How to Log In to Florida Online at Daytona State College

MVSmith asked this question over in the Daytona State College forum:

Virtual College

Where did it go?

I’m signed up for Sociology via online with the VC and not only have I not yet heard from the professor, but the links I have to the VC no longer work. On top of that, I’ve been searching the new site for DSC and there’s nothing there (that I’ve found anyways).

So, if we have a class online, how do we get to it?

It’s a good question. The new virtual college is confusing. My Physics professor, Dr. Gajendra Tulsian, asked a student to log in to his account on Monday for a demonstration. He didn’t know how, the next student didn’t either, and the system wasn’t even working for the last one. Barring problems on the college’s end, here’s the reply I wrote detailing the steps:

They do make it confusing, I know. Here’s what to do:

1. Go to
2. Enter your user name as first initial, last name, last three digits of student ID. Mine is rthripp658, for example.
3. Enter your password. I think this is your Falconmail password. Use the Forgot Password link if you need to, and the system will email your password to your Falconmail account.

And to log in to your Falconnet account, click the “Falconnet” button at the top of the home page, log-in with your Student ID and password as birth date (081791, for example), click the big “Check Email” button toward the top-right, click “Continue…”, and finally, click “Inbox.” Too many steps, I know.

Once you’re in at, there are even more steps. Under “My Courses,” you may have to click the little plus sign to the right of “FA08″ (for Fall 2008) to get your course list to appear. Then, click the course you want to go to in the list. Then you’re at the course home page, where everything happens. There should be links at the top-left, below the college logo, which may say “Content Discussions Links Quizzes” (it varies by course). “Content” is where all the class material will be; mandatory reading, study guides, etc. Discussions are private, online forums for the class students. Participation is often mandatory; check the home page or Content pages to find out. “Links” are just links to other online resources. “Quizzes” aren’t just quizzes; they’re where you’ll be taking all your full-blown exams.

Good luck with your course, and let me know if you need help with anything else. Check out my article, How to Ace a Daytona State Online Exam; I’ve written some good tips there.

Daytona State College to become Daytona State University?

I was thinking why all the faculty say “Daytona State” rather than DSC, and why the website is rather than the shorter I think it’s because this leaves the opportunity open to change the name to Daytona State University. You don’t have to change the website address again or many of the forms and paperwork, because they say or abbreviate the name as “Daytona State,” which works for both.

This change could be years or decades off. Universities generally offer Master’s and Doctoral programs. But this page, Colleges vs. Universities, has something interesting to say:

Don’t assume that all universities are large disciplinary institutes. In all but three states (New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey), any college can rename itself a university regardless of size or academic offerings.

If that’s true the college could change it’s name now. “Daytona State College” may just be an interim measure, because “Daytona Beach University” doesn’t have a nice sound and moving from “Daytona Beach College” to “Daytona State University” is too big a shift at once. That’s what I’m thinking.

Is Daytona State University in your future?

Opening Day, Fall 2008

Yesterday, 2008 August 25, was the first day back to class for thousands of Daytona State College students. I was amazed by how busy the campus was, but it was likely because I only saw it between class periods when all the students and faculty were shuffling about.

Welcome back, Daytona State College students!

A sign in the courtyard out front of the theater (building 220), welcoming the students.

New parking lot

The college’s new and improved parking lot. All this land used to be just grass, unused, and the parking situation was horrendous. Over the summer workmen replaced it with hundreds of spaces.

The science building

Building 410, for science. This was my first visit to the building, way at the back of the campus, for Physics I and Biology. Very nice; I like all the glass panels.

My first day was a lot of fun. I think I like Physics the most, though it’s probably the hardest. My speech teacher, Dr. Kenneth Walker, is a very good speaker. No umms or uhhs or kindas or likes in anything he says, always quick and to the point.

The biology class is really big, and I was impressed by Dr. James Backer’s work and resources on the website. The first day of class, we had a test, though it was just for statistical collection (how much we know about biology before biology class). That was interesting.

