Accessible Online Orientation

Student Orientation


Degrees and Certificates


Student Services

Technology at HCC


Get Involved



Welcome to online orientation at Highland Community College. This presentation will give you information about Highland so that you can be a successful student from the very first day of class. We will introduce you to the technology available at Highland, the certificates and degrees offered, the academic advising and career services offices, the admissions department, as well as a variety of other important campus resources.

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Degrees and Certificates

Highland Community College offers a variety of programs for our students. Some students come to HCC to earn an Associate of Arts or Associate of  Science degree in order to transfer to a four-year institution. We have agreements with all public universities in Illinois to make the transfer process as seamless as possible. At these institutions, a student with an Associate of Arts or Science degree would enter as a junior, having met all general education course requirements at HCC already. Similar agreements are also in place with some private institutions in Illinois as well as the University of Wisconsin – Platteville.

Some students come to Highland to gain career or technical skills. These students would find our Associate of Applied Science and Certificate programs to be the best way to achieve their goals. Highland offers career programs in accounting, nursing, medical assisting, and wind turbine technology, just to name a few. All of these programs are designed with some general courses, such as English and math, but focus primarily on the skills necessary for a graduate to be successful in the work place.

Highland also offers an Associate of General Studies degree, which is a good fit for students who are looking to obtain an associate degree for personal development, but who are not pursuing a bachelor’s degree after HCC.

HCC offers three specific types of programs:

  • Transfer Degrees (Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Engineering Science and Associate of Arts in Teaching)
    • Designed to allow a graduate to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a Bachelors degree.
  • Associate of General Studies
    • Designed for students who are interested in personal development
  • Associate of Applied Science and Certificates
    • Designed for students to complete in one to four semesters and go directly into the workforce.

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Highland Community College has an open admissions policy. This means that if you want to become a student here and further your education or training, you simply need to follow a few steps toward becoming a student. First, you will want to fill out an application, which can be done online or on paper. You will also need to have your high school or GED transcripts sent to Highland as well as transcripts from other colleges you have attended. Transcripts are an important part of helping you to start your college career in the right courses. For example, if you have successfully completed two semesters geometry in high school with a C or better, we’ll need your transcripts to show that you’ve met this requirement for graduation.

After your application has been completed, you’ll want to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which has to be done online and will require your income tax information as well as your parents’ information if you are considered a dependent student. The information completed on this application is used to determine what types of financial aid you may be eligible for. The most common type of aid is the federal PELL Grant, which is money the government provides to qualifying students for attending school.  The link on the screen will take you to the FAFSA website.  In addition to the FAFSA, there are three other additional financial aid forms that Highland requires. These can be found on the financial aid page on HCC’s website. Even if you think you may not qualify for financial aid, you should fill out the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for other types of aid. There are, for example, scholarships available at Highland Community College that may require you to complete the FAFSA. 

Next you will need to take the placement test, which is offered on a walk-in basis. In the Student Services office, which is located on the first floor of the Student/Conference Center, building H, you can start the test as early as 8:30 a.m. and as late as 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays you can also start anywhere from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in our new Testing Center, which is located on the first floor of the Marvin-Burt Liberal Arts Center, building M. After your placement test is complete, your results will be made available to you immediately.

Finally, the last step to getting started as a student at HCC is meeting with your student advisor. We highly encourage you to work with your advisor every semester when you register for classes, but before you meet with your advisor, there are a few things you’ll need to do to be prepared. First, call to make an appointment. Let the person scheduling the appointment know why you want to meet with your advisor and any other specific information that you think might help your advisor also prepare for your meeting. Then be sure to consider what courses you have taken, what courses you need to take, and what you might want your schedule to look like for the upcoming semester. This can be done online before your appointment and can help your advisor to work with you about more than simply scheduling courses.

Regardless of where you are in this process, the checklist below can help you successfully complete all of the steps in becoming a student at HCC.

1.Complete the HCC Online Application and send official high school and other college transcripts to Highland before you want to register.

2. Complete your Free Application for Student Aid, FAFSA, online at to determine financial aid status. This can be done as early as January 1st as soon as you have your income tax information.

3. Complete the three additional financial aid forms required for HCC, which can be found in the Financial Aid office or online.

4. Complete all scholarship applications available to you at HCC and/or your high school or town foundation. Typically available at HCC on February 1, most are due April 1st.

