Registration Help and FAQs

If you have any registration questions that are not covered below, please contact us.

Registration, Accounts and Login

I forgot my username / password to register for a course. How do I retrieve it?
If you’ve forgotten your username: On the Student Portal login screen, click "Forgot User Name" and follow the instructions. 

If you’ve forgotten your password: On the Student Portal login screen, click "Forgot Password" and follow the instructions.

What do I do if I need to change or correct my email address?
You will be able to change your email address after logging in to the Student Portal. 

I am a parent or legal guardian and will be managing multiple student accounts. How can I best manage this?
We recommend that you create separate accounts for each family member, using the same contact information for each person.

What should I do if my discounts are not applied to my total amount due?
If you are eligible for a discount, you can apply it to your purchase during the checkout process. If your discount cannot be applied successfully, look in your Student Portal to make sure you have completed an appropriate application for a specific discount. Navigate to "My Applications" and select "View More Available Applications." For assistance, please contact the CE office at 401 454-6200 or

How do I search for a course?
You can use Advanced Search Options (click “Search Again” or the magnifying glass icon in the top menu) to select search criteria including: 

  • Course Number
  • Course Category: Adult Programs, Youth Courses (ages 13–17), Youth Courses (ages 9–12), Youth Courses (ages 6–8), Youth Full-Day Camps, Advanced Program Online
  • Term (Winter 2021, etc.)
  • Subject Area
  • Instruction Method (Online, Hybrid, Classroom)
  • Instructor
  • Day of the Week / Start Time / Start Month
  • Location (Off-Campus, RISD Main Campus, Westerly Education Center, Tillinghast Place)

When filtering by course availability, "Search scheduled courses" narrows your selections by courses available for registration. "Search all courses" expands your selections to courses not yet open or not available for registration. 

What happens after I get on a waiting list for a course I want?
When a space becomes available you will be automatically notified by the system via email and will then have 24 hours to enroll. 

My family shares an email address. How do we create separate accounts?
If multiple adults in a family are registering for courses, they each must have their own email address.

How do I create a student account? 
Follow these steps to create a student account: 

  • Visit the Student Portal
  • On the right hand side under the header "I am a new user" fill in your email address and select "Create an Account"
  • Fill out your profile information
  • You will automatically receive an email and a link to reset your password
  • Complete the password reset process
  • Log in to your student portal with your username and new password

I have taken a RISD CE course before. How do I access my student profile? 
If you have taken a course with us at least once since January 2016, you should already have an existing student profile. Follow these steps to access your student account: 

  • Visit the Student Portal and select "Forgot Username"
  • Enter the email address you have used for course registration in the past. Click "Continue" to retrieve your temporary username
  • You will automatically receive an email with your temporary username
  • Revisit your Student Portal, and in the "I have an account already" area, select "Forgot Password" and enter your temporary username
  • Check your email for a new message and follow the link to create a new password for your profile
  • After creating a new password, log in to your student profile and create your new permanent username by selecting "Change My Credentials"

How do I register for a course using a gift card?
Please contact the office at 401 454-6200 or email us at to register using a gift card.

How do I register if someone else is paying my tuition and fees, such as an employer or agency?
Please contact the office at 401 454-6200 or email us at

What is the difference between a drop and a withdrawal?
A drop is before or during the period when a refund may be applicable. Dropped courses will not appear on the student transcript. A withdrawal is after the enrollment and refund period has passed, but before the course ends. A withdrawal will be notated on the student transcript.

If I can no longer participate in my course, how can I drop or withdraw?
You can drop or withdraw from a class directly through the student portal. Go to "My Enrollment History" and click "Request Drop" (or "Request Withdraw") under "Actions" and "Status" for the appropriate course. A refund will be automatically generated as soon as you drop a class, if you are eligible for one at the time of dropping a course.


Instruction Methods, Technology Requirements and Access

How does online learning work at RISD CE?
RISD CE online courses may have asynchronous instruction, allowing students to take advantage of posted course content any time of day, or live (synchronous) instruction, scheduled for specific days and times via live Zoom video conferencing sessions. See detailed descriptions of these instruction styles below: 

Asynchronous Online Learning

  • An asynchronous course has no live class sessions or set meeting times, and must be completed by its specified end date. Students should expect to log in regularly to Canvas, our learning management system.
  • Coursework may include detailed tutorials, responding to prompts, participating in discussions and sharing of work. Assignments will be sequenced so that one leads to the next and it is essential to submit assignments by the due date to allow for feedback by the instructor and peers.
  • Sharing work and getting feedback or guidance from the instructor as well as giving and receiving suggestions from your peers happens frequently. Generally you can expect your instructor to respond to questions within 48 hours and to offer feedback within the week.
  • Students receive individualized support for idea development and critique of work. Some instructors may offer virtual office hours where video or telephone conversations will occur, and others may include projects where small groups of students will meet through the video conferencing platform Zoom.
  • While online learning offers flexibility, the courses are not self-paced, and you will need to check in regularly to stay current with the course and keep up with due dates for assignments.

