What is Canvas?

Canvas is browser-based and works on PCs, Macs, phones, and tablets – anywhere you can find an internet connection!

SPSCC uses Canvas in all courses to provide course engagement, online learning activities, grading, streaming media, discussions, and more.

You will have a customized Canvas dashboard that links to classes you are enrolled in and provides a calendar and a to-do list. There are lots of ways to customize Canvas to personalize your experience and make it work for you.

Watch this Introduction to Canvas video to learn how to login to Canvas and navigate through the software to customize and access your courses.

Canvas Basics

How to login to Canvas

To login to Canvas, use your SPSCC email and password. You can locate Canvas on the SPSCC website by clicking on ‘MySPSCC’. You can access it directly at

  • Once logged in, you will see your dashboard that will contain courses you are currently enrolled in.

  • You can customize Canvas in several ways including through notifications, color-coding courses, and more.
    View the Introduction to Canvas video to learn how to do these customizations.

CCE or TESC Students login a little differently:

  • Login with your SIDI and Default Canvas password at
  • Your default Canvas password is the first 8 letters of your last name, all lowercase. If your last name is short, repeat it until you reach 8 letters.
  • To reset your default Canvas password, e-mail Please include: your full legal name, Student ID number, and at least one course you are taking this quarter. We will process your request no later than the next business day.
Mobile Access

You can login from your mobile device as well.

Once you have downloaded the app and opened it for the first time, you will be asked to select a school. Search for and select “South Puget Sound Community College.” Your login information is the same on the app as in the website. There is some functionality on the mobile version that is limited, so be sure to check Canvas using the desktop version to confirm you are getting all the information you need from your instructors. 

Choosing a browser

Canvas works best with Chrome, Firefox or Safari. Keep your browser up-to-date to guarantee compatibility with Canvas. You can check (and update) your browser by visiting We do not recommend using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. From a smartphone, using the app works better for most tasks than the mobile web site, regardless of browser.

  • Canvas currently uses Flash to display certain content, and you may require Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office to download and open documents or files from your instructor. You may check your current versions of Flash and Adobe, as well as update them, by visiting
  • View a full list of technical requirements, including supported browsers, required plug-ins, and security settings from the Canvas Guides
  • It's also a great idea to download and install Microsoft Office (free while you are an SPSCC student) by logging into your SPSCC Office 365 account
Navigating Canvas

The left-hand navigation bar provides access to the most commonly used tools for navigating through Canvas.
The Introduction to Canvas video reviews the different options. You can also find out about Global Navigation in Canvas

Contacting your instructor

From Canvas, select the Inbox icon on the left-side navigation menu. Near the top, click the ”Compose a New Message” button. You may type your instructor’s name, or you can select your course and instructor from the drop-down lists. Type your message and click “Send”. Note that you cannot contact your instructor through Canvas until your course has been published.

You can also message your instructor by clicking on the “Canvas Info” button on the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar in Canvas. Click on “Ask your instructor a question” and it will prompt you to identify which course, and provide a box for you to type in your message.

{C}Get help with Canvas

For support, you can contact either the SPSCC Help Desk or the Center for Teaching & Online Learning

For the Help Desk, you may:

  • Visit IT services on the first floor of building 25 at the Mottman campus
  • Call (360) 596-5544
  • E-mail

For the Center for Teaching & Online Learning, you may:

  • Visit us on the first floor of building 22 in rom 181 at the Mottman campus
  • Call (360) 596-5260
  • E-mail
  • Select the “Help” button from the left-hand navigation menu in Canvas

Troubleshooting Frequent Canvas Issues

Missing courses

Until a course is published (made public), you cannot access any of the content for that class through Canvas. To see all of your courses, click the Courses icon in the left-hand navigation, then click the text link “All Courses”. From the All Courses page, you will also see a complete list of your SPSCC courses, including its publishing status. The Introduction to Canvas video demonstrates how to add and remove courses from your main dashboard. 

  • If your course vanishes during the quarter, check your enrollment status. You may have been dropped from the course for non-payment or non-participation. You can check with Enrollment Services  at (360) 596-5241 or visit either campus' One Stop desk for instructions on resolving the issue and being re-added to your courses.
Assignment due, but not showing 

First, confirm that you are looking in the right place. Each Canvas course can look a little different, based on how your instructor built the class. If available, select "Modules" from the navigation menu on the left, and look for the assignment there. If it is not available, look for Assignments, Quizzes, or Discussions on the navigation menu on the left, depending on what is due. If it does not show in either place, the assignment may not be published, or it may be somewhere else in the course. Contact your instructor for assistance.

Canvas and Cookies

From within the Canvas page for your course, select "Grades" from the navigation options on the left. Results for any assignment graded through Canvas will be available there. If you have questions about your score, or missing grades, contact your instructor. Remember that your total in the course is only reflective of what assignments have already been graded, and until the very end of the course is not a final score. Your grade will adjust as the course continues and new assignments are entered.

Help for MathXL, Cengage, MyLab, etc 

The Center for Teaching and Online Learning can provide only limited support for these third-party learning tools. Because we have no access to the pages of these tools, we can only help you follow any directions from your instructor or the tool’s publisher. We cannot reset password for these tools, or see work submitted. For support with these tools, please visit their respective technical support pages.

Frequently used publisher tools include: