First Time or New User Questions

 

Which devices are recommended?

We strongly recommend that all students purchase their own mobile (notebook or tablet) devices.

For the past several years the College has built and maintained a leading-edge network to support the variety of devices used by our students, faculty, and staff. This involves 10G-rated fiber optic cabling, high-density campus-wide 802.11n Wi-Fi, high-speed Internet and Internet2 connections, and web-based apps optimized for mobile devices.

Many faculty class materials are online, and some courses are being delivered entirely over the Internet. We use Moodle as our course management system for online, blended, and traditional courses. We also have over 140 workstations available to students in several labs and clusters as well as dozens of sign-out notebooks and tablets available from our Library.

Why do students need their own mobile devices?

Today’s students, more than ever, are finding that to move into the work force of the next century smart phones, tablets and notebooks are needed as tools for communication, collaboration, and research. Studies have shown that students with mobile devices are more productive and have developed more advanced thinking skills. Many educators feel that creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking are the three key areas which students need to master in order to be productive workers.

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How do I connect my personally owned computer to the Thomas College Network?

Before you can connect your personally owned computer to the Thomas College network you must configure your computer to meet our network specifications. You must use an up to date anti-virus protection program. All of the programs on your computer must have the latest security updates installed and you must be current on all critical and recommended Windows updates.

  • Use the following link to connect to instructions, based on your operating system. If you are asked for your credentials enter your user name in the format thomasyourusername – please note that this format uses the backslash symbol which is located beneath the backspace key on a standard keyboard. Use the password that you use for Thomas College network/email access:
  • You must run Updates regularly to maintain access to our network. We recommend that you set updates to run automatically and that you verify that it has run every few days.

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How do I get access to the campus network and email?

You should receive an email informing you that your account has been created and giving you access information including your username and temporary password. You must accept an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) or your account will be disabled. If you would like to read and accept the AUP now please visit the MyThomas site.
The first time you sign-in, you must change your password to something only you know which is at least 8 characters long. We require at least one capital letter, one number and one symbol in your password. This must be done on-campus or by using Remote Desktop Connection on your computer to get to acadts.thomas.edu. To connect to acadts.thomas.edu from your computer, go to Start, Run, type ‘MSTSC’ and click on OK. Then type ‘acadts.thomas.edu’, and click on OK. This will let you remotely log into our Windows terminal server. When you are asked for your credentials enter your user name in the format THOMASyourusername – please note that this format uses the backslash symbol which is located beneath the backspace key on a standard keyboard.

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How do I get access to Moodle?

Connect to Moodle here: http://cms.thomas.edu/login/index.php or click on the word moodle on the left side of the Campus Portal web page or the top left column of the Quick Links box.

Your Moodle username is usually your last name and first initial (for example: smithj), matching your Thomas domain/email account username.

Your default Moodle password is usually the last six digits of your SSN.

you can change your password by using the steps below:

This is most easily accomplished on campus on a Thomas College computer. On a campus computer after you log in click Ctrl+ Alt + Del keys and choose “Change a password”. You must enter your current password and then your new password twice to make the change. From off-campus it is best to use a remote desktop connection to change your password. You may also change your Thomas College network/email password using Outlook Web App – in the upper right hand corner of the page (under your name) select options and then choose “change your password” from the drop down menu. The Outlook Web App method does not work well with all internet service providers. If you have trouble with your first log on off campus it is best to use a remote desktop connection. Passwords must be at least six characters long.

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How do I get access to myThomas?

  • Before you begin you must have a username and password (if you are using a computer at Thomas College, a valid email address in your student information in the Thomas College computer system, and a PIN number for the myThomas.
    • If you don’t have an email address or are not sure if there is one in the computer system for you, please call the Service Desk at 207-859-1204 or email servicedesk@thomas.edu and we will check. If you don’t have an email address we will send the request to have a Thomas email address created for you. This will take 24-48 hours. Once you receive the Thomas email address, or put another one in the computer, you can then get a PIN number for the myThomas. Note: For prospective students and others not currently taking classes: You may use an off-campus email address previously given to the College.
  • If you don’t have a PIN number it will only take a couple minutes once you have an email address. The following web address, http://www3.thomas.edu/myThomas , will take you to the Thomas College myThomas page where you will register to get a PIN number and to also login to the myThomas.
  • If you have all the above (see 1., first paragraph), you can go to http://www3.thomas.edu/myThomas . To login you will need to know your social security number and your PIN number.

Once you have entered your two identification numbers you get a screen telling you that you have access to the Student Information System (or Alumni Information System or Employee Information System according to your status). Click on the Student Information System link.

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How do I get access to the intranet and to update/configuration?

