Asking Questions —

As a GCC student, if you have questions about any aspect of your course(s), you first should consult your instructor(s) or advisor. This includes topics such as accessing and submitting content, assignments, and tests in Blackboard. If you have questions about your program/major, please consult your program advisor.

If the nature of your question is not course- or program-specific, you may send an email to Please clearly state your question and include sufficient details to help the message recipient understand the situation. Please be aware that it may take 24-48 hours (regular business days) to receive a response. We appreciate your patience and look forward to helping you.

If you forgot your GCC password, use the “Forgot Your Password” tool: Go to, click the “myGCC” tab on the top, and click the blue “Forgot Your Password” link below the login link. Follow the directions. You can also call the 24×7 Help desk at 866-614-5004 — PRESS 1. Password reset requests via email cannot be honored for security reasons.

Microsoft Office for Home Use

Genesee students and employees are eligible to get Microsoft Office for their home use.

This is only available online and you need to use your Genesee email as part of the process.

FACULTY AND STAFFStop! Send an email to for information you need in order to proceed properly.

STUDENTS: Continue below…

Go to:

  • You will come to a page something like this (it will change, but do not click on the “Student” or “Teachers” links!)

Office 365 page

  • Put your Genesee email address in the box and click “Get Started”  — that will send an email to your Genesee email and you need to carefully follow the directions from there.
  • You should end up with a new account on that uses your Genesee email as your username and whatever password you have selected. As a reminder, this password is NOT connected to our existing Genesee passwords.
  • The page you land on will look something like this. You can use the Office components online and save your documents in the cloud storage.

Office 365 online menu

  • If you want to install any components on your personal computer, select the Settings icon in the upper right corner of the screen. Settings button  — or click the link that says “Install Office 2016”  [it may change!]
  • Once there, click on Install in the menu and follow the directions from there.

Office 365 install status

  • You have a limited number of installs for your personal use — you manage where you install the software from the “My Account” menu.

Office 365 manage installs

Questions should be sent to

Printing from Power Point

If you are printing from a campus computer in a lab or in the Library, always make sure you wait for your printout to come out. If you leave, we will place your printout in the recycling and it will be disposed of. Then you will be printing it again.

Please do not print full Power Point slides in the computer labs. Use the instructions here to print handouts instead of full slides.

Pay attention to the printing options. These are the Power Point default options.


Change from printing slides to printing handouts. Select at least 2 but 3 is even better.

Change from printing Grayscale to printing Pure Black and White.

Your printing options should look like this BEFORE you hit the print button.

As a reminder, you can save the Power Point file to your flash drive to take it with you.

Password Reset Notice

All Genesee users (faculty, staff and students) will get a Password Expiration Notice from Computer Services. The message comes from the help desk email ( and give you a 10-day notice that your password is about to expire. The message you get will look like this:

Password Expiration notice

If you are not sure about clicking a link in an email (and that’s a reasonable approach), you can independently click on the link to the password reset that is found on the outside of myGCC or here:

Updating your password in that utility will reset your computer login, your myGCC login and your email login.

You should also set up security questions so that you can do a password self-reset if you ever have problems in the future.

IMPORTANT:  If you use your phone or other mobile devices to access your accounts, you need to remember to update the password on those devices also!

Updating Personal Information in BSS

Banner is GCC’s primary information management system, and Banner Self Service (BSS) provides you with important resources and tools.

You are responsible for ensuring that personal information about you—namely your permanent address, non-GCC alternate email address, and phone number—is correct and current.

Why will keeping your personal information in BSS updated help YOU?

  • If you forget your GCC password, you may use the automated reset tool to set a new password.
  • Ensure the paper mailings sent to you are sent to the correct address.

To access Banner Self-Service (BSS), log in to myGCC (GCC homepage—click myGCC link at top-center).  Select the “My Account” sub tab and scroll down for “My BANNER Self Service” menu.  Once in Banner Self Service, click the Personal Information tab.  Click the desired link to update your information—e.g., alternate email address.

Banner Self Service link

Banner Self Service main menu

You will have an “Employee Menu” option only if you have worked for the college (through College Work Study or other programs). You can use the Banner Self Service link on that page, since it goes to the same place.

Do I Need a Computer?

Yes and No.

In taking classes at Genesee, you will be using a computer to communicate with faculty and classmates, as well as to complete homework assignments. So, yes, you will be using a computer.

