Admitted Students

Information Technology Guide

This page is designed to be a comprehensive index to computer, networking, and phone information that you need as a student. Links to more detailed information are provided as needed. Please read this information thoroughly and use it as a reference, even while you’re on campus.

If after reading through this section you still have a question, feel free to contact the IT Department by phone at 813.988.5131 x200 or email

I. Logging On

Your Falcon Link ID will be used for student portal access, checking webmail, logging in to the wireless system, and logging on to lab PCs on campus.

  • Username. Your Falcon Link ID plus will be your username and your email address (typically in the form LastnameFirstnameEntranceyear, i.e. smithjohn07) and is given to you when you activate your account on the FalconLink site. If you can’t remember it, reset your password on the FalconLink site and it will display your username again at the end of that process.
  • Password. When you activated your Falcon Link ID, you were able to choose your own password.  If you have forgotten this password, visit the Falcon Link home page and click the “Reset password” link under the login box.
  • If a domain box appears on any login prompts, leave it blank. When you include with your FalconLink ID, it replaces the need for a domain.

II. Policies

III. What You Should Bring

  • Your PC or Mac with a network card
    PCs should be running Windows 7, and Macs should be running the latest version of OS X. Virtually all new systems include network cards built-in, but if you have an older machine, make sure it has one installed.
  • Cat5 cable
    This is the network cable you will use to connect your computer to the network jack in the room of your residence hall. We recommend a 25’ cable as they are sure to reach any location in the room. We will have these available for sale when you arrive on campus.
  • Anti-virus software
    If you’ve recently purchased a new computer, you probably have at least a trial version already installed. But, make sure you have a full purchased copy installed so the virus definition updates will last through the end of the school year. A very good FREE program is available called AVG. To download it, go to Norton (not recommended), McAfee, Computer Associates EZAntivirus, AVG, Panda, TrendMicro, and Sophos are a few other options. Whatever you choose, make sure it is set to stay up to date! Never install more than one anti-virus program on your machine at a time. This can cause your machine to lock up and not boot properly.
  • Anti-spyware software
    Spyware and malware have become huge problems in the past few years. We have seen it literally render student’s computers inoperable. To help combat this, install Microsoft Defender, Spybot, Ad-Aware, or Malware Bytes. A simple Google search will lead you to these free programs.
  • Automatic software updates
    If you run a Windows operating system, make sure you have enabled the automatic updates feature through the Control Panel. Automatic Updates are critical to the proper functioning of your machine, and your anti-virus software! The vast majority of Microsoft vulnerabilities can be avoided by simply allowing your machine to auto-update. If you’re running Mac OS X, Software Update is in the System Preferences. Make sure the Check for Updates box is checked as Apple provides software and security updates regularly.
  • Microsoft Office Suite is highly recommended
    Florida College has partnered with E-Academy to bring you a terrific deal on the latest Microsoft software, including Windows upgrade packages and the Office suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). The link to purchase software is and you will need to register with your FC email address (

IV. Do NOT Bring

V. Residence Hall Room Telephones

Telephone service is no longer provided in the residence halls. If you do not have a cell phone, consider using a voice over IP service (VoIP) like Vonage, PhonePower, etc.

VI. Residence Hall Room Internet Access

  • To connect your PC to the Internet, simply plug in a Cat5 (Ethernet) cable from your desktop/laptop into the blue jack in the bedroom (Hinely has off-white colored jacks—the larger jack is for Internet, the smaller ones are for telephone. Sutton has exclusively wireless access and has no hardwired jacks in the rooms). As long as your computer is set up for DHCP addressing (the default), there is no further setup required. Simply launch Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or whatever browser you prefer and you should be connected.

IT staff will be available during regular business hours to assist with any connection problems you may encounter. The Bookstore carries common hardware you may need to purchase (network cards, cables, battery backup/surge protectors, etc.).

Internet Access on campus is filtered to provide an environment consistent with the mission of the college.

VII. Wireless Access

In addition to wired connections in the residence halls, wireless access is provided to students on campus in most buildings.

The wireless SSID is FalconNet, and once configured you can roam to any of the hot-spots without needing to change any configurations. NOTE: FalconNet is the only student SSID in use on this campus. Students are strongly cautioned against connecting to any other SSID that may be broadcast in the area. It could be a rogue system attempting to capture information, or it may be a neighboring business or residence in which case it is both illegal and against school policy to use the signal.

FalconNet is a secure network, protected using WPA AES encryption and requiring 802.1x authentication over Protected EAP (PEAP) (using your credentials as outlined in the “Logging On” section above). All wireless access points are policy controlled.

If you are using a PC, you can prepare it to use our wireless BEFORE you come to campus. This will greatly simplify your move-in experience. Simply download the file below and read the enclosed instructions.

Mac users, when you arrive on campus, simply tell your Mac to connect to FalconNet. When prompted for your username, you must use your full FC email address (i.e. along with your FalconLink password. Accept any certificates that are presented and you should connect just fine.

Download the wireless setup for PC

VIII. Computer Labs

There are about 80 lab computers available to students around campus, so it is easy to find an open spot when you have work to do. All computer lab machines have the full Microsoft Office suite installed and have network printers available for printing (charges apply). Scanners and color printing are also available.

There are several lab computers available to students around campus, so it is easy to find an open spot when you have work to do. All computer lab machines have the full Microsoft Office suite installed and have network printers available for printing (charges apply). Scanners and color printing are also available.

IX. Where To Get Help

If you are experiencing problems with your Internet connection in your room, the first thing to do is use a friend’s PC or a lab PC and submit a help ticket via the FalconLink website. These tickets will be processed by the IT department using the same system as our employees use. You can also check the status of your help ticket at any time.

Help with your PC (viruses, spyware, general slowness, hardware problems, etc.) is not within the general pervue of support provided by the college. For these types of problems, we recommend that you consult friends on campus or take your PC to a local computer store. We do not endorse any particular store, but can provide some suggestions if you need help in locating one.

Should you need to visit our offices, all IT offices are located in the Breezeway, adjacent to McCarty auditorium. B.J. McKinney is the Director of Information Technology, Jon Rae is our Systems Administrator, and Ken Kearley is the Corporate Applications Manager. Any of the three of us would be happy to assist you with computer issues.

X. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: We are planning to buy a new PC for our student, do you have any recommendations on what kind to get?

A: While we do not promote any one brand or type of computer, we can speak from what we see year to year. Most students are bringing laptops to campus now. Dell and Toshiba are brands we’ve seen hold up well. Sony and Gateway are brands we have seen problems with. Average cost for a Dell laptop is now under $600 for an entry-level machine. The college does not have any discounts available with any vendors.

Q: What software does my student need on his/her PC?

A: As outlined above in the “What to Bring” section, you should have a full version of anti-virus and anti-spyware software, along with some productivity suite (word processor, spreadsheet, etc), preferably Microsoft Office (as all faculty use this product, so life will be easier if you don’t have to convert everything from some other format).

Q: I can’t check my email, what do I need to do?

A: Your email account is not created at the same time as your FalconLink ID.  You receive your ID when you are officially classified as an applicant, so that you can access the student portal.  Your email account is assigned when you are officially accepted to Florida College.  An email will be sent to your off campus email address with instructions for checking your FC email. Once your account is active, go to and follow the instructions in section 1, Logging On. If you are still having problems, contact the IT Department at 813.988.5131 x200 or email