Last edited by Edward A. Bachmann 7 months ago

Frequently Asked Questions

Is eLearning right for me?

Generally speaking, online students must be:

  • Self-motivated. With no regular class meetings or regular contact with your instructor in a traditional classroom, successful eLearners have to rely on themselves to ensure their work gets done.
  • Willing and able to invest time. eLearning classes are as demanding as traditional, campus-based classes, so you should expect to make the same time commitment.
  • Organized. You must be responsible for your own work, schedule, and deadlines.
  • Comfortable with technology. Because eLearning relies entirely on various forms of technology, you should have good computer skills and be prepared to learn new skills or technologies.
  • Independent and assertive. To be successful, eLearners must be willing to speak up when they need help, and be able to take charge of their education.

In a nutshell, to be successful at eLearning, you must honestly assess your ability to learn independently, organize your time and be very comfortable using and learning about computer and web-based technologies and applications.

If you still have questions about online learning, you might consider taking our SmarterMeasure survey that's designed to help you answer some of your questions about eLearning.  Follow this link to take the SmarterMeasure Survey (opens in a new window).

How do I register for online classes?

Register for your eCampus class the same way you would register for classes at the Puyallup and/or Fort Steilacoom campuses. For your convenience, you can apply for admissions, register and pay for your classes online. Follow the link below to visit the Pierce College Admissions website.

Link to the Pierce College Website ( opens a new window )


What's the difference between Pierce eCampus and Military Online program?

Classes offered through Pierce eCampus follow the Pierce quarterly system, and generally require regular check-ins and  participation in the online classroom environment. Classes offered through the military online program are structured on a continuous entry basis and may, or may not involve classroom participation.

Pierce eLearning does not offer technical or registration support to students taking classes through the military online program. If you are enrolled in military online programs, you should contact the Joint Base Lewis-McChord education centers for support. For more information about the military online programs follow this link to Pierce College Military Programs (opens in a new window)

When do online classes start?

The first day of instruction for each quarter is posted in the Pierce College Academic Calendar. Online courses begin the same day as face-to-face courses.

What is Week Zero?

You can log into your eCampus classes as early as one week before the quarter starts. We commonly refer to this time period as Week ZERO. During Week Zero, students are able to get into class to test their computer settings and resolve any technical issues that might come up. Depending on how your instructor has designed your course area, you may also be able to

  • view and/or download the syllabus,
  • read and respond to messages in your Inbox,
  • post and reply to others in an introductory discussion forum
  • complete a course orientation activity

In general, Week Zero is for you to get an early start in learning about your instructor, your classmates, your course and the Canvas classroom.

Getting Started in Pierce eCampus

Will I be notified when classes start?

Students enrolled in online classes will receive an email notification to their Pierce student email (SMAIL) accounts on the day Week ZERO begins and one day before the start of the quarter. Get your SMAIL setup at your MyPierce Website


How do I get to the Pierce eCampus and log in?

The address to the Pierce eCampus login page is:

In the area at the top-right of this page, which we call the Help corner, you can click the Login link.  A link to the "eCampus login" is also available on the Pierce eLearning website



What information do I need to log in?

You will need your Pierce Student ID number and a password to login. If you are logging into eCampus for the first time, your default password is the first 6 characters of your last name.  Look for and follow the prompts inside of the User ID and Password fields. Once you've logged in, you will be reminded to change your default password to a new, complex password (see tips in the tutorial provided). Once you have created a new password, you can reset it as often as you like. When you return in later quarters, the password will still be the one you set. If you forget the password you've set, use the "Don't know your password?" link on the Login page.  Be sure to enter your Pierce SMAIL account and then look for a message from Help Center containing a link to the reset prompts.


What if my login information doesn't work?   

    1. Double-check that the CapsLock on your keyboard is not on. Then check that you haven't accidentally typed your information wrong. (Reminder: If you've changed your password in a previous quarter at Pierce, it will "stick" and should continue to be used until you change it again!
    2. If your login is still not working, click the 'Don't know your password?' link and verify that you have an eCampus account by entering your student email (SMAIL) information.
    3. If that checks out, verify that you're enrolled for the current quarter by checking your schedule.
    4. Immediately contact Registration if you're not enrolled in a class that you should be in. You might have registered for a different program e.g. Military Online and need to login at a different Web address.


Who do I contact if I need help?

That depends on the type of support you need. If you experience technical issues with the Pierce eCampus during regular business hours, contact the eLearning office for help.


Phone: (253) 964-6244

If you need help after-hours, click the 'Help' link in the top right corner of the eCampus site to access the pop-up list of options, including a quick-message form to your instructor, the Canvas Guides and tutorials. If you can get an answer with either of those, click the 'Report a Problem' link to generate a Help ticket. Help tickets will receive a response from the eLearning support staff early the next business day.

If you need help that is related to the content or expectations of a class you are enrolled in, contact your professor for help.