Information Technology - Getting Started Guide for Students

This guide is intended to help new and returning students with common tasks that are necessary at the beginning of each term. 

Information Technology Commons

The Information Technology Commons (or just the “Tech Commons” for short) is a division of the Office of Information Technology. We are your contact for help for IT, technical, and account issues. If you don't find what you need in this guide, please contact us directly. During the regular term, we are open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Our hours may vary during the summer, over breaks, and on holidays, so please refer to our website for updates. You can reach us outside of our open office hours by leaving a voice mail message or sending an email; one of our staff will get back to you as soon as possible.

Information Technology Commons
139 Library

As the new semester approaches, our goal in the Office of Information Technology is to offer the highest level of service possible to support the technology needs of Fairmont State students while maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all. 

To achieve that goal — and to comply with current university requirements and public health recommendations — our on-campus IT support services will be modified for fall 2020. While walk-in options are more limited this semester, we have measures in place to ensure that students can get the help they need when they need it.

The Tech Commons will continue to provide support online via email and live chat at and over the phone at 304-367-4810. Tech Commons staff will still serve as your primary resource for help with accounts, software support, information about the status of IT services, and more; so if you have an IT question, start with us!

In-person computer support, if necessary, will be available on a limited basis. Walk-in computer support can be provided, to one person in the office at a time, for more complicated issues. If you don't have time to wait in line, we recommend you contact us using the methods listed above.

Your account

Your Fairmont State student account will work for all student access. Once activated, you will use your username and password to

  • connect to campus wireless,
  • log in to your myFairmontState portal,
  • access computers in classrooms and labs on campus,
  • use campus software from home via the cloud,
  • and utilize library resources.

To activate your account, please follow the instructions here.

Accessing the network

One of the first things you'll want to do is access the campus network.  Your devices must be specifically configured to access our student wireless network, Student. For the short-term, you should be able to connect to wireless using the Guest network to get immediate connectivity. Each dorm room also has an Ethernet port for each student. You will get faster, and more reliable, connectivity through a wired connection than through wireless. 

For the best wireless experience, please configure your devices to use Fairmont_State as soon as possible.

If you bring your devices (laptops, tablets, phones) to our office, we will help you set them up on the wireless network. If you are having problems accessing your accounts or email, we can help you with that as well.

MyFairmontstate Portal

The MyFairmontstate Portal (available from the institution’s web site) is your gateway to online student resources. Here you will be able to access all online student resources (email, Blackboard, Library, FELiX, etc.) with a single logon as well as receive important news and announcements. 

Your Fairmont State student username and password will work for all student access. 

Your first week

Following are things you should check, read, and verify are working as soon as possible. This will ensure you are aware of policies, where to find important information, and how to get help when needed.

Acceptable Use Policy

Please take a few minutes to read the Acceptable Use Policy. This document explains what constitutes acceptable, and inappropriate, use of campus computing and network resources.

Forgotten Passwords

Please verify that you are able to log in to your student account. You can reset your password by following directions here. If you can't remember your hint question and answer, please call or come to the Tech Commons for assistance.


Blackboard is the online course management and instruction system used by faculty and students.  Most classes have an online component that allows students to access grades, calendars, assignments, tests, quizzes and discussion boards. The Tech Commons provides full support to students needing assistance with this system.

Are you registered for a class that does not appear in Blackboard? Or, have you dropped a class that still displays in Blackboard? First, make sure what you are registered for in Felix is correct. If not, please contact Enrollment Services for assistance. If Felix is correct and Blackboard is not, contact the Tech Commons for help. 

Do you need assistance using Blackboard? The Information Technology Commons has Blackboard reference material for students. If you still need assistance or have questions, please contact the Tech Commons directly.

Emergency Notifications

Please take a few minutes to sign up for emergency notifications. You can receive messages by phone, email, or text.

We use this service only to announce campus closures and delays, usually due to inclement weather, and distribute emergency notifications. Notifications are also posted to the institution's web page and as announcements to the MyFairmontstate portal.

Falcon ID Card

Your ID card is your official Fairmont State University identification. It is required for the following:

  • Library services
  • Recreation "Falcon" Center
  • Door access
  • Campus activities and athletic events
  • Retail and Food purchases (with Falcon Dollar prepaid balance)
  • Printing (with Falcon Dollar prepaid balance)

You can add Falcon Dollars to your card by visiting the ID Card Web Portal, where your Falcon Dollars are applied in real time for immediate use! (convenience charges apply)

Other Services

"Cloud" Computing

The library lab software can be accessed via our cloud environment. You can log into the cloud from many different types of devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and even smart phones from anywhere on or off campus.  We can help you get this access setup on your device.

Open Computer Labs

There are computer labs on campus that are open for general student use.  You can work on your course assignments, check your email, or just surf the internet. There are open access computers throughout the library, and the computer lab on the ground floor comes complete with a Starbucks that offers a variety of beverages and snacks. The Falcon Center also has open access computers located on the 3rd floor across from the Cafeteria.

Internet Access

We provide wireless internet connectivity from anywhere on campus. In addition to the wireless access, the residence halls have wired network ports in each room.  Of course, all internet access is free of charge.


FELIX (which is short for Falcon Electronic Information eXchange)  provides you access to your student records and information. You will use FELIX to receive your grade reports, view your academic history, pay your tuition and fees, schedule your classes, etc.

MS Office 365 and Email

All students are provided with a free online Office 365 account. This account provides an email account, online storage, as well as access to the various online MS Office 365 applications (i.e. MS Word, MS Excel, etc.) which are all conveniently accessed from a single interface, available wherever and whenever you need it. Your Fairmont State email account will be used for all official communication from the institution. To access your email, please follow the instructions here. The Tech Commons can assist you with issues regarding your email account.

Gaming Consoles

We provide free internet connectivity in the Residence Halls for the XBox, Nintendo, and PlayStation game consoles.

Anti-virus Software

We highly recommend that everyone use an active Anti-Virus Protection software. You can purchase these yourself or use one of the free options. Windows 7 operating system comes equipped with MS Security Essentials.  If your computer uses Windows 8 and up, we recommend activating MS Windows Defender. If you have questions or need assistance with setting up this software on your computer, please contact the Tech Commons.

We also assist in the removal of viruses and other malware from your personal computer.

New Computer Purchase Recommendations

For windows-based desktops and laptops we recommend a minimum of an Intel Dual Core 2.7 ghz or comparable processor.  For Macintosh systems we recommend a Mac Pro for a desktop and a Macbook for a laptop. All systems should have at least 4 gb of RAM and a 250 gb hard drive.

Students can also take advantage of great discounts on both hardware and software. The discounts can be substantial, especially on the software purchases.  Visit the Current Students section of the web site.