5. Placement testing

Math – 23 or above

English – 22 or above

Reading – 20 or above

6. Work with a Student Advisor

  • Call 815.599.3573 to make an appointment
  • Prepare for the meeting by looking at our online catalog
  • Course Offerings – look for classes you need and what you think will work best for your schedule

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Student Services

Student advisors at HCC are here to help you reach your academic goals whether it is a short certificate or a transfer degree.  Selecting the appropriate courses can help you stay on track to graduation, and the advisors are knowledgeable about transferring credits, determining appropriate credit course load, enrolling you in the right courses, and exploring majors if you are undecided on your future plans. 

Academic Advising – located in Building H, Student Conference Center, First Floor  815.599.3573

  • Assistance with getting started at HCC including application, placement testing, course selection,  exploring careers and majors
  • For Fall registration, begin calling March or later
  • For Spring registration begin calling September or later
  • For Summer registration begin calling November or later

Your student advisor is assigned to you based on your major. To find your advisor, click on the link at the top of this slide to see a list of our majors and programs with a corresponding advisor. As a new student, you may not initially work with the advisor that directly oversees your program, but all of our advisors are trained to work with students in all of our majors.

If you find an advisor who seems to be a best fit with you, please continue to use that advisor. Ultimately, the advisors want you to be able to find someone who can help you achieve your goals. We do not require advising at HCC, but we do strongly encourage it so that you are able to not only take the correct courses, but also develop as a student.

Here is how to find your advisor:

  • By Your Major – this link will take you to a list of our majors and the corresponding advisor. Each advisor is trained to work with all of the majors, but also specialize with a portion of our programs.
  • By Appointment/Walk-in – when you first start as a student, you may see an advisor who is first available or has walk-in hours after you take your placement test.
  • If is ultimately your choice when it comes to which advisor you feel most comfortable with and who can best help you to achieve your goals.

Another important resource on campus is Career Services, which is also located on the first floor of the Student/Conference Center, building H, and has a wealth of information regarding careers, such as books, DVDs and flyers on job postings. The staff offers a variety of career-related services including assistance with resumes, skills and interest assessments, and one-on-one advising with our Coordinator of Career Services. Contact the Career Services department at the phone number listed for more information about this valuable resource available at Highland.

  • Career Services– located in Building H, Student Conference Center, First Floor  815.599.3536
  • Student worker applications
  • Computers for resume building or career searching
  • Information on current job listings
  • Career advising including career assessments

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Technology at HCC

Highland Community College has a variety software programs that important for you to know how to use. You can login to many of these programs on or off campus by using the easy login feature on Highland’s website. Begin by opening a new browser window and going to or begin by clicking on the link on this page. Next, click on the light blue login circle access the single login page.


  • Single login for Moodle, GroupWise, NetStorage, and Elluminate.
  • Username example:  jbdoe
  • Initial password example: 010192


Online courses at Highland Community College use a program called MOODLE to deliver their content; however, Moodle is often used for face-to-face classes as well, so knowing how to use it can be beneficial to any student at HCC. Instructors may post PowerPoint presentations, lectures or notes, video or audio clips, documents related to class, homework assignments, quizzes, and exams in Moodle. An instructor may also use Moodle to post your grades so that you can keep track of your progress in class or see any missing work that you may have. Access to MOODLE is available on HCC’s website through the login portal or on campus through the through the network.

  • Used for delivery of online classes
  • Utilized for face-to-face classes also
  • What might be posted in Moodle?
    • PowerPoint presentations
    • Lectures or notes
    • Video or audio clips
    • Documents related to class
    • Homework assignments
    • Quizzes or exams
    • Class grade  


GroupWise is the software program used to access your student e-mail account at HCC.  The format of your e-mail address is  It is very important to check this e-mail account regularly as this is the only account to which HCC departments and faculty will send e-mails. You will also receive important email reminders about dates and deadlines as well information about events and activities happening on campus. Access to GroupWise is available on HCC’s website through the login portal or on campus through the network.

  • Software program used to access your student email account
  • Email address format:
    • EX:
  • Information from your instructors
  • Deadline reminders
  • Events and activities on campus


At Highland Community College, you are given space on our computer network to save your files. This space is called your Home drive or H-drive, and it can be accessed on campus in any of the computer labs. You can also access your files off campus through a program called NetStorage. With NetStorage, you can download your files, edit them, and upload them directly back to your H-drive. NetStorage eliminates the need to use flash or jump drives, which can be easily lost. Access to NetStorage is available on HCC’s website through the login portal.

