Staying Connected With Your Students

Staying Connected With Your Students

Throughout the term, you will need to communicate with your learners. Depending upon your instructional modality,  there are many ways to do this. For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on email.

Student Email

All JCC students have a Google-based email account. Through many different points of contact (orientations, student success seminars, syllabi, and in class briefings), they have been told that this is an account they should regularly check. It is the account you should be using when sending messages to students.

Their account is their username and “”, for example,

Perhaps the easiest way to send an email to students is through the Blackboard course email tool. Every course (face-to-face, hyrbid, or online) has an associated Blackboard course. You can access Blackboard at  or Here are instructions for using the Blackboard email tool:

Faculty Course Email Account

Presently, the email address listed in the Blackboard site for all JCC community members (faculty, staff, and students) is the Google-based account. When a student uses the Blackboard email tool to send you a message, it will go to this account, e.g., It will be the same email system currently used by all students. With it, you can store, sort, and manage all your student and course.

  1. Your email address is (i.e. Your password is the same one you use for Blackboard, the WiFi, or a classroom podium computer.
  2. To access this JCC email address, log into the JCC Portal at

The Google-based account will only occur in Blackboard and here is why:

  • Until recently, some adjunct faculty had a JCC email account while others did not. There was no consistency. Since the beginning of the year, all adjunct are assigned the address. We are currently working through this transition.
  • All your student and course email messages will be contained in its own system for easy archiving and retrieval.
  • As you increase your familiarity with the same email system used by students, you will also have immediate access to Google Drive, Docs, and other Google applications.

How to Not Miss a Message

I understand that not all of you want to access a separate email system. With one simple update, you could have all the email from the Google email system forwarded to your current email account. I will provide you with instructions showing how to do that.  If you have not forwarded your email, you may consider doing this as soon as possible. We have received reports of faculty not receiving messages from students only to find them in the Google-based email system.

Here are some steps you should take to ensure you are getting all your email:

Recommendations for Your Syllabus

In your syllabus, you may want to point students directly to your address rather than your address. Remember, the Google-powered email address can be a great archive of your student interactions.

You may also want to encourage students to regularly check their JCC email account.

Where You Can Learn More

Brush up on the Google email account as well as the other Google applications with some LinkedIn Learning courses. These applications can be used quite effectively in the classroom. You can also access LinkedIn Learning by going to and selecting the LinkedIn Learning link.

Here are some suggestions:

If you have questions about your email account or how you can use Blackboard to facilitate communication with your students, please contact me.

Stan Skrabut, Ed.D.

Stan is Director of Technology-Enhanced Instruction. He has over 20 years experience working as an instructional technologist and trainer. He has a master’s degree in computing technology in education and a doctorate in education specializing in instructional technology.

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