Live (Synchronous) Online Learning 

  • Synchronous online courses meet live during a specific time of day, in Eastern Time, on the video conferencing platform Zoom. Additional course materials are hosted by Canvas. Live scheduled meeting times will be included in the section details of the course description. 
  • Students in synchronous online courses will interact with their instructor and peers in two ways: through live Zoom sessions and through Canvas. The instructor uses a mix of live and recorded video sessions to respond to student images and discussion posts, invites students to share in-progress work, presents projects and ideas, and connects one-on-one and in small groups—providing direct and responsive support for advanced learning.
  • These courses are a mix of synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) activities. This means:
    • Zoom sessions will be at a set date and time (Eastern Time). You will be required to attend and be an active participant.
    • In addition to the Zoom sessions you are expected to log into the learning management system daily to post images, participate in discussion boards, watch demos and tutorials and keep pace with assignments.
    • You’ll have access to the online course content any time of day or night.
    • The majority of class content, assignments, demonstrations and tutorials will be online. Students will need to schedule their own study, research and creative time.

What is my expected time commitment for an online course?

  • Students in adult courses should plan to spend at least six hours each week reviewing lessons, participating in discussion forums, and completing assignments.
  • Students in youth courses (ages 13–17) should plan to spend at least three hours each week reviewing lessons, participating in discussion forums, and completing assignments.
  • Students in youth courses (ages 9–12) should plan to spend at least three hours each week reviewing lessons, participating in discussion forums, and completing assignments.
  • Students in Advanced Program Online courses should plan the following:
    • Spring/Fall: A minimum of five hours per week for each Essential Fundamentals course
    • Summer: A minimum of ten hours per week for each Essential Fundamentals course. A minimum of 20 hours per week for each Concentration course.

What is a hybrid course?
A hybrid course, also known as blended learning, meets face to face in a classroom or studio during scheduled sessions. Participation also requires online interaction outside regularly scheduled sessions. Course materials are hosted by Canvas, our learning management system.

Where are “classroom” courses offered?
Our in-person courses take place in a classroom, studio or workshop setting on the RISD Campus in Providence, RI, with select courses and workshops held at Tillinghast Place in Barrington, RI, and at the Westerly Education Center in Westerly, RI.

Is the RISD Store open for purchasing supplies for my online course?
Required supplies for your course may be available for purchase, including the option for direct shipment. Visit the RISD Store website for more information.

Will I need a computer to take a RISD CE online course?
Students will need access to a laptop or desktop computer for all RISD CE online courses and programs. Please note that Google Chromebooks, iPads and other mobile devices may pose technical difficulties for classes that require access to certain software applications. Please contact CE Technology Specialist Dean Abanilla at if you have additional questions about technology requirements for a specific class.

Can I use a smartphone or mobile device to access Canvas?
If you would like to use Canvas on a smartphone or mobile device, you will need a web browser such as Safari, Chrome or Firefox. Using a device with a small screen is not recommended. Note: While you can access Canvas on a mobile device, the functionality will be limited. You will need a laptop or desktop computer to complete assignments and successfully engage in each class.

What are the technology requirements for taking a RISD CE online course?
To successfully engage in each class students will need the following:

  • Computer or laptop (not small devices)
  • Connection to high-speed internet service
  • Web browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge or Internet Explorer 11  
  • Course-specific software (listed in the course notes if applicable)

Computer and browser requirements for Canvas

How do I access Canvas?
Communication on how to access Canvas will be sent to the primary email associated with your course registration account ( As of the date you receive that email, you can begin accessing Canvas to familiarize yourself with the system. Beginning at 12:00 am ET on the start date of the course, the actual course content, modules and assignments will be available on Canvas for you to start participating/engaging in/with.

If this is your first time accessing a course on Canvas, please follow the steps below to set up your account before the start of class:

  1. Visit Canvas and select “Forgot Password”.
  2. When asked for your login, enter your username/login, which is the same username/login as your username/login. You will then receive an email with a link to set up your Canvas password (be sure to check your spam folder).
  3. You can then log in using your username/login and your new password. (Both your username/login and password are case sensitive. If, at a later time, you change your username/login on our registration site,, your Canvas username/login will also be changed.)

If you have trouble accessing your account, call or chat with the Canvas Support Hotline. Call 877 249-5405*
*Students under 18 must call with a parent or guardian.