However, Genesee has a strong computer lab and Library environment and has numerous computers available for you to be able to do your work. So, No, you will not be required to purchase a computer while at Genesee.

If you are looking to purchase a computer, here are some things to look for.

Genesee is largely a Microsoft Windows environment. Most courses that are taught in computer labs (everything from English to Computers to Office Technology to Accounting) use the Microsoft Windows operating system; the exception are courses in the Digital Art program lab that use MacIntosh computers.

If you are in a computer-related program, Engineering or Digital Design you may want to contact an instructor in one of those programs to discuss what kind of a computer would be best for you. For most students, a standard computer that is readily available from ‘big box’ stores is sufficient to support your computing needs. Genesee is laptop friendly and all campuses are wireless.

Also see the separate help desk article about Chromebooks.

Can I Use My Laptop in Class?

The answer to that question is strictly up to your instructor. We recommend that you ask your instructor if he/she has any problems with using your laptop in class. Most instructors will allow you to use your computer, but they may have restrictions (not during a test, as an example) that you will need to follow. Some instructors will not allow you to use your computer and their decision is final.

What software do I Need?

Faculty will expect you to have some type of word processor software. You will need to be able to create documents in RTF or DOC format but you do not need to have Microsoft Office (Word) to do that. All word processing software will allow you to save in Rich Text Format (RTF) through a File > Save As process.

If you have a computer with the Windows operating system, you will generally have Microsoft Works installed at no additional cost. The word processing portion of Works easily allows you to save documents created in Works to the RTF and DOC format, but you do have to remember to do that since it is not the default option.

Genesee makes Microsoft Office software directly available to students. Check out Microsoft Office for Home Use for special offers directly from Microsoft.

Many instructors use My Courses/Blackboard to make course materials available online to students. You only need a browser to access My Courses/Blackboard, which is found inside myGCC.

Some courses will have course specific software that you will need to purchase. Any software that you need to purchase is generally packaged with a textbook and will be available through the College Bookstore.

Set Up a Contact in Gmail

There are many times that students need to contact instructors — questions about coursework, turning in assignments, not able to attend class… it’s a long list.

It’s useful to add your instructors to your Contacts in your Genesee Gmail account; that way you don’t have to scramble to find/remember their email address when you have questions.

Very basic instructions on creating contacts is here:

In your Gmail account, look for the Mail word at the top and click on it. You should get a list that includes Contacts.

You should see this:

Click on the word Contacts. Once in the Contacts screen, click on the “add contact” icon at the top. Put the name of the person you want to add to your contacts in the list and press enter.

Double click on the name you just added, to get the screen to add details. Add the email address and any other information you would like to add. The information is saved automatically as you add it. Click back on the words My Contacts to see your list of contacts.

You can click on a name at any time to update the information for that person.

Creating a Voice over Power Point Presentation

This will walk you through the steps to create a voice over power point presentation

The broad steps are these:

  • Create your power point presentation
  • Using the power point tools, record your narration. When it’s done, save your power point as a video file
  • Upload the video file to your you tube account
  • Make a link to your video

If all of that makes sense, you can quit here! The rest of this page are these steps in more detail.

Start by creating your power point. If you are creating this for a class assignment, make sure you follow the instructions carefully.

This sounds silly, but proof read your presentation. If you have words with red squiggles underneath them, you’re being reminded that the word or words may be wrong.

Once you have created your power point, save the original file where you can find it. You need a clean copy of your file in case you make any mistakes with the recording process.

Now save your file again, with a new name. Use the examples shown or pick something you will remember. You will use the 2nd file as the file you do the recording in.

Review your power point to decide what will be in the narration. What points do you need to make.

Your outline should have points you want to add to the information on each slide. Write an outline but not a script, so that you sound as natural as possible. Practice, practice, practice! You will be more comfortable – and have more ideas about what to say – if you do some ‘dry runs’ practicing what you want to say. The practice is also useful if you have time parameters. If your instructions are “at least 3 minutes but no more than 5 minutes” you need to do that practice to see how long your presentation is.

On to the actual recording.

You need a microphone of some sort. The mic on a laptop may work well for you. Make a 2-3 slide power point to test the quality and volume of the mic.

In power point, go to Slide Show and then Record Slide show.

