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10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
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6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
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Help Desk Support

Student Email FAQs

General Questions

  1. How do I get an HCC student email account?
  2. How do I access my email?
  3. I can't log into my email account. What do I do?
  4. I think I forgot my password. What do I do?
  5. How do I change my password?
  6. Can I forward my HCC email to another account? (Yahoo, Gmail, etc.)
  7. How much storage space is in my mailbox and how do I keep it below this limit?
  8. How long will my HCC student email account remain active?

Outlook Web Access (OWA) Features and Views

  1. What is Outlook Web Access?
  2. Why aren't some features of OWA available to me?
  3. Why can't I see all of my messages and folders?
  4. What is a distribution list and how do I create one?
  5. How can I quickly skim my email and delete unwanted messages?
  6. What is the Reading Pane and how do I view it?

Outlook Problems

  1. A box popped up saying I had new mail.  Why can't I see the new message in my inbox?
  2. I opened an email that contains images, but the images are blocked.  How can I view them?
  3. I have not checked my email for a long time and have accumulated too many messages. How can I efficiently clean my mailbox without individually opening and deleting each one?

Security Issues

  1. Does HCC block spam from student email?
  2. Why is it important to "properly log off" of OWA ,and how do I do this?

 

Q: How do I get an HCC email account?

When you register for a credit course at Howard Community College, a personal HCC student email account is automatically created for you. Your HCC email account is the official form of communication with the college. HCC encourages you to use this account to communicate with your instructors and classmates as well as to receive notification of upcoming college events and activities. 

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Q: How do I access my email?

Using a computer with Internet access, you can log on to your HCC student email. Visit the HCC home page at http://www.howardcc.edu.  Click on the "Tools" link in the upper right corner of the page, then Email.   Enter your HCC Login ID and password.

Email is also accessible through myHCC, which is also available from the college home page under Tools. The first time you log into myHCC there will be a message in the center of the page that prompts for your Windows Credentials. You should enter your HCC Login ID and your password; this will connect your email account to myHCC.  You will have to repeat this step whenever you change your password.   

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Q: I can't log on to my email account. What do I do?

If you just registered today, your email account will not be available until tomorrow. If you have an established working account and now you can't login, you may have mistyped your password, causing your account to be locked.  Close your browser and retry after 30 minutes when the account automatically unlocks. You may also want to reset your password through Password Services to ensure that you are using the right credentials. Please contact the Technology Service Center if you continue to have a problem logging in.

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Q: I think I forgot my password. What do I do?

If you forgot you can reset it through Password Services. If you have any trouble resetting your password please contact the Technology Service Center.

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Q: How do I change my password?

You can change your password through Password Services. The password that you set through Password Services will be the password for all of your HCC accounts. You should use the same password as myHCC to log into your HCC email account.

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Q: Can I forward my email to another account?

Yes!  You need to login to your HCC email account and follow these instructions.

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Q: How much storage space is in my mailbox and how do I keep it below this limit?

Your mailbox limit is 500 megabytes. Once you exceed your limit, you will not be able to send or receive mail until you delete messages and empty your Deleted Items folder to free more storage space. To view your available storage space click on the Tools icon Tools_Icon.jpg at the top right side of the window, select Options and then select the account link from the left side of the window.  The Mailbox Usage bar appears at the center of the page.

To clean up your mailbox go back to your Inbox and click on the drop down arrow next to Conversations By Date and select Size.  This will allow you to you pick the largest emails to delete to free space quickly.  Once you have deleted the emails you no longer need click the drop down arrow next to Conversations By Size and select Date.  This will allow you to view your most emails at the top of the list.

When you delete messages, they are moved to the Deleted Items folder.  To finally remove them, you must empty your Deleted Items folder by clicking the X icon or right-clicking on the deleted items folder and choosing Empty Folder.

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Q: How long will my HCC student email account remain active?

It will remain active if you have applied or reapplied for admission within the last three months, if you are currently enrolled in credit classes or if you have taken credit classes within the last year.  If you applied or reapplied for admission but didn’t registered for classes within three months, your email account will be deleted.  Email accounts for graduates will be deleted approximately three months after graduation. 

If you know you won't be registering or are graduating, plan to forward messages and documents you wish to keep from your HCC email account to an alternate email address before your account is deleted.  Once the account is deleted, your mailbox will not be able to be recovered and your information will be lost.  New email accounts will be created when you register for credit classes again.

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Q. What is Outlook Web App (OWA)?

Outlook Web App is Microsoft's web-based email application that includes many features of the desktop Microsoft Outlook application.  With OWA, you can use a web browser to access your HCC student email from any Windows or Macintosh computer with an Internet connection.  OWA opens in a window within your browser; therefore, your web browser toolbar remains on the top of your screen and the OWA toolbar is at the top of its window.

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Q:  Why aren't some features of OWA available to me?