For calculus, we started off reviewing algebra / trigonometry / pre-calculus. Since I don’t use any of it in my daily life, I’ve already forgotten most of the concepts, so I’m working on re-learning them for the duration of the course (and Calculus II and beyond).

I got the wrong book for Calculus (MAC2311). The right one is James Stewart’s Single-Variable Caclulus, Early Transcendentals Version, 6th Edition. I have Edwards & Penney’s edition. The wrong one was only $3.57 from Abebooks with free shipping (how can they afford that). I called Dr. Benjamin Landon to get the ISBN of the right book. It is 9780495385592 (ISBN-10: 049538559X). I ordered it from for $47 with shipping. He gave me the ISBN for the teacher’s edition, but it’s actually much cheaper than the regular one (compare to $130).

I’d been wondering why all the faculty home pages were gone. No one told me. They’ve been moved to Yes, they’re using the same system for offline courses as online courses now, Desire2Learn. So all the information has to be added by the faculty there, and you log in with your username (first initial, last name, last 3 #’s of student ID) and password to see your courses.

Also, my paper said my speech class was at building 220 with Mary Hemmelgarn, but it was in fact with Kenneth Walker at building 520. I was with two other students in the wrong class room, before they noticed the sign on the door. I’d seen it first but thought it was for someone else because it had the wrong room number on it and the name of a different teacher. We had to run a half-mile across campus and we got to class late. I printed my schedule up a couple months ago; they must’ve changed teachers for the course in the interim.

Why wasn’t I emailed about the move to, or the different teacher, or the moving of / typo for speech class? I certainly get a lot of other emails from the college, but when it comes to the important stuff, Daytona State often has no communication. It’s a shame.

Overall, it was a good day, though. The physics book is 1600 pages and weighs 8 pounds, and the other books are only slightly better. I just have a bag I carry them in; no backpack. It’s undoable in the heat and with the long jogs between buildings (building 520 to 410 mainly). So I bought a luggage suitcase with wheels yesterday. That should make things easier.

Physics class is 4 days a week, so I’m going in at 10 A.M. (it’s 8:20 now). I’ve read the first chapter. It’s an introduction to scalars, vectors, precision and accuracy, units of measures, the components and products of vectors, operations with them, the theory behind physics, and more. Lengthy and complicated, though it’s the shortest chapter in the book.

For the first day, I gave out a 4*6 copy of Glass Rain to all the students in every class except Speech (because I was late). The rest of the semester I’ll be exhausting the old stock; a lot of classics and my best work from my portfolio. I can’t get them printed cheaply anymore, so new stuff is a no-go. Fortunately, all of my work is new to most of the students, except a few friends who I was in the same classes with before.

Simplicity is the piece for today’s Physics class. I’m going to make a chart up for the next two weeks and post it here tomorrow.

Simplicity by Richard X. Thripp

Are you against the News-Journal Center Acquisition?

I was reading some of the comments on Daytona State College’s buy-out of the News-Journal Center. These ones were the most biting:

If you are sick and tired of this topic and want to voice objection to the Daytona State take over of the N-J Center, contact your State Representative and State Senator to block Florida legislative approval. With the cut backs in state funding for public safety and education, the $700,000 of state funding can possibly be blocked. Daytona State does not need to assume responsibility for this project. They already have a fine facility. Show me another community college with a theatre the size of the N-J Center. If Daytona State wants to spend tax dollars, it would be better spent on campus in student related matters.

Sharples just doesnt want to be outdone by Bethune Cookman. His ego is ridiculous. The college could use that money in other areas of the college.

Let me get this straight. Tippen Davidson used company money to support this money losing endeavor, of which he only controlled 51% so his minority partner’s involuntarily paid for 49% of his generosity. And of the 51% that he did control I am sure he used his charitable donation tax deductions to reduce his tax bill thereby allowing tax payers to help foot the bill. Now a judge says the News Journal can’t do this anymore SOOOO the thearter decides to dump the whole thing on the nit wits that run Daytona Beach College and allow the state to foot the bill for this money pit and they gets to keep his company name on the building!! WHAT DEAL or BOONDOOGLE

I’ve been to the college’s theater at building 220 at the Daytona campus. It’s beautiful. Hundreds of seats, great acoustics, lighting, and layout. Does a “community college” need a huge theater? I agree with the first comment, in that I haven’t heard of any others with a theater as grandiose as the News-Journal’s.