If you are having problems accessing our Intranet (https://www3.thomas.edu/intranet), Outlook Web Access (https://outlook.com/owa/thomas.edu), or https://update.thomas.edu from off-campus, please check the following things:

  • Make sure you are entering “thomas” (without quotes) for a domain name (if asked) along with your username and password.
  • For Windows XP and IE 6.0, since you are not asked for a domain, enter your username with @thomas.edu on the end (for example: smithj@thomas.edu).
  • Try typing “THOMASyourusername” (without quotes) instead of just “yourusername” when prompted. [More detail from Microsoft]
  • If this is the first time you have tried to log into the Thomas Intranet with your username and password, please note that we require a password change during your initial login. Web browsers don’t support this. You can log into our t18.thomas.edu terminal server instead using Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection program. This is in the Accessories, Communications section of Windows Vista/Windows 7/8/8.1.
  • Make sure you have a valid username and password.
  • Make sure your password has not expired by logging in using remote desktop and changing your password, if prompted.
  • Make sure you are entering the items in all lower case.
  • Make sure your web browser security is set to medium (not high).
  • If using Internet Explorer, you should NOT have thomas.edu Intranet sites defined
  • Go to “Tools” (or View on older versions), “Intranet Options”
    • Choose the “security” tab
    • Change the zone to “local Intranet zone”
    • Click on “add sites”, then “advanced”
    • Make sure there are no sites listed here
    • Choose OK
  • If your web browser is older than Internet Explorer 4.01 or Netscape 4.0, please try downloading a newer version.
  • If you are using an AOL, Safari, or Netscape browser for intranet access, please try Internet Explorer or Firefox instead.

If none of the above steps works, please send your browser name (Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) and version number (can be found by going to “help”,”about”) to Chris Rhoda.

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What if I forget my password or username?

Passwords for the Thomas College network/email and Moodle use the same credentials your Thomas College user name and password. myThomas is a separate account and has a separate user name and password (pin number). You should have received an email from the college with your user name and instructions when your account was set up.

Your Thomas College network access, email account and Moodle account are controlled by the same credentials. When your account is set up your user name is USUALLY your last name plus your first initial (e.g., John Smith = smithj) and the default password is the last six digits of your social security number. You should change this password at your first log in attempt.

Changing your Thomas College Network/Email password

The first time you log on to your account you should change your password from the default. This is most easily accomplished on campus on a Thomas College computer. On a campus computer after you log in click the CTRL ALT DEL keys and choose “Change a password”. You must enter your current password and then your new password twice to make the change. From off-campus it is best to use a remote desktop connection to change your password. Once you are connected to remote desktop (see instructions below under “How to Use Remote Desktop Connection”) press the following keys: CTRL ALT END (on a Windows computer) or FN CONTROL OPTION DELETE (on a Mac computer) to bring up the change password dialog box. Passwords must be at least eight characters in length and include at least three of the four following character types: upper case letter, lower case letter, number, special character (!, @, #, etc…).

If you forget your network/email password you can contact the Service Desk and they can reset your password to “TC + the last six digits of your social security number + !” (ex. TC345678!). Follow the procedure above to change your password after a password reset but please note that you will not be able to reset your password for 24 hours after the Service Desk has reset it.

Staff cannot see your social security number – the information is taken by the computer from the registrar’s database.

Changing your Moodle password and editing your Moodle profile

When your account is first set up it uses the same credentials as the network/email system. You can access your Moodle profile by clicking on your name in the upper-right-hand corner of any Moodle page (beside the logout link.)

You can change your password using the method above for network/email passwords. Beginning in 2011 the Moodle account and your network email account are tied together. You currently cannot change your password from inside Moodle.

You can edit your profile (including changing your email address, name, description, photo, etc.) by clicking on the “Edit Profile” tab in your Moodle profile.

If you have forgotten your Moodle password (after changing it from the default): contact the Service Desk to have your password reset.

Use this password to access your Moodle account.
Once you have logged into Moodle, you should change your password (using the instructions above under changing your network/email password) to something that you will remember.

Who can I contact about a personal computer problem?

While the Thomas College IT Services staff would like to provide support to all students and employees for any personal computer they may own, it is not practical for us to do so.

Since we have many faculty/staff and lab tasks that need to be completed, we are not able to help people with personal computer problems (software not working, why a particular card doesn’t work in a particular PC, how to zip files, etc.).

Instead we suggest that personal computer problems be addressed by:

  • Contacting the vendor who sold you the hardware or software or
  • Contacting a local computer store. A list is available in the yellow pages or by searching online

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How to Use Remote Desktop Connection

Remote desktop allows you to use software installed on college owned machines and access library database resources as well as your personal network drives just like you were sitting on campus.

Use the following instructions, based on your operating system:

Windows 8 users can search for ‘Remote Desktop Connection’ from their Start screen. Windows 7 and Vista users click on Start > All Programs > Accessories > Communications > Remote Desktop Connection.

Mac users will need to download CoRD: Remote Desktop for macOS.

Linux users go to the menu choice Accessories, Terminal then type rdesktop (computer name).

Click on the connect button and log-in. Use the format thomasusername for the user name field. Be sure to use the “back slash ()” not the “forward slash (/)”. The back slash is normally located under the backspace key on a standard keyboard. Use your Thomas College network/email password for the password field.

When you want to quit, go to the Start screen, click on your username, and click ‘Sign out’.