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Rasmussen University Online Library
Rasmussen University Online Library

First-Generation College Student Guide

Download Microsoft Office!

   Step 1: Download Microsoft Office!

Visit this FAQ to get started.  Microsoft Office download for Rasmussen students

New Students: What to Expect

Why have you made the choice to earn your degree?
My career--to get a promotion, a better job: 1874 votes (50.68%)
It's all about my family!--to provide for them: 1198 votes (32.4%)
I believe in lifelong learning: 626 votes (16.93%)
Total Votes: 3698

First Things First!

Start out on the right foot with these resources. Click on the link below to get ahead of the game! 


As a student at Rasmussen, you will have two different emails:

Be sure to check both frequently!

4 top commonly asked questions by new students:

1.  How often should I log into my online course?

        For all non CBE courses (i.e. traditional 5.5 weeks and 11 week courses):

  • The more you log in, the quicker you'll become acclimated to the course itself.
  • Ideally, log in once per day to click, explore, and catch any updates from your instructor or from peers in discussion.

       For CBE courses (Competency Based Education) consult the CBE Student Guide

2.  What counts as attendance in an online course?

     For all non CBE courses (i.e. traditional 5.5 weeks and 11 week courses):

  • A written assignment that you have submitted.
  • A discussion that you have posted in the weekly discussion.
  • NOTE: Logging into the course does NOT count as attendance.

      For CBE courses (Competency Based Education)

3. Where do I find my textbook? 

  • Take a look at the eTextbook tab above.

4.  Where do I go if I'm stuck?

  • Look through this guide for information.
  • Contact your Advisor.


To ensure a user-friendly course experience, Rasmussen University utilizes Blackboard Learn Ultra. In order to learn more about navigating Blackboard Learn Ultra, please review the short video and Quick Start Guide below.

If you would like more assistance in navigating your course and the Blackboard Learn Ultra platform, Peer Tutors are available via our tutoring platform. Under Tutor Match, select Success Skills and then Online Course Navigation-Blackboard. Follow the prompts to complete booking your appointment for a 1 on 1 tutoring session! 


eTextbook assistance below!

What kind of texts do I have and where are they located?

  • The type of materials you will be using in your courses will be visible after you confirm your schedule.
    • To confirm your schedule, click on 'Confirm My Schedule' from the Student Portal.
  • When you confirm your schedule, you will see the courses you will be taking.  Listed next to each course, under 'Course Materials', it will state either 'eTextbook' (meaning you will access your textbook via VitalSource) or it will state 'Digital Materials Inserted in Course' (meaning the reading materials you need will be embedded in the course).




The key to learning better and quicker: Metacognition. Use it to learn more effectively.

Metacognition: meta·cog·ni·tion \-käg-ˈni-shən\   1. awareness or analysis of one's own learning or thinking processes  2. thinking about your thinking

How aware are you of your learning process?  Do you think about you are learning AS you are learning?  The better your metacognitive skills are, the more effective your learning process is.  It's all about working smarter not harder.

Here are the 4 basic steps:

  1. Set the goal
  2. Develop a plan to meet the goal
  3. Select strategies to use; Then monitor your progress & adapt as you go
  4. Evaluate the outcome; Reflect on the process & adapt for next time


Metacognition. [Def. 1}. (n.d.).Merriam-Webster Online. In Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from                   

Taylor, S. (1999). Better Learning through Better Thinking: Developing Students' Metacognitive Abilities. Journal Of College Reading And Learning, 30(1), 34-45.  

TEAL Center staff. (2012, February). Just write! guide. Fact sheet: Metacognitive processes. Retrieved from 


As a new student at Rasmussen, know how to stay connected for support.

  • Advisors help you stay on track to graduation, provide guidance on college policies, track attendance and grades,  offer support and encouragement when setbacks occur; and point you to the right resources when you need them.
    • In addition, advisors will help you navigate the Student Account Center where you can view up-to-date student account and balance information, connect directly with campus staff and advisors, as well as view information about transcripts, financial aid holds, alerts, calendars of events, and much more!
  • Faculty at Rasmussen are your lifeline to your course success.  Please contact your instructor whenever you have a question about your course readings, assignments, or grades.  Be sure to read all of the announcements posted in your online course for up-to-date information each week. 
  • The Personal Support Center (PSC) offers 24/7 technical support assistance.
  • The Library & Learning Services Team provides online resources, tutoring, webinars, live chat, a FAQ database,  text-based answer service, and so much more!
  • Career Services Advisors help you prepare for your work life after graduation by providing webinars, resume workshops, career expos, mock interviews and more.


What if I need help?

You probably will need some time and of some kind.  That's a normal part of the learning process.  The key is knowing when you need help and where to find it.

We at Rasmussen University get that--we've been working with students for more than 100 years.  Because we know what students have struggled with in the past, we've created tools and resources to help you overcome those obstacles.

You can do this.  You can be successful.  Don't give up.  Keep moving forward on the path to success.

**For more tutoring resources, visit the box to the left. 

Maximize your academic skills and work smarter, not harder.  Meet with a Peer Educator for tips and strategies for ongoing success.

Peer Educators:

  • Serve as an 'anchor' for new students as they learn the ropes of college life
  • Show new students how to balance life’s obligations along with school to be successful in their education
  • Share strategies that have worked for them and help new students develop their own strategies for:
    • navigating online courses
    • managing time effectively
    • effective reading, note taking, studying, and test-taking
    • proper channels of communication
  • In short, a Peer Educator can show new students what it takes to be a successful student.

How do I connect with a Peer Educator?

  • You will make an appointment with a New Student Peer Mentor in Tutor Match. From the Student Portal, select Tutoring under the Resources section. In Tutor Match, choose Peer Educator from the Topic drop down menu and select either Peer Educator-Traditional course or Peer Educator-CBE course from the Subject drop down menu). 

Take the guesswork out of it!  Here are the behind the scenes info about what instructors want to see and how you can get a jump on your grades!