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. 

Orientation for new first year and transfer students is Sunday, August 23. Classes for the Fall 2020 semester start on Monday, August 24!

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 both Online Orientation and In-Person 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 find your Orientation group and schedule.

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!  You have received an invitation to Orientation in your email (the email comes from FLC Courses: Course Invitation) and a link is on our FLC Orientation page: https://www.fortlewis.edu/orientation
  • There is also a training system for students in Canvas: https://courses.fortlewis.edu/courses/6805
  • 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 this past spring—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. This fall, that cost can be covered by the CARES Act Relief Fund--and it does not impact your financial aid.  Laptop rental fees can also be credited towards a future laptop purchase with IT.  Laptops are configured with software that will meet the demands of your FLC courses. Details for this new technology option are available on our Technology Rental page (www.fortlewis.edu/tech-rental).

What are the types of course formats available? 

We have three options for taking your fall 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 fall options are:

  • In-person courses:  Your fall in-person classes have been structured to follow strict safety protocols.  All classes have been capped at a smaller size and then placed in a larger classroom.  We are following mandatory physical distancing, mask-wearing, and classroom cleaning.  In addition, saying true to FLC's adventurous spirit, classes will take advantage of our beautiful campus and meet outside--we will be holding classes in six "tent classrooms" this fall!
  • Online courses:  These classes have been designed for the entire class to be taken fully online, using technology including our Canvas course system. These classes will not meet in person at all, for any students. They are asynchronous classes, meaning they don’t meet at a certain time, but there will be weekly assignments, readings, quizzes, and exams, all posted in Canvas. You may also participate in peer discussion in Canvas. Typically, assignments are due weekly, so make sure to check the course syllabus and the weekly module in Canvas to ensure you don’t miss any important course information.
  • Remote access courses:  These courses are taught in-person, but allow students to take them remotely. This means that some students will be taking the class in a classroom, and others will be taking it online. These classes are synchronous, meaning they meet at a specific time each week. (Note, if you are taking a course through remote access, and live in a different time zone than Colorado, make sure to adjust for that timing! Colorado is in the Mountain Standard Time Zone.) Students will use Zoom to access the classroom, complete course components online, and fulfill assignments online. These courses offer a new flexible format – and students taking them need to be flexible as they learn how the professor will manage their remote learning.  These courses will use technology including Zoom and Canvas.

How will my professor know if I am online or remote access?

If your course is fully online (and marked as online in your WebOpus schedule), it does not offer an in-person version. Your professor will know you are taking it online because everyone is! The online course will be taught through Canvas, so look for information in Canvas about getting started! 

If your in-person course has a remote access option, it is also being taught in person. Feel free to reach out directly to your professor via email to explain your remote plans; also look for an email or Canvas message from your professor about course planning. 

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. 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.