Student FAQ

Blackboard

How do I login to Blackboard?
Enter the address blackboard.sc.edu into your Web browser. At the login page, enter your USC network username and password.

What is my Blackboard username?
Your Blackboard username can be found by going to my.sc.edu/apps/username and logging in using your VIP ID and password. Your USC network username found on the next page is used for accessing Blackboard.

What is my Blackboard password?
Your Blackboard password is not viewable from any page, but can be reset on the same page that you found your Blackboard username. Go to my.sc.edu/apps/username and log in using your VIP ID and password. Click on "manage password." Create a password, making sure to follow the requirements. Click on "set password." You should now be able to login to Blackboard with this new password.

I can’t login to Blackboard! I know I’m using the right password!
Try resetting your Blackboard password. Blackboard passwords expire every 6 months. This can happen overnight and without warning.

My class isn’t showing up in Blackboard, how do I add it?
If you just registered for the class, wait 24 hours. It takes about a day for classes to appear in Blackboard after registering for them. If it has been longer than 24 hours and your class is still not there, contact the USC Columbia Service Desk at 803-777-1800.

When I try to login to Blackboard, I get an error message saying my student number does not match some other number?
Contact the USC Columbia Service Desk at 803-777-1800. One or more entries in your student records are not matching. Generally this is due to a simple input error and can be corrected easily.

Computer Repair

Why can’t you repair hardware issues on other computers besides the recommended laptops?
Our warranty service agreement prevents us from working on any computers other than the University’s recommended laptops.
By focusing our support service to a single platform, we will be able to drastically reduce repair time, which reduces the amount of time you are without your computer.

Where can I take my computer for repair if it the Help Desk cannot work on it?
There are a number of local repair shops that you can take your computer to. The Spartanburg Yellow Pages has more than two dozen computer repair facilities listed.

Is there someone that will work on my computer on the side?
Help Desk staff cannot do or discuss non-University related work during office hours. ITS cannot endorse a particular company or repair person.

I have a laptop that is not one of the recommended models. Can you work on it?
We can perform diagnostics to determine the problem with the computer; however, if it is a hardware or operating system issue we will not be able to repair it.

How long will it take the Help Desk to fix my laptop?
We cannot give an exact estimate of repair times, but it is our goal to return laptops within three business days. Hardware repairs take a minimum of two business days to complete. Software repairs vary in time, but generally do not take more than three business days.

Is there a charge for laptop repairs?
No, there is no charge for laptop repairs.

Why can’t you save any of my photos, music or documents? I don’t care if you see them!
First and foremost, we do not backup any student’s data in an effort to preserve privacy. There is also a potential for legal recourse should personal documents or photos be seen by anyone other than their owner. Second, repair times are drastically reduced if we do not have to backup data from a laptop.
The time it takes us to repair a computer can more than double if we are concerned with copying all of your personal files from the computer first. We may backup personal data in certain instances if the student is unable to do it and we have space to store all the data. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Why did you remove Program X from my laptop?
If you get your laptop back and are missing a program or two, but not everything, then odds are those programs were causing the problems with your laptop. Any application found to be spyware or a virus will be removed to complete repairs. As a rule of thumb, Help Desk technicians will remove any peer-to-peer programs found on a laptop (ie: Limewire, Bearshare, Bittorrent, etc.).

Computer Requirements

Are students required to have a computer to attend USC Upstate?
No, students are not required to own a computer to attend USC Upstate. While it is certainly more convenient to have your own computer while here, it is important to note there are over 400 computers in labs across the campus for students to use.

My son/daughter is attending USC Upstate and I want to buy them a computer; does USC Upstate have a required computer?
USC Upstate has a line of recommended Dell laptops that you can find more information about by clicking here. While it is not required to purchase one of these laptops, the ITS Help Desk will only repair these recommended laptops.

