Getting Started

After your HLA Advising Appointment, there are several resources with which you will need to become familiar and steps you will need to follow. 

We strongly encourage you to go through the Adult Student Online Orientation as soon as you are admitted to the HLA program. Please select the "Winona" modules.

The Degree Audit Report (DAR) is the official tool used to determine progress at WSU. It is your responsibility to check your DAR regularly and investigate any questions you may have about your progress or degree requirements. View the DARS Tutorial

Prior to your first semester as an HLA student, you will receive an email that will include your HLA program acceptance letter. With this letter, you will be invited to schedule an over-the-phone advising appointment to prepare you for registration and orient you to what you can expect to experience as a student throughout your time in the HLA program.

Because HLA is a fully online program, this degree has specific computer hardware, software, and student technical skills requirements. Please review these requirements

Your WSU email account is the official means for WSU faculty and staff to communicate with you. Use your StarID and password to get into your email. Instructions on changing your password are available online. Check your email regularly. Many professors send information about classes and assignments before classes begin. If you have questions, contact WSU Technical Support at 507.457.5240, option 1.

If you plan to apply for financial aid, begin the financial aid process as early as possible, and be sure to watch for deadlines.

Take a minute to learn about financial aid and how to apply. Then, refer to the HLA Tuition & Financial Aid page for specific HLA tuition and fee information.

All students are required to complete an Immunization Record. Students born on or before December 31, 1956 must complete the form but do not have to supply dates. Check with your current physician, parent/guardian, county records, and/or high school to obtain your records.

Students who transfer into WSU from any other school in Minnesota have the option to call Health & Wellness Services and inform them of their Minnesota transfer status to be exempt from the record submission requirement.

Visit the Health & Wellness Services website for more information. If your records are not submitted during your first semester at WSU, you will not be able to register for following semesters until they are submitted. 

You will use the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Minnesota State) web registration system to enroll in your courses each semester.

After you have registered for at least one course at Winona State, you should complete this online form to request your Distance Learner ID Card.

D2L (Desire to Learn) Brightspace is an online collaboration site that will be used in every course you take within the HLA program. Make sure you review this tutorial prior to the first day of classes.

Use your Star ID and password to sign into D2L Brightspace.   

The Winona State Bookstore will have the details of the books you will need for your HLA courses and most of the electives you will take from WSU. The University Rochester Center Bookstore will have the details of books you need for any RCTC courses you may take to fulfill your general education requirements. After you visit the appropriate site(s) to find what books are required, you can either place orders through the bookstore website(s) or you can purchase your books through another retail or online provider. If you choose this option, make sure that you are purchasing the correct edition(s). If you have questions regarding your textbook(s), please contact the instructor for your class. 

Once you have registered for at least one class, you are eligible to participate in the Digital Life & Learning program. If you take fewer than 12 credits and/or if the majority of your credits are offered through the Rochester campus, you are not required to participate in this program.

If, however, you choose to participate in the program and receive the benefits of participating, you will need to schedule a time to pick up your laptop and go through a brief orientation. You can pick up your laptop and go through orientation on either the Rochester or Winona campus. Contact one of the following to schedule your appointment:

Matthew Brown (Rochester Campus): 507.280.2944 or MBrown@winona.edu
Winona Technical Support Center: 507.457.5240 or TechSupport@winona.edu