When you’re ready to start, click on start recording from beginning

While you are recording:

  • Breath! Don’t talk too fast. If your instructor can’t understand you, that will be reflected in your grade.
  • Speak slowly and clearly
  • For the first slide, count to 3 before starting to speak
  • IMPORTANT – between slides, wait 2 seconds… power point needs time to move between slides and if you talk through the changing of the slides, you’ll lose some of your narration
  • Don’t use fancy slide transitions; you need to move your slides forward manually to make sure your recording matches the slides

Okay, you’re going to make a mess at least once. That’s part of the reason you practice.

This page doesn’t even begin to tell you how to fix a mistake. The brute force method is to simply do it again. Go back to your original file and save it again as a new file and start recording again.

Do that as many times as you need to. Especially if you’ve never done it before, you’ll need to be patient with your first time.

Save your file with the narration. It should be bigger than your original file since it has the narration in it.

Under File, go to Save As and look for Windows Media Video. Save your file in that format. This is the file you need for YouTube.

Test your video file on your computer. Does it look right, can you hear it? Is it what you wanted?

If not – sorry – you need to go back and do it again.

The YouTube part:

Go to and create an account. If you have an account, you can use that but be careful of that username. Be professional. If you need to, create an account for just homework assignments.

Okay, these are the current You Tube option. They may change but the basics should stay the same.

Once you have an account, you should have an Upload button, Click on that.

Drag your file to the upload section

If you don’t want the world to see your video, and you can if you want to, change the setting to UNLISTED. Do not change to Private – private means you have to give your instructor or classmates a password. You don’t want to mess with that.

The Unlisted option is good enough.

Wait for the upload to complete and then press Done.

From the Video Manage list, click on Share then Embed. You need this link for your course.

Copy the entire link.

This is the cool part.

In your Blackboard course, open the discussion where you need your video linked. Start a new post and then look for the HTML button. You may need to click the “more tools” double arrow to get that to show.

You’ll get a new window that pops up, paste that URL thing you got from YouTube in that box – don’t type anything else! – and then click Update.

When you’re in edit mode in the discussion, you video will not show. You get a yellow box in the discussion entry. If the yellow box is there, you’ve done it right. If you need to add notes to your presentation, sometimes it’s helpful to be in full screen mode so you have more room to work in. Click the four arrow thingy to go into full screen mode and click it again when you’re done.

Press submit.


Check it out, make sure it looks right and edit as necessary. You should be all set at this point. Good job!

Google Docs and Homework

Genesee issues GMail accounts to all students, which means all students also have access to Google Docs.

All instructors do not all have access to Google Docs and, when it comes to turning in assignments, most Genesee instructors are expecting Word documents (*.docx format).

Current students can get Microsoft Office for Home Use, to be able to create *.docx documents for their instructors.

Google Docs cannot be directly uploaded to Blackboard.

Students who regularly use Google Docs should not assume instructors will accept electronic submissions in that form and should check with the instructor on what is an acceptable format.

Documents created in Google Docs can be downloaded as *.docx files.

Saving Google Doc to Word

In the File menu is an option to Download As… the first option is Microsoft Word (*.docx). The file is saved to the ‘downloads’ folder on the computer. This new document can be then uploaded to Blackboard or sent as an attachment in an email.

Organizing Your Course Listing

After a semester or two, your course listing in Blackboard can become quite messy and it’s difficult to tell which are your current semester courses.

To organize your course listing, go to the My Courses tab and then point your cursor at the far right end of the My Courses module. You should see a settings ‘wheel’ pop up (like below). Go ahead and click on that wheel.

Settings for My Courses


That brings you to a new screen. This will be different for everyone, but the key piece you are looking for is the “Group by Term” selection. Click that box.

If you point your cursor to the far left of the “Select All/Unselect All” section, you will get an up/down arrow (in the square below). Click on the arrow to drag the current semester to the top of the list.

Settings for Group by Term

Use the Select/Unselect (in the circle) to deactivate older semesters. The course access is still there, just not visible on the My Courses page. If you find later that you need to access an older semester, you can come back into this area and Select a semester to turn it back on.

Scrolling down the page allows you to select/unselect specific courses, but generally selecting/unselecting terms is the best option.

IMPORTANT: When you are finished, remember to select that “Submit” button that is on the top and the bottom of the page (they both work, chose the one you can see!).

You can update your course listing as needed.