Email

What is my USC Upstate email address?
E-mail addresses use the format uscusername@email.uscupstate.edu. You will be sent a letter after being accepted to Upstate with your email address.

What is my Upstate e-mail password?
In order to login to your University e-mail for the first time, you will have to create your password. Passwords can be created and reset at the password reset site found here.

How do I change my password?
Students who are unable to login to their USC Upstate account can reset their password at the password reset website found here. If you know your correct USC Upstate password and would just like to change it, you can follow the directions below.

From campus:

  1. Login at any computer lab found across campus with your current USC Upstate username and password.
  2. After logging in, press control, alt and delete simultaneously. Next, choose the change password option on the window that appears. 
  3. Follow the directions on the screen to change your login password.

From off campus:
From home or on campus, go to password.uscupstate.edu and follow the instructions.

Where do I go to check my USC Upstate e-mail?
From any web browser, visit outlook.com/email.uscupstate.edu

Self Service Carolina

How do I login to SSC for the first time?
Go to my.sc.edu/vipid/ in your web browser. Click on "I am a new user who has never used my VIP ID and need to establish my password." Fill out the required information and click "continue." Create your password (following the restrictions) and security questions. You should then be able to login with your VIP ID number and newly created password. You will also need to set up Multifactor Authentication.

What if I forget my SSC password?
Go to my.sc.edu/vipid/ in your web browser. Click on "I can't remember my VIP ID password." Fill out the required information and security questions you set when you first created the account. Then, create a new password. If you do not remember your security questions, you will need to contact the Admissions Office.

What is my VIP ID?
Your VIP ID is the eight-digit number you received with your welcome packet. If you do not remember your VIP ID you will have to contact the Admissions Office.

Software Purchase

Do you have Microsoft Office available to install on my personal computer?
Yes, the University offers the latest version of Microsoft Office for PC and Mac free of charge through your Office 365 account. Download and install or reinstall Office 365.

Do you sell Windows operating systems?
Windows 10 is a free upgrade for PCs running Windows 7 or later. If you have a PC with Windows XP or no OS installed, you can purchase Windows 10 at a significant discount through SSC. However, depending on the age of he computer, it may not be able to run 10.

Where do I go within Self Service Carolina to buy software?
Go to Self Service Carolina. Under personal, click "purchase computer software." Software must be purchased using the CarolinaCard.

Students Living on Campus

Is there internet in the dorms?
All dorm rooms have access to the Internet. The "Tree Houses" are blanketed in wireless coverage on every floor. There is no need for a network cable if you are living here, as long as you have a working wireless card in your computer. Each suite has a single ethernet jack available in the common area, as well as a phone jack and cable tv connection. Cable TV connections are also in each bedroom. Click here for instructions for connecting to the wireless on a Windows computer.

What are the minimum computer/tablet specs for compatibility?
The following operating systems are supported on the USC Upstate network:

  • Windows 7 or later
  • Mac OS 10.5 or newer
  • iOS
  • Android

What is Safe Connect?
USC Upstate uses Safe Connect for network access control. The first time you connect to the Internet on campus, you will be prompted to download and install the Safe Connect client. This client will check to see if your computer is in compliance with USC Upstate network access policies each time you connect to the Internet. This check literally takes less than 2 seconds to run and requires no user interaction. If your computer is in compliance, your browser will automatically redirect to your homepage. If your computer fails one or more network policies, you will be taken to a Web page explaining the policies your computer failed and how to correct them.

What are the policies Safe Connect checks your computer for?

  • Windows users should have an up-to-date, non-trial antivirus program. If you do not have one of these antivirus programs installed with a valid subscription on your computer, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials free of charge from the Microsoft site.
  • Windows updates need to be enabled and set to automatically install on PC's.
  • Apple updates need to be enabled on Mac computers.
  • Students are not allowed to use personal routers or wireless access points.
  • Student computers cannot be set to share content on peer-to-peer networks. Safe Connect does allow downloading of content from these networks, but not uploading.