How does Essential Start work?

Essential start is composed of several modules, each with several pages of content and a quiz. As you complete each module, the next one will appear. In the last module, you will find the Essential Start survey. We ask students to complete this survey as we make adjustments to the Essential Start course based on student feedback. 

Students accepting financial aid must complete the final module titled, "Financial Aid & Entrance Counseling". For students who are not using financial aid, the "Financial Aid & Entrance Counseling" module is optional.

Congratulations, you are now done! You can confirm this by clicking on "Toolbox" and "Awards" in Brightspace. You should have a badge titled, "Essential Start". If you believe you have completed the course and do not see the badge, please contact the eLearning Department for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can return to Essential Start in Brightspace and click on the Content link at the top of the page. The modules you have completed will have a check mark, just click on the first module without a check mark to pick up where you left off. If stopped in the middle of the self assessment, there is a 'Stop and Return later' button at the top of the page.

If you believe you've finished Essential Start but have not received the Essential Start badge, do the following:

  1. click on Content in the Essential Start course and make sure that you have viewed all of the Content topics.
  2. Click on Toolbox > Assignments or Dropbox and make sure there is a number, other than zero, in the "Submissions" field.
  3. Click on Communications > Discussions and make sure you have posted a new thread and replied to another student's thread. 
  4. Click on Toolbox > Quizzes and make sure you have completed all of the quizzes. (If you are not utilizing financial aid, the "Financial Aid & Entrance Counseling" module and quiz are optional.)
  5. If everything was completed and you still have not received the Essential Start badge, please contact the eLearning Department by:
Essential Start is required for all new students at Great Falls College MSU. If you have taken online classes before this should be relatively easy and quick foryou, and you will learn about support resources specific to GFC MSU.

Dual enrollment students are not currently required to take Essential Start, however, participation is encouraged. Essential Start teaches students how to use our learning management system, Brightspace, as well as educating students about the support resources available to them at GFC MSU. 

No, if you are currently only enrolled in courses through Lifelong Learning you do not need to register for Essential Start. Lifelong Learning courses do not currently use Brightspace to deliver content and the support resources available to Lifelong Learning students are different than the resources available to our degree seeking students enrolled in "for credit" courses offered through the GFC MSU course catalog.

If you have any questions that have not been addressed on this page, please direct them to the eLearning Department by: 

 

Continuing students who need a Brightspace refresher can view the videos located at http://elearning.gfcmsu.edu/students/videotutorials.html.