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. 

Advising Services offers a number of essential resources for current students that will help you understand the processes you will need as a WSU student. The Adult Student Online Orientation is also an immensely helpful tool as you get started at WSU.

The Degree Audit Report (DAR) is prepared to assist students in determining their academic progress. Your DAR will be used each semester to understand how far you have come academically and what will be best for you as you progress toward degree completion. View the DARS Tutorial

As a student in the HLA program, you will need an PALS ID number to access library resources. Prior to your first semester as an HLA student you will receive your PALS number with your HLA program acceptance letter. We will use the mailing address you listed when you submitted your application for admission to the university to send this information. If you are concerned that Winona State does not have your correct address on file, please contact the Warrior Hub at 507.457.2800 and confirm our records are correct.

If you wish to have a photo student ID card printed, you will need to visit our campus card office in Maxwell 227 on the Winona campus.

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.

For students who transfer into WSU from any other school in Minnesota, the record need not be provided. Students meeting this criterion must call Health & Wellness Services, however, to inform them of their Minnesota transfer status and request to be exempt.

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. View the Web Registration Tutorial

D2L (Desire to Learn) Brightspace is an online collaboration site that is used in nearly every course by nearly every professor, even if the course is not online. Make sure you review this tutorial prior to the first day of classes.

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

You will need to find the required textbooks for your courses prior to the start of each semester. You will look at the bookstore website to find your course and learn what book(s) is/are required for the course. It is important that you remember that if you are taking courses at more than one school in a semester, you will need to check the bookstore of all of the institutions from which you are taking courses.

The Winona State Bookstore will have the details of the books you will need for your HLA core 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. 

The first week of fall and spring semester classes is “Drop/Add Week.” You can make changes to your schedule through the first Friday of classes without penalty*. 

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
Winona Technical Support Center: 507.457.5240 or