Information Technology Services > Training and Workshops > Orientation Overview


ITS 075: Introduction for First-Time Users

Welcome new students and employees!

Please view our Information Technology Services Welcome Letter (students, instructors, or employees) which can be downloaded and saved. That letter is also distributed by our Admissions office to new students and by our Human Resources office to new employees.

By the end of this session participants will be able to:

  1. perform a query of the People Search database (video tutorial)
  2. access the New River portal (and create your password)
    1. access your New River email account (Office 365)
    2. access the Brightspace D2L learning management system
    3. login to Self-Service Banner, update personal information, and access DegreeWorks (video tutorial)
  3. identify computer recommendations and software commonly used at New River (Office 365 is free for all New River students and employees)
  4. locate bookstore information
  5. review Computer Use Policy
  6. access New River library resources
  7. review procedure for obtaining New River ID Card
  8. access Mobile Apps available for New River services (Brightspace Pulse, Zoom, Office 365, MobileAuth)
  9. access Zoom and create an instant message
  10. explain how instructors assign Milestones and Warnings in DropGuard (Early Alert System)
  11. register in Regroup (the alert notification system) to receive emergency notifications by SMS text messages on your cell phone
  12. complete the online New River orientation for students


Essential Topics Explained

(1). How do I query People Search to obtain my New River username and email address?

All New River email accounts are displayed in the searchable public user directory, People Search. You can locate your username and email address by searching for your name within People Search. If you can't locate your account information, please contact the Help Desk. But most often you will find your account information and you'll discover that all New River email addresses end with The username precedes this information and would look like this

STUDENTS: Your username is usually your last name followed by an underscore "_" and then your first and middle initial added to the end (e.g., Amanda Britney Jones would be jones_ab).

EMPLOYEES: Your username is usually your first initial followed by your last name (e.g., Amanda Britney Jones would be ajones).

(2a). I'm a FIRST-TIME USER, how do I access the College portal, Office 365 Email, Brightspace, and other services?

You can access the College portal from anywhere using a web browser. You will need your username (as explained in #1 above) and your password (see below).

The first time you login to the portal you will need to (1) provide your username and (2) create a password.

To get started, you must know your username and the initial password assigned to you—which is your ID number inserted between the N and r$ characters to look like this N000123456r$

After entering your initial password, you'll be prompted to create a new password to access New River's online services.

After entering your username and creating your password (see screenshot), you will be prompted to choose three questions and provide responses to help identify yourself (see screenshot). There are 14 questions available to choose from (see screenshot), so pick three you can remember the responses for and click Submit. You'll also be prompted to provide a personal email address and a cell phone number, so please do that as well. If you're prompted for a One-Time Passcode, please look for that information to be sent to your personal email account or your cell phone as a text message.

Once you've logged into the portal, you'll see links to online resources that you'll frequently need to access (Office 365 Email, Brightspace D2L, Self-Service Banner, etc.). Most of these applications are configured for (SSO) single sign-on so that you'll not be prompted to authenticate again to access them. But some will require you to provide your username and password again (the Non-SSO links).

The primary method of communication at New River is your email account. It is generally expected that communications sent to your New River email account will be received and read within a day or so. Instructors should communicate this expectation to students at the beginning of each semester. And students should ask instructors about this expectation if instructors don't mention it on the first day of classes. You can access your New River email by clicking the icon for email in the portal.

Employees may also use an email application (Microsoft Outlook) to access their email, but some technical support may be required to configure this. Please contact us ( or 304-929-6725) to request this assistance if needed.

Brightspace D2L is the learning management system (LMS) used by New River. Every course section is available in Brightspace and instructors use it for posting course information, communicating with each class of students, and some are even using it for quizzes and other features. If a class is completely online, then all course communication, assessments, and course content is in Brightspace. But many instructors who teach face-to-face classes are also finding that Brightspace is a great resource. If you are uncertain how your instructor will use Brightspace, you should ask her or him.

(2b). How do I change my password?

To change your password go to the portal login page and click the Forgot Password link. Just a reminder, once you change your email password then you must use that new password to access the College portal and you must update your password on any other devices you use where it may be saved (mobile phones, tablets, other computers, etc.). If you believe that any of your New River passwords has been compromised, please contact us ( or 304-929-6725) for assistance. Identity theft is a real issue and taking some easy precautions can certainly save you much grief (more info about identity theft).

If you ever forget your password, the Information Technology Services staff doesn't know your password but we can reset it for you. When you change your password it should conform to these requirements to be considered a strong password:

Password Requirements

  1. Passwords must be a minimum of 10 characters.
  2. All passwords expire after one year (you will be notified in advance to reset your password).
  3. Not contain the user's account name or parts of the user's full name that exceed two consecutive characters.
  4. Not be a password used previously.
  5. Must contain characters from three of the following four categories:
    1. English uppercase characters (A through Z)
    2. English lowercase characters (a through z)
    3. Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
    4. Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)
  6. View the video tutorial

If you are prompted to authenticate when trying to access Self-Service Banner you should use your New River ID number (9 digits) as your User ID and your 6-digit date of birth as your PIN (month + day + year, e.g., 122591). If you do not know your 9-digit New River ID number you may obtain it from any of our campus Student Services personnel or by contacting our Help Desk (304-929-6725 or You'll need to provide sufficient information to prove your identity before we release the information.