  • For more information on Moodle, GroupWise, and NetStorage, please visit the website listed below.
  • Network space called your Home or H drive.
  • Access your files anywhere on campus
  • Access your files from home using NetStorage
  • Download, edit, and upload files
  • Eliminate the need for flash or jump drives

For more information on Moodle, GroupWise, and NetStorage, please visit


Back on the login page, you can also access ROAR, your online student account at Highland.

First and foremost, ROAR is used for registration each semester. You will begin the registration process by looking up classes on the semester schedule. Click on the first link for step-by-step instructions on how to look up classes.

Once you have made a list of the classes you wish to take, you can then register for those classes as long as registration is available. Please see the academic calendar in the college catalog for registration dates. For instruction on how to register for classes, click on the second link.

If you need to request an academic transcript for yourself, you can do so through your ROAR account. Click on the third link for instructions on requesting a transcript through ROAR.

Finally, if you want to check your progress on your degree, then you can also run a degree evaluation through your ROAR account. Click on the last link for more information.

Online Bill Pay

Once you have registered for classes, you will need to secure your classes by completing one of three payment options. You can pay your tuition and fees in full, have your financial aid in place and qualify for full financial aid, or if you still have a balance due after financial has been applied or if you don’t qualify for financial aid, you can set up a payment plan through your online bill pay account. For information about the bill payment system, please visit the website listed here or talk with a Student Information Specialist in the admissions office on the second floor of the Student/Conference Center.

  • In order to secure your classes, complete one of the following 3 payment options by your deadline date:
  • Pay your tuition and fees in full
  • Be eligible for full financial aid
  • Set up a payment plan through your online bill pay account
  • For more information about online bill payment options and payment deadline dates, visit

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There are so many resources available to you as a Highland Community College Student. One of those great resources is Project Succeed, a grant funded program that provides additional support to low income, disabled, or first generation college students. If you qualify for Project Succeed, you can just stop by their offices in Building M to fill out an application for the program, which offers tuition free courses, help with tutoring, a space to work on homework, and other services. Three advisors work in this program and help hundreds of students each year achieve their academic goals.

Another great resource that you are encouraged to take advantage of is our Success Center, where you can get free tutoring for any class. There is walk-in tutoring for math, chemistry, and English as well as assistance from our full-time English faculty who work in our writing center. If there is a class that you want extra help in, talk with the Success Center staff, and they will do whatever they can to find a tutor. This is an amazing service that you don’t have to pay for, and it is available starting the first week of the semester. Do not be afraid to ask for help! The Success Center also has computer tutorial programs for various math topics and houses our ADA Services department. ADA Services is constantly working to create an accessible college community where individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of the educational environment.  Services are to promote independence and offer reasonable and appropriate accommodations.  The Coordinator of Disability Services can be reached at 815-599-3605.

  • Project Succeed
    • This grant funded program provides extra support and assistance to low-income, disabled, or first generation college students.
    • Peer Mentoring is available
    • Located in Building M on the first floor
  • Success Center
    • Tutoring – can be for any course you might need help with, includes a writing center, math tutors and chemistry tutors every semester
    • Disability Services is constantly working to create an accessible college community where individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of the educational environment.  Services are to promote independence and offer reasonable and appropriate accommodations. 

The Clarence Mitchell Library is located on the second floor of the Marvin-Burt Liberal Arts Center, building M. As an HCC student, you will have access to thousands of resources, many of which are available electronically. Also, the library staff can assist you with your research needs through their Rx for research sessions designed to help students become effective researchers. For more information about the library and its services, please visit their website.

  • Clarence Mitchell Library, located on the 2nd floor of the Marvin-Burt Liberal Arts Center (Building M)
    • Research assistance
    • Rx for Research sessions (topics change weekly)
    • 70,000 books and audio books
    • 70,000 new eBooks
    • Member of PrairieCat consortium of 70 sharing libraries
    • Interlibrary loan available for items not in PrairieCat
    • Hundreds of journal articles
    • Browsing collection of print journals
    • Computer lab
    • Study tables and comfortable chairs
    • Quiet atmosphere
  • For more information, visit the library’s website

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Get Involved

  • What you get out of your time at HCC is up to you, but there are a lot of great opportunities to get involved!
  • Clubs and Organizations
    • Contact the advisors of any of these organizations to get more information
  • Work on Campus
    • fill out a student worker application in Student Services on the first floor of building H

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