The type of web browser you use to access your student email will determine which features you have.  Not all browsers support the premium version of OWA, which requires Internet Explorer 6 or above.

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Q. Why can't I see all my most recent messages and folders?

To view the most recent messages first make sure that you have selected Conversations By Date (see below).  If that is not selected click the drop down arrow and select Date.

Your folders may seem to disappear because the left navigation pane of the OWA window contains small arrow buttons to minimize them (see below).  Locate and click on the arrows to restore the folder list.

Folder_List

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Q: What is a distribution list and how do I create one?

A distribution list contains more than one email address for members of a specific group of people.  For example, suppose you want to regularly email your best friends.  If you create a distribution list and name it Friends, you can address one email to Friends and the message will be sent to all members of that distribution list.

Click on the People tab at the top right hand side of the window.  When the People window opens click on the New button at the top left.  Click Create Group in the “What would You Like to Do?” box.  Name the group, add members and click Save when completed.

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Q: How can I quickly skim my email and delete unwanted messages?

Open the first message at the top of the page.  Once you have read it, instead of closing or deleting it, use the down arrow on the keyboard to view the next message. Continue using the down arrow to skim quickly through all messages.  If messages contain attachments you want to keep, click on the attachment and choose Save.  Store these attachments on your home computer or removable media.

When you are finished scrolling through the page, highlight all of the unwanted messages (hold down the shift or control key to highlight multiple messages).  Click on the delete icon X to delete all highlighted messages.  Repeat with subsequent pages of messages.  Finally, empty the deleted items folder to free storage space in your mailbox.

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Q: A box popped up saying I had new mail.  Why can't I see the new message in my inbox?

Your mailbox in OWA does not refresh instantly.  This helps prevent constant reduction of your Internet connection speed.  To view the new message immediately, click on the pop-up announcement before it disappears.  If you miss it, use the refresh button (the browser's or OWA's) to update the page.  This will also update your entire mailbox to allow you to see all of your most recently received messages.

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Q: What is a "reading pane" and how do I view it?

A reading pane (also called a preview pane) is the area within the OWA window that displays a selected email message.  Single click on a message to view it in the reading pane, or double-click the message to view it in a separate window.

To set or remove the reading pane:

Click the Settings icon Icon then click Display Settings. Click on the Reading Pane tab. Choose one of the three options: Show reading pane on the right, Show reading pane at bottom, or Hide reading pane. Click OK at the top left of the window. You may adjust the size of any pane by clicking and dragging the lines between panes.

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Q: A box popped up saying I had new mail.  Why can't I see the new message in my inbox?

Your mailbox in OWA does not refresh instantly.  This helps prevent constant reduction of your Internet connection speed.  To view the new message immediately, click on the pop-up announcement before it disappears.  If you miss it, use the refresh button (the browser's or OWA's) to update the page.  This will also update your entire mailbox to allow you to see all of your most recently received messages.

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Q: I opened an email that contains images, but the images are blocked. How can I view them?

Sometimes images, music, and other external attachments to email can contain “beacons,” which are used by spammers to verify the existence of an email address so they know future spam will go to a valid address.  Outlook Web App attempts to prevent this by blocking anything that could contain a beacon.  You may see a warning with a "click here to unblock" option.  If you trust the sender, choose unblock.  If you don't, the images will be blocked when you view the email, and the beacon (if one is there) will not be activated.

Some pop-up blocker programs can also interfere with images and other OWA features. You may need to modify your pop-up blocker settings if you experience problems with the attachments dialogue box, new email notifications, move/copy, reply, or other features.

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Q: Does HCC block spam from student email?

A: Yes, the college uses a content scanner to minimize the effects of spam from Internet email. This scanner is programmed to block messages that contain pornography, profanity, spam advertisements, and common junk email. If you do not receive an important message that was sent to you, and believe that it may have been blocked by the content scanner, please contact the Technology Service Center. To locate your message, the email system administrator will need you to be as specific as possible. Be prepared to provide the sender's email address and the date/time the message was sent.

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Q: I have not checked my email for a long time, and have accumulated too many messages. How can I efficiently clean my mailbox without individually viewing and deleting each one?

A: If you have accumulated so much mail that it is too cumbersome for you to clean out, contact the Technology Service Center. The email system administrator can run a "clean mailbox" utility on your mailbox with parameters you agree upon. For example, you might choose to delete all messages from the inbox if older than 60 days. Before contacting the Technology Service Center, determine which messages you need to keep. Also, see General Question 7 above for tips to help you delete the unwanted messages yourself. 

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Q: Why is it important to "properly log off" OWA and how do I do this?

This fully terminates the session ensuring that someone who uses the PC after you cannot get into your mailbox without your login credentials. If you are using a computer in the college's computer study lab or elsewhere on campus, you should also be sure to log off of the computer as well.

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