There are many options in Self-Service Banner for students (see student tasks). It is where you obtain your official student records, your course schedule, your transcripts and your advisor's name. It is also where you find a link to DegreeWorks (and a link is also available in the portal). Instructors (see instructor tasks) use SSB to find official class rosters, access DegreeWorks, student grades, obtaining information on advisees, verifying your teaching schedule, and for inputting mid-term and final grades.

(3). What software is used at New River and how can I obtain a copy?

New River uses many software applications but the most commonly used include our operating systems (Microsoft Windows 10 or 11) and our office applications (Microsoft Office 365 or Office 2019). To download a copy of Microsoft Office 365, users need to login to the portal, then click the Office 365 Email link. On the Office 365 Email page, click the link in the upper left corner that looks like a square made of dotted lines then click Office 365 (see screen capture). If you would like to download the Office applications to your computer, click the Install Office link in the upper right corner of that page (see screen capture).

If you have problems, please contact our Help Desk for assistance.

(4). How do I access New River's Virtual Bookstore?

To best serve students at all New River locations, the campus bookstore is completely online. Through a partnership with MBS Direct, the Virtual Bookstore provides several convenient purchasing options with delivery to your postal address. A link to the site is available under the Current Students menu option of our web site. You can apply financial aid awards to your purchase when you shop for your books (see Bookstore FAQ).

(5). Where can I find the New River computer policy?

The New River Computer Use Policy serves to guide your computing behavior while also providing helpful information about College procedures related to computer use. All students and employees are bound by the policy which is enforced as necessary.

(6). How do I access New River library resources?

The New River Library provides access to many online databases, journals, and other resources. Visit the Library Home Page to search the collections and access resources. On-campus access to resources is available in G315 on the Greenbrier Valley Campus. Online access for off-campus users requires authentication to a proxy server using the same username and password that you use for the portal.

(7). How do I obtain a New River ID Card?

The New River ID Card is a photo ID used to verify your identity and it has your New River ID number printed on it.

  • Login to the New River portal.
  • Click on the MyPhoto ID Cards icon.
  • Login with your email address and password.
  • Ensure your information is correct on the form with the correct campus location selected.
  • Upload a photo of yourself that meets these requirements: is front-facing with head and shoulders only, color, no filters, and a solid color background.
  • Upload a picture of your driver's license or government ID, being sure it is readable and either JPG or PNG.

Once submitted, the MyPhoto ID Card request is processed by IT staff member who verify the photo and information and print the card. ID card requestors will receive an email when it is approved or denied with directions for picking up the card at the nearest campus location.

ID Card photos can also be takon at each campus by contacting the Admissions department (see Admissions Contact Information).

(8). What mobile apps are available for New River services?

Mobile apps for cell phones and tablets are available from your iOS or Android app store for some New River services (Brightspace Pulse, Zoom, Office 365, MobileAuth)Brightspace Pulse is available for accessing course information from Brightspace D2L and Linkedin is available for accessing the professional development library of training information available (to all students and employees) from Linkedin Learning. Each of the Microsoft Office 365 applications has an app that you can download (Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, OneDrive). Zoom has a mobile app for videoconferencing and messaging. MobileAuth from BIO-guard is used for mult-factor authenication so you can receive the One-Time Passcode when you login to the portal from your computer. For some employees who use DocuSign, there is a mobile app available.

(9). What is Zoom and how do I use it?

New River has implemented Zoom as our official instant messaging and videoconferencing application. Zoom is integrated with other New River systems and is available through the portal. Zoom provides a number of features but allows students and employees to communicate from most any location with audio and video. Please ask your instructor how she or he plans to use this tool in your course. The Zoom client is free for all New River students and employees and is installed on all college-owned computers, but you can download it to your computer for free (Download Zoom). If you need any assistance, please contact our Help Desk (304-929-6725).

(10). What is DropGuard and what does it mean to me?

DropGuard is an early alert system that is intended to identify at-risk students early so that support services can provide assistance to help them succeed. Instructors assign positive (Milestones) and negative (Warnings) attributes to students regarding attendance, satisfactory progress, and participation. DropGuard then send email notifications to students as these atributes are assigned.

(11). What is the New River emergency alert system and how do I enroll in it?

Regroup is the New River emergency alert notification system and is available through the New River portal. It allows key administrators to send emergency notifications to everyone or to specific groups within the College. It delivers these messages using text messages to your cell phone and by email to your New River and personal email accounts. You must register your cell number and email addresses to receive the notifications (see Regroup Messaging System FAQ for more information). Here are the steps:

  1. Once logged into the portal, click the Regroup icon.
  2. Add your phone number and your email addresses.
  3. Click Save.

(12). How do I access the online New Student Orientation?

New River CTC has developed an online orientation experience that is required for all new students who are certificate and degree seeking. Transient, Special (non-degree seeking), and Provisional (current high school) students are not required to take online orientation. Here is a link to that information:



New River Logo


Email: | Phone: 304-929-6725 | 280 University Drive, Beaver, WV 25813-8987 | Updated: December 15, 2023