How do I contact Canvas technical support?
Online learning necessitates significant engagement with technology including hardware, software and the internet. Students should confirm that all of their personal equipment, software and services are in good working order prior to the first class.

Please contact the Canvas Support Hotline at 877 249-5405* if you have any issues accessing your account. Canvas provides resources on how to best navigate the LMS and resolve issues. Links to Canvas support are provided in the class portal. Students should review these links when they first log in and throughout the course.
*Students under 18 must call with a parent or guardian.

RISD CE also provides technical support through our dedicated technician, as well as RISD’s Information Technology Services (ITS) department. Contact CE Technology Specialist Dean Abanilla at or visit

Do I need a webcam to take a RISD CE online class?
Most of our classes do not meet live, but some classes may have opportunities to connect live with students or instructors. A webcam can make the virtual classroom more enriching for you and your classmates, but you can also participate via audio only by dialing in, or using a computer microphone. You’ll also be able to remotely share your desktop to participate without being on video.

What should I do if my class requires a scanner but I don’t have one?
There are many free scanner apps for your smartphone such as Genius Scan, Scanner Pro and Prizmo. You can also use a digital camera to capture your work. If you are having difficulty with scanning, please follow up with your instructor for guidance.

My online class requires Adobe Creative Cloud. How do I access this?
Some courses require access to Adobe Creative Cloud, or some of its creative tools such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Monthly subscriptions can be purchased from a variety of pricing plans directly from Adobe. Please visit the Adobe website for cost and downloading instructions. Be sure to check “minimum system requirements” for your computer before purchasing.

What services are available for learning disabled and physically disabled students?
RISD Continuing Education welcomes students with disabilities into all of its educational programs, including our online courses. Learn more about Canvas accessibility and compliance.

Students interested in registering for academic accommodations can connect with RISD Disability Support Services via virtual intake meetings through Zoom. Please reach out to to schedule an appointment or to learn more about how DSS can support you.

How long will I have access to my online course after the course has ended?
Most course content in Canvas will be available in a read-only format indefinitely. Courses that met via CE Link (legacy system) will be available for at least two weeks after the course has ended.


Student Resources, Materials and Advising

How do I get advice about which course is best for me?
For information about CE programs and especially about placement in an appropriate class, please call 401 454-6200, during business hours or email us at

How do I set up an appointment with an advisor?
Visit our Academic Advising page for information and appointment requests.

How old do I have to be to take a CE course?
Students must be 18 or older to enroll in RISD CE Adult courses. Teen courses are for ages 13–17; Youth courses are for ages 9–12. The Advanced Program Online is offered to high school students completing grades 9–12.

What happens once I register for my course? How is my registration confirmed?
You will receive a receipt email, as well as an enrollment confirmation email, which will include details related to your course, including dates, instructor and location. You can view information about your enrolled courses in the "My Enrollment History" tab of the Student Portal. Expect an additional email prior to the start of your course with details on how to access Canvas, our learning management system.

When will my supply list be available?
You’ll be able to view your supply/materials list in Canvas 30 days before the course start date. Once logged into Canvas, navigate to "Upcoming Courses" on the left-hand side of your dashboard. Supplies will be listed on your course homepage under the supplies heading.

What happens if my course is canceled?
If you enroll in a course that is canceled, you are notified and given the option of substituting another course or receiving a full refund. For this reason, it is extremely important that we have your correct telephone numbers and email addresses. Additionally, in the case of these circumstances, please note that RISD CE is not responsible for supplies purchased prior to the start of classes or other expenses (such as travel or lodging) that may be incurred in advance. Refunds might take up to two weeks depending on the form of payment; most refunds are processed within five business days and take the form of the original payment method for the canceled course.

How do I register my dependent for a course if they don't currently meet the age requirement but will by the time the course starts?
The registration system will match the date of birth with the class start date, but if you run into issues please email us at or call the RISD CE office at 401 454-6200 to register your dependent by phone.

Am I eligible for a tuition discount?
Tuition discounts are available to senior citizens (ages 65+), adult Continuing Education certificate graduates, RISD alumni, RISD matriculated students and active RISD Museum members. During the checkout process, you will be able to apply an eligible discount. The discount will not apply to special costs such as transportation, admittance fees, and so forth. Discounts are not transferable to family members. Also, these discounts apply only once; that is, if a senior citizen is also an alumnus, the discount is still 10 percent. These discounts apply to the current semester only and are not retroactive. The discount does not apply to special fees.

Are gift cards available?
RISD CE gift cards are available in any denomination. Please call 401 454-6200 or email us at

Still having trouble with registering? 
Please email us at or call us at 401 454-6200.

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