We know Sharples wants to shed the community-college roots. All the press releases brag that the school is getting bigger, expanding, growing, becoming ever larger and more bureaucratic. Does that really benefit the students? Does moving the theater three miles from the campus benefit the students?

Sometimes I wonder. Leave me a comment and tell me: are you for the News-Journal Center acquisition, or the college’s continued expansion in general? Why or why not? There are plenty of good reasons from either side, but we’ll get a much better general opinion from blog comments than press releases.

Daytona Beach City Commission to Vote 2008 Sept. 3 on News-Journal Center Acquisition

An update on the News-Journal situation: it’s getting closer. Daytona State’s board of trustees has said yes to leasing the News-Journal theater center from the Lively Arts Center for one year.

The Lively Arts Center is giving $800,000 to the college, but I suppose the college will pay even more back. However, the state has to match this gift, so the college will get 1.6 million dollars. That should help a little.

The transfer is in fact mandated by a judge, because the Seaside Music Theater isn’t paying for the center anymore. The News-Journal won’t either, and the land is the city’s, so a profitable tenant must be found. Enter Daytona State College.

Kent Sharples (DSC president) says the state legislature needs to vote too, because they’ll be paying $700,000 per year toward the operating costs if the transfer goes through.

Clay Henderson of the Lively Arts Center’s board of directors said something interesting:

“We all are trying to keep everything going in the same way Tippen Davidson envisioned. Because that could not happen, this is the best way.”

Tippen Davidson was the News-Journal president till his death in 2007 January. He was the “driving force” behind the News-Journal Center, says the News-Journal. Apparently, he’d be rolling in his grave now, because Daytona State’s acquisition of his center is repugnant to his beautiful vision.

Either way, I’m excited that the college’s classes resume tomorrow at 8 A.M. My schedule: Calculus I 8-9 A.M., Speech 9-10, Physics I 10-11, and Biology 11-12. I wish my bag had wheels. The books are so heavy.

Write Posts Right from Home on

I’m posting this with the new write posts from home feature, so you can post simple updates to your blog right from the home page, rather than in the slower backend. You set the title, content, and tags, and the post is set to your default category. Get your blog so you can start using this feature.

Free Blogs at!

You can sign up for a free blog now! Here’s the announcement:

I’m delighted to announce the addition of as the complement to! will now be called the network wherever possible, which is inclusive of the new site.

I’d been blogging at Daytona State College News ( for a while about the school, but now you can actually blog over there just like; you can be Sign up here: is the only online community dedicated to Daytona State College. If you’re a student, faculty member, or just love the college, join today! Your account is for life. I’ll be reading everything posted just like I do at, and commenting on what I find interesting. You can too if you watch the latest posts list.

This is totally linked to; you’ll appear in the directory, latest posts, etc., your account is for both sites, and both sites share the same code, theme, and database (with some conditional code to distinguish them).

Feel free to start a blog at,, or both! I suggest you keep them under one username. You can have as many blogs as you want, in case you didn’t know. You can click “Join the fun: create a blog!” in the footer when you’re logged in to add another.

One important note: you have the same username and password at AND, but the sites don’t share cookies. So you have to log in at both. If you’re on your home computer, check “remember me” at each site when logging in and you won’t have to deal with it again.

This blog will continue being my voice for news and opinions on the college, but you can create your own blogs now on the same site; stuff like,,; whatever you can think of. This is integrated with, so if you have an account there you have one here and vice-versa. Also, you’ll writing will appear in the latest posts list on the sidebar of every blog on both sites, so you have a shot at stardom.

