Northwest Shoals Community College
Steps for New Distance Education Students

1.  Complete an Application for Admission

A.  Apply online
(Official transcripts and photo ID are required. Please read the information at the above web address carefully before beginning the online application.)

B.  If you are a transient student taking a course that will transfer to the university that you are currently attending, you must request that a Transient Letter be sent to our Admissions Office. Send to or or mail to one of the following addresses: 

Admissions Office – Shoals Campus P.O. Box 2545 Muscle Shoals, AL 35661

Admissions Office – Phil Campbell Campus 2080 College Road Phil Campbell, AL 35581 

C.  Transfer students will need to forward all official transcripts of any college/university attended as well as an official high school transcript.

D.  First time freshman are required to forward an official high school transcript / GED certificate.

If you are a transient student with an approved transient letter on file at NWSCC, you do not have to speak to an advisor in order to register for class. You may contact the Admissions Office via phone at 256-331-5462 or 256-331-6219 to register.

(Transient students will not receive an NWSCC OneCard (Student ID). However, non-transient students will receive a OneCard by mail.

2.  Apply for Financial Aid 

A.  Application for Federal Student Aid is online at​​

B.  Visit the NWSCC Financial Aid Website for instructions on applying for aid. 

3.  Math or English Courses

Students who wish to take a Math or English distance course must meet required Accuplacer Score cutoff or have sufficient ACT scores. To schedule an appointment to take the Accuplacer test, please call 256-331-5482. Nonlocal students may take the Accuplacer exam at any college or university offering the exam and have the scores transferred to the NWSCC Admissions Office.

4.  Forward your official high school transcript or GED Certificate to the Admissions Office. 

​​You may choose to fax your transcript or GED Certificate to 256-331- 5366 (Shoals) or 256-331-6292 (Phil Campbell) or bring it to the Admissions Office on either campus.

5.  Register Online

Talk with an advisor to register online. If you have a transient letter on file, you do not have to speak with an advisor at NWSCC.  

​​A.  New students should contact the Advising Center. E-mail our Advising Center for assistance at

B.  Current students may contact their assigned advisor or the Advising Center. 

6.  Register for your courses either online or via phone.

Note: Advising Center may also assist with registration. 

A.  Online Registration: My NWSCC

B.  Phone: 256-331-5462
256-331-6249 (transient only)

7.  Pay for your course(s) or apply financial aid.

Call the Cashier’s Office and have your credit card and/or financial aid information ready. If you registered online, you should be able to pay online by applying your financial aid or by credit card. If you are a local student, you may also stop by the Cashier’s Office to pay during business hours. 

8.  Complete Virtual Learning Guide in Blackboard

(Your admissions application must be on file before you can complete the Virtual Learning Guide. You may complete this either at home or on campus at the Virtual Learning Center, Testing Center, or Library. Please allow 30-45 minutes to complete the orientation​​​.)

A.  Web address for online orientation:

Your Blackboard login is the same login that you use for your myNWSCC Banner Account.  Username is your NWSCC student email address.

9.  Pick up a parking decal for your vehicle and have a photo made for your student ID card.

​​Pick up a parking decal and have your photo made at the Student Success Center on the Shoals Campus or President’s Office at the Phil Campbell Campus. If you are using remote proctoring and will not be coming to campus, you will not need a parking decal and you may use your Driver’s License as a photo ID for testing purposes.

10.  Contact the bookstore to order the books for your course(s).

​​Visit the Bookstore website to purchase books online.

A.  You CAN charge books and supplies to your financial aid during the first week of class in the campus bookstore. 

B.  You cannot charge to your financial aid online. (You must pay for the books and wait for your financial aid refund.) 

C.  You cannot charge to financial aid in the bookstore prior to the first day of class.

11.  Check your computer for minimum technical requirements.

Minimum Technical Requirements:

  • PC Users: A well-working computer running Windows 8 or higher with 1024 MB of RAM or higher.
  • A PC is highly recommended.  However, most course may be completed on a Macbook.  Mac Users: A well-working computer running Mac OS X or higher.
  • A web cam with 640×480 video pixel resolution (web cams built into laptops or monitors are acceptable).
  • Headphones or working speakers connected to the computer.
  • A microphone connected to the computer (your web cam or laptop may already have one built into it).
  • A reliable high speed internet connection (minimum 768 Kbps/384 Kbps Download/Upload).
  • A web browser with Adobe Flash Player installed. Mozilla Firefox browser is recommended.
  • The ability to allow video and screen sharing connections to the computer used to take an exam.
  • A free Gmail account (required for SPH107). Create an account at

Test your computer requirements at

12.  Testing & Exams

The NWSCC Testing Center provides free on-campus test proctoring for local students. Distance students who are unable to take required exams at the campus Testing Center now have the option to use Respondus Monitor or ProctorU in most NWSCC courses.

A.  ProctorU is a service that allows you to have your exams remotely proctored from your home 24×7. Look for the ProctorU logo in your Moodle class. There is a fee for this service, and certain technical requirements. This service allows distance students the option to take their tests outside of regular Testing Center hours for most courses.

B.  Respondus Monitor is a remote testing service that records students using their webcams as they test and uses a LockDown Browser to lock students into the exam so that no other resources can be used.  If the instructor has Respondus Monitor applied to an exam, students will see the Proctor icon on the exam in Blackboard and will be prompted to install/load the LockDown Browser when starting the exam.

C.  The NWSCC Distance Education Office will work with you to find a test proctor at another college or university testing center near where you are located (Note: Although we will attempt to locate a college that does not charge a test proctoring fee, there may be fees associated with test proctoring. Students will be responsible for these fees.)  Dual enrollment students may test at their school with a teacher or counselor.

13.  Activate your student e-mail. 

You will receive important communication about registration, financial aid and your classes on your student e-mail. You should check it several times a week for updates. You can also install and use a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 using the install option within your student email account. 

A.  To find your NWSCC email address, log into your myNWSCC account, and click the Student Email link.

B.  Once you have your email address, click the Campus Email link on the NWSCC website homepage.

C.  Click Student Email

D.  Click log into Student Email

E.  Your username will be your email address, and your default password is “!NWS” followed by your six-digit birthdate. (ex. !NWS020976)

If you have trouble with your email, call Amber Morgan at 256-331-5453. 

14.  Begin your course work!

Log into Blackboard to access your classes! If your course is not showing in Blackboard, please e-mail

You will find Blackboard on the NWSCC homepage.

Contact Information: 

Distance Education Office

​Amber Morgan, Instructional Designer


Dr. Christy Shepard, Dean of Instructional Technology and Information Systems


Visit the Virtual Learning webpage