A-Z Index

New Student Technology Help

New Student Technology Help

The Northwest Technology guide is designed to help new students understand campus technology services and resources.

As a new student, what should I know first about Northwest Technology?

Northwest Network Account

Once you are admitted as a student at Northwest, you will be issued a:

  • Northwest Network Account (username and password).
    • You manage this account from Northwest's Self Service Password Reset page or your Northwest-issued laptop.
    • Login credentials for all campus online account services including CatPAWS.
Northwest Technology Policies

Anytime you use your Northwest-issued login credentials or Northwest hardware, software and networks, you are agreeing to abide by Northwest's Technology Policies.

Technology Policies

Security FAQ

              Beware of Phishing      

What online Northwest services do I have access to?

First Time Login
  • First Time Login is used to access Self Service Password Reset to create your initial password or change your existing password.
Northwest Email
  • All Northwest students, faculty and staff are issued a Northwest Email account via Microsoft's Office 365. 
    • Account size/storage space is determined by Microsoft and therefore, subject to change.
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to Northwest Email.
Be Aware!

The Northwest Technology Service Center and the University will never ask you to submit your personal information like login credentials in an email!  Even if it looks legitimate, it's a scam!  Watch our Phishing Video to learn how to protect yourself!

Northwest Online
  • Northwest Online (also known as Canvas) allows online access to, among other things:
    • Class syllabuses
    • Class assignments
    • Class exams
    • Class announcements
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to Northwest Online.
  • CatPAWS is a web-based program that allows you to, among other things:
    • Enroll in classes
    • Add/Drop classes
    • View housing assignment
    • View student employment electronic time sheet and tax information
    • View financial assistance
    • View your course schedule and unofficial transcript
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to CatPAWS.
  • The myNorthwest web portal is a central location for you to access, among other things:
    • Student announcements
    • Student events and important dates
    • Advisement scheduling through Northwest Success 360
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to myNorthwest.
  • BearcatLink is a portal for locating information on student organizations and managing organization memberships.
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to BearcatLink.
Northwest Success 360
  • Northwest Successes 360 is the official academic advising and student success platform at Northwest.
  • Students can schedule appointments with their advisor, faculty and other success team personnel.
  • Students can also review course history and connect to campus resources.
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to Northwest Success 360.
  • TutorTrac is used to schedule tutoring sessions with the Student Success Center and the Writing Center.
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to TutorTrac.
Degree Audit
  • Degree Audit allows you to:
    • View your unofficial transcript
    • Check degree completion progress
    • Calculate your GPA based on current courses
  • You will use your Northwest Network Account to login to Degree Audit.

All University online services, including CatPAWS, can be accessed from:

Account Login FAQ

Northwest Email FAQ

              Beware of Phishing      

What do I need to know about my Northwest-issued Laptop?

Northwest Laptops
  • All students attending Northwest classes on campus are provided with a University-owned, wireless-ready laptop computer.
    • Campus laptop models may vary between students depending on availability and  enrollment status.
  • When using Northwest equipment, network(s), online accounts and services, you are agreeing to abide by Northwest Technology Policies.
Microsoft Logo - Bearcat Green Version
  • Northwest-issued laptops have standardized University-licensed software to set students up for academic success.
    • Microsoft Windows
    • Microsoft Office 365
Laptop Home
  • The Northwest-issued laptop and its accessories can be picked up and returned to the Northwest Technology Service Center (NTSC), which is located in the Jon T. Rickman Electronic Campus Support Center (ECSC).
  • You must initial the Northwest Laptop Agreement prior to laptop pickup.
    • The laptop agreement is located in the Personal Information menu within CatPAWS.
  • You must have your Bearcat ID card with you to pick up your laptop.
Laptop Repairs
  • All repairs of Northwest-issued laptops for normal day wear-and-tear or software failure are free-of-charge.
    • A few, select hardware repairs incur cost sharing fees.
  • All repairs of Northwest-issued laptops must be done at the Northwest Technology Service Center.
  • You may not remove the exterior casing or upgrade the internal components of your Northwest-issued laptop.
  • Adding hardware (peripherals/dongles) like mass storage devices, docking stations, monitors, etc., is allowed.
  • You can customize your laptop with personal stickers.  However, you must remove all personal stickers and adhesive residue prior to returning the laptop or a fee will be incurred.
Personal File Storage
  • The Northwest Technology Service Center is not responsible for backing up personal files.
  • The NTSC does not provide file storage hardware.
  • The NTSC strongly recommends that you back up (make copies) of all important files on your Northwest-issued laptop (as well as other personally-owned computing devices).
    • Suggestions for backup storage:
      • Microsoft OneDrive (Office 365) 
        • Personal file storage provided with your Northwest Email account. Allows you to store personal files such as music, video, graphics/images and other data including Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets.
      • Legitimate file storage services like and Google Drive
      • Portable external hard drive
      • USB Flash drives
Be Aware!

View with suspicion all unknown online services, advertisements or unsolicited emails or phone calls claiming that they can back up your files for a fee or requesting to put a credit card on file.  Usually it is a scam!