This site has plenty of features that I’ve worked on for hundreds of hours over the last three months, because it’s the same code base as That means you get well-developed systems like beautiful, threaded comments with email alerts, an easy-to-read layout, speed, collaborative blogging, and more. I’m building on WordPress MU, so the writing screen, tools, and administrative functions are as easy to use as, with even more power.

Daytona State College is the leading college in Volusia County with five campuses in addition to the flagship Daytona Beach campus. We deserve a good community.

Daytona State College has no marketing sense

Eight-week schedules – accelerate degree completion by taking eight-week classes instead of the traditional 16-week class in a semester.”

I’m sorry, that just doesn’t cut it. It has no heart, no spirit, no feeling. It sounds cheap, shallow, and robotic. It should be this:

Eight-week schedules available for ambitious students. Do you pick up new skills quickly? Learn at a faster pace with more rigorous and engaging courses.”

I hope they change it to my suggestion. State-funded colleges can be bad at self-promotion, but we can change that. The page the quote is from is their save gas initiative, where you save gas by taking online courses (clever, huh?). Check it out. I like the “comprehensive college experience” part.

Is Daytona State College not cool?

I see that Lisa Hill published this blog post yesterday: Daytona Beach Now Has a State College!. It’s a sales pitch for real estate; apparently having a “state college” in the town is great for property values. I like her enthusiasm. “Daytona Beach has a state college! This should be a big draw for students from all over the country.” Umm, it’s the same college as before. It hasn’t changed a bit, really. They just changed the name. I could change this blog to “The Daytona State College Chronicles” and it wouldn’t make one difference because it would be the same stuff.

But enough of that. This is the paragraph that hit home for me:

My own daughter obtained one of Florida’s Bright Future’s Scholarships and will be starting her college of choice next week. (Apparently, attending college in the same county where you were born and raised is not cool.)

I got the same thing from a lot of people before joining the college. “When will you be moving off to college?” “I’m not, I’m going to DBCC and staying with my parents.” “You baby!”

Even if your moving out of the house, if you’re staying in the same area to go to college, a lot of people think it’s “not cool.” Like you have to prove something to the world by moving away and spending lots of money on an apartment / dorm room and being around strangers and being away from your family / girlfriend / boyfriend. Let me tell you now, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It makes no difference if you go to Daytona State or Harvard. You think it does, and other people think it does, but it actually means nothing. It only means something if it means something to you, but if it does you’re on the wrong path because this stuff shouldn’t matter to you to start with. There are more important things in life, like finding your purpose, making money by independently doing what you love, motivation, intellect, and more, none of which you’ll learn in college. In fact you’ll be worse off because you’ll be using your college education as a crutch. Don’t do that.

I know that most of my Daytona State colleagues are a smart bunch. They don’t fall for the stigma of going to a local college or the stigma of a community college (err, maybe a little). They don’t care about coolness. They’re above coolness. I hope I am too, but when pressured to answer, I say that DSC is undoubtedly cool. Any college that has a room with 150 computers has got to be cool (building 500, the “Advanced Technology Center” student computer lab). But the classes are fascinating too. We’ve got QUANTA, which is the coolest thing ever.

Daytona State is as good as every other college, even the bigger ones. I believe that college is not valuable; I’m just going their for the prestige. 😀 There’s a great community at the college, everyone is friendly, and the administrators only revoke scholarships occasionally. The BrightFutures program really is great; it pays for all my tuition and half of my books. You can’t get that at a “cool” college.

Do you think the college is cool? Is attending a local college in general uncool? Are community colleges cool? Does coolness even matter? Let me know in the comments section. I spent the last day reprogramming the comments system, and it’s looking fantastic now, if I do say so myself. If I get a few interesting comments I’ll feature them in an upcoming blog post.

2008-08-24 Update:: Read Lisa’s follow-up, The “Cool” College in Daytona Beach vs “un-cool” colleges. My reply:

I wasn’t thinking of the gradual evolution of the college, but you’re right, it has gotten a lot grander over the years, and is much more worthy of the “state” title now. The dual-enrollment thing is great, particularly for being free. I thought about using it but didn’t because I was far enough ahead in high school and had the BrightFutures scholarship coming.