Information for Returning Online Students

All of the information contained on this page is important, so please read through it carefully. It may seem lengthy, but we've tried to make it as succinct as possible. Here's what you need to know to get started:

I. Your NetID Username and NetID Password

Your NetID is an identifier that you can use to access the University's online resources, which includes Blackboard. So, your Blackboard username is your NetID and your Blackboard password is your NetID password. Your NetID information is maintained in SOLAR. Log into SOLAR and click the "NetID Maintenance" link at the top under Security and Personal Data" to set or change your password.

In the NetID Maintenance Section of SOLAR you'll find:

  • Your NetID is supplied for you (look on the right side of the screen). It is a combination of your first intial and last name.
  • Your NetID password is something that you need to create. Instructions for changing your NetID password can be found on the Client Support Website. Be advised that your NetID password expires every six months,so if you took a course last semester, your password may have already expired. You can test your NetID password in SOLAR to see if it is still operational. If it is invalid in SOLAR, it won't work in Blackboard.

II. Blackboard and Your Online Course

As a returning student, you know that your online course is conducted via Blackboard. If you are a PC user, we strongly suggest you use Firefox or the latest version of Internet Explorer. If you are a Mac user, you should use Safari or Firefox.

To access your course and prepare for the coming term, please do the following:

Step 1: Access Blackboard at and enter your (NetID) username and (NetID) password.

Step 2: Click on the “My Institution” tab and verify your email address in “Personal Information” under the “TOOLS” menu. Your instructor will use this address to contact you, if necessary.

Step 3: Visit "SPD Online Support" (under "My Courses") in Blackboard and read through the mandatory pre-semester checklist and important administrative information.

Step 4: Check into your course(s) and read your syllabus.  You should take steps to procure your books prior to the start of class. Also, be sure to post an introduction in the Discussion Board on or before the first day of class.

Need Help?

  • Blackboard Tutorials:Blackboard on demand hosts short videos that demonstrate how to use the various features of your course.
  • Technical Questions (signing into or using Blackboard, SOLAR, email, etc.):
  • Course Content Questions: Contact your instructor either via email or from within your Blackboard course.  
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