and transfer students is available January 2, 2021, and a social for new students will take place on January 30. Classes for the Spring 2021 semester start in online format on Thursday January 28, and will transition to in-person instruction on February 1 (except for 100% online classes). 

How do I get started?

You should have your student email, which is going to be crucial to signing into the FLC website functions below. On our website, when you are working with your accounts, our CAS (or Central Authentication Service) asks you to login with your email and a password.  Also, get in the habit of checking your email often, as that is where you will receive lots of official communication.    

And be sure to check out the Orientation website for info on Online Orientation. First-year students are automatically registered for the program, and the other students in your Orientation group are also in your First-year Launch (FYL) course.

Download the Fort Lewis College app to meet new students on the Wall, have campus contact info at your fingertips, and be able to complete your daily symptom tracker.

THREE IMPORTANT TOOLS

theFort (thefort.fortlewis.edu)

Besides being a nickname for Fort Lewis, The FORT is a portal that contains icons or “buttons” that link you to all sorts of FLC functions.  It is the first place you should go when you need to do something—you can search anything from “parking pass” to “career services” and get the correct link right there.  At the top right of www.fortlewis.edu, go to Quick Links, and theFort is the last item in the “Current Students” column.

WebOpus (webopus.fortlewis.edu)

WebOpus is the web-based system we use for course registration, grading, and financial aid—and other highly secure functions and records. Explore the WebOpus system--you can do a course search, see your course schedule, and see your financial aid here.  You can find a link to WebOpus on theFort. 

Canvas (courses.fortlewis.edu)

Canvas is our web-based course platform.  It is used by your professors to organize your courses. Every FLC course has a Canvas “shell” where professors upload syllabi, assignments, and modules.  Professors also use it to send you course messages. If you are taking a completely online course, the complete course is organized in Canvas—you will “enter” your course and take it in Canvas.  You can find a link to Canvas on theFort.

Canvas sounds really important. How can I get trained on it?

Canvas is really easy to use—every student uses it for every course!  Here are two ways to get started:

  • Online Orientation this year takes place on Canvas and contains directions on Canvas. Please do your online orientation and you’ll start using Canvas that way!  When Online Orientation is ready, you'll receive an invitation in your email (the email comes from FLC Courses: Course Invitation) and a link will be added to our FLC Orientation page.

  • There is also a training course for students in Canvas.

  • Also, anytime you’re in Canvas, you can click on the Help icon on the left-hand menu.

It sounds like I need better tech. Can I rent a laptop for FREE?!?  (Yes, you can!!)

Most of your classes at FLC require access to a computer. In addition, in order to be prepared for all instructional possibilities—including a shift online like we experienced in 2020—we want all students to have access to high-functioning, well-equipped laptops.

If you do not already own a computer, it is highly recommended that you rent a laptop through our new “Technology Bundle” program, offered by FLC’s Information Technology Department. This very inexpensive program offers laptops for $100 a semester. Laptop rental fees can also be credited towards a future laptop purchase with IT. If that cost is still a little steep, we have financial support for any student that needs it, and there's a place to request that in the form below. Laptops are configured with software that will meet the demands of your FLC courses. Details for this new technology option, and a form to request yours, are available on our Technology Rental page.

What are the types of course formats available? 

We have several options for taking your spring courses, allowing you to create an individualized approach to the upcoming semester. Our goal is to help you stay on track and make progress towards your degree, while also making sure you feel safe and supported!  Our course instruction options are:

  • Online: Courses offered via the internet using Canvas. 100% of course activity is done online, with no required on-campus meetings. Online courses may include optional synchronous online meetings or assignments.
  • Live Online: Faculty and students meet synchronously via Zoom for all instructional hours; no in-person classroom meetings. Students must be prepared to meet online during all scheduled classroom times. Live Online courses hold most classes via Zoom, but can also include some alternative synchronous and asynchronous online course activity.
  • Hybrid: Combines face-to-face classroom instruction with distance education activities (25-85% required synchronous).
  • Hyflex: Course delivered with fully remote option(s) – synchronous or asynchronous – along with regularly scheduled face-to-face classes, allowing students to transition seamlessly between the two learning environments.
  • Lecture, Lab, or Studio Art: Regular in-person classroom (because of COVID this could be all students meeting together every day OR split classes with students meeting in-person on alternating days).

How do I see my schedule?

No matter how you’re taking classes, make sure to look at the latest version of your schedule to see the days, times, and locations of your classes. To view your schedule, login to WebOpus, then choose Student Services > Registration > Student Detailed Schedule.

Note: In-person and remote access courses will show up with a date and time. Online courses will show up with a TBD or TBA note at the bottom of your schedule.

How do I know the basics about each class?

Every class is required to post a syllabus, which is a summary of all assignments, policies, expectations, and information for a class. The syllabus for each class is posted in Canvas for that class.

How do I communicate with my professors?

Your professor’s contact information is located in the syllabus for the course. You can also use the Inbox feature in Canvas, or find contact information in the Directory.  

Do I need books for my classes?

Many classes require textbooks, but not all of them. To see if your classes require textbooks, go to www.skystorebooks.com, and scroll to the Textbook Lookup section. Then you can enter each course you’re taking, or enter your student ID number, to see the books needed for each course that you are taking. If books are required, you can order them directly from the site. You’ll be able to pick up the books in person, or have them shipped to you.