Administrative Privilege
  • You have administrative rights on your Northwest-issued laptop.
  • You can install personally-purchased software for course work and personal entertainment.
  • You can not change the Northwest-provided operating system (OS).
Northwest Technology Security
  • You should consider insuring your Northwest-issued laptop (along with other personal devices that you bring to campus) in case of major damage or loss due to such things as fire, flood, theft or vandalism.
    • Northwest does not provide laptop insurance or endorse any insurance provider.  

Northwest Laptops FAQ

Beware of Phishing

What do I need to know about bringing personal devices to campus?

Personal Computers
  • Personally purchased desktops, laptops, tablets and e-readers are allowed on both the wired and wireless Northwest networks.
  • Must have an operating system (OS) that is compatible with Northwest's wired and wireless networks.
    • Recommended OS:
      • Microsoft Windows
    • Others that work on the Northwest network:
      • Apple iOS
      • Linux
  • Must be wireless and/or wired ready.
  • Must have current antivirus and operating system updates or you will be in violation of Northwest Technology Policies.
    • Safeguards your personal identity and important data.
    • Safeguards the data and personal identities of other campus network users.
    • Safeguards the stability of the campus wired and wireless networks.
    • Safeguards campus online resources.

By using the Northwest wired or wireless network (even with a personal computer or device), you are agreeing to abide by Northwest Technology Policies.

Smart Phone
  • Personal smartphones are allowed on Northwest's Secure, Personal and Guest wireless networks.
    • For those with Northwest Network Account login credentials, you are encouraged to use the secure wireless network at all times.
  • You can easily set up your Northwest Email to work successfully on your smartphone with the Outlook app.
  • By using the Northwest Secure, Personal and Guest networks, you are agreeing to abide by Northwest Technology Policies.
  • Gaming systems are allowed only on Northwest's wired network.
    • Examples of gaming systems:  Xbox , PlayStation and Nintendo
  • You can get onto Northwest's wired network with an Ethernet cable via an Ethernet port.
    • Ethernet ports are located in every residence hall room and faculty/staff office.
    • Ethernet ports are located in most academic and public buildings such as the Station, Student Union and B.D. Owens Library.
    • Ethernet cables are not provided by Northwest for personal devices.
  • Smart entertainment devices like TVs, Roku, Alexa and Chromecast are allowed on the Northwest wired and NWMSU_Secure and NWMSU_Personal wireless networks.
Wired Printer
  • Personal printers are allowed but not necessary at Northwest.
    • The vast majority of assignments and exams are submitted electronically and thus, are paperless.
  • University networked printers are available most everywhere on campus such as the front desk of each residence hall and in public spaces like B.D. Owens Library and the Station.
      • Printing to a University networked printer does not require payment at time of printing.  In short, there are no up-front costs associated with printing.
      • Users who print to a campus networked printer are auto-billed by their login credentials for the size of their print job.
        • Black and white printing is 10 cents per page.
        • You will typically see your specific printing charges appear on your University bill the next business day.
  • Personal printers are allowed only on the Northwest wired network.
No Wireless Personal Printers
  • Wireless must be disabled and your printer should be connected directly via its printer cables or you will be in violation of Northwest Technology Policies.
    • You will be in violation of Northwest Technology Policies if you are using your personal printer on Northwest Wi-Fi.
Wired Switch or Hub
  • Wired switches and hubs are allowed on the wired Northwest network.
No Personal Wireless Routers
  • Routers that are not owned and operated by Northwest are not allowed to connect to either the wired or wireless Northwest networks.
Video Cams
  • Webcams are allowed on the Northwest wired and wireless networks.
  • Video conferencing messaging applications are allowed on the campus wired and wireless networks.
No NTSC Repair
  • The Northwest Technology Service Center (NTSC) does not maintain, repair or provide software or software licenses for personally purchased, non-University-provided computing equipment or other communication and entertainment devices.
Northwest Technology Service Center
  • The Northwest Technology Service Center (NTSC) is responsible for maintaining a stable wireless and wired network in all campus buildings (where warranted) and in all residence halls.
  • The NTSC is also responsible for ethernet ports that connect successfully to the Northwest wired network.
  • The NTSC will assist with helping you to successfully do the following with your personally-owned computing and communication devices if you have active Northwest Network Account login credentials:
      • Connect to Northwest Wi-Fi
      • Connect to the Northwest wired network
      • Print to a networked printer
      • Set up Northwest Email on smartphone
NTSC Not Responsible

Northwest is not responsible or liable for the loss or damage to personally-owned devices brought to campus and does not provide insurance for such devices.  If you are interested in obtaining insurance, the NTSC has (as a courtesy) provided a list of known and legitimate vendors who have previously provided Northwest students with personal equipment protection.  See more information on these vendors* on the Northwest Laptops web page.

*Northwest is not affiliated with insurance vendors and does not endorse any insurance vendor or plan.

Northwest WiFi FAQ

Gaming Console FAQ

Any Questions?

Tech Help Hours

How-To Guides

              Beware of Phishing