Before you can take online curriculum course at Gaston College, you must follow the admissions and testing process and register for courses.

Once you have completed the admissions, testing, and registration process; you should activate your Gaston College email account. This is the email account that the College and your instructor will use to communicate with you throughout your Blackboard course.

Getting Started

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You may be able to log into Blackboard before the first day of class, but your online and hybrid courses will not be visible until the very first day of each semester. Supplemental or web-assisted courses might not be visible until after the first class meeting. Do not be alarmed if you do not see some of your courses available in Blackboard the first day of the semester.

Usernames are created using the name that you used when you originally registered at Gaston College.  Your initial password is GC# plus your individual 7-digit student id number (for example, GC#0123456). Your student id number is found in Web Advisor. All passwords are managed through the Gaston College Student Password Management System. (Do not use Internet Explorer as your browser to access the Student Password Management System.)

NOTE: In the event that the college web site is down, you can type the following URL into the address bar located at the top of your browser window to access the Blackboard server: https://gcvlc.blackboard.com. You should bookmark this site in your browser.

Distance Education Essentials

The document below is intended to give students who are new to an online learning environment a brief introduction to issues and skills involved in becoming successful as a distance learner.

Online learning may be referred to by several different titles, including:

  • Distance education
  • Distributed education
  • Online education
  • Online learning
  • E-learning
  • Web-based education

However you or your instructors choose to refer to it, this environment offers unique challenges and unique opportunities. As you read through this introduction, begin to anticipate how these issues may impact you and how you learn. These ideas are not “magic bullets” that can transform you into a model student overnight. Rather, they help to point out common situations faced by online learners. Some may help you formulate your own strategies and practices. Others may not be relevant to your situation. Some will introduce you to the unique environment of online learning through Gaston College. Our hope is that this guide will make you more aware of the experience you are about to have, and provide some guidance on how you can best adjust to it.

Gaston College’s Distance Education Essentials