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EIU School of Extended Learning

Online New Student Information

Accessing Internet Classes

To access online classes:

  1. Go to Eastern’s homepage and click "eiu online" link
  2. Enter your EIU Net ID and password.
  3. Click "login to EIUonline"

Please note:
For students who have never taken an online class and are not sure if they are well suited to that mode of course delivery, be sure to look at this online assessment tool.

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Accessing Panthermail

  1. Go to Eastern’s homepage.
  2. Click “Panthermail”
  3. Enter your EIU Net ID and password.

Note: Be sure to check your EIU E-mail weekly as that is the official means of communication between students, staff, and faculty.

Note: Electronic Billing
Students will receive an email message through their EIU email account when their student bill is available for view in PAWS. Student bills are no longer mailed through the postal service.

Instructions on how to forward your Panthermail to another account. (click here)

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Dropping a Class

  1. If you are considering withdrawal of a course, please first check the academic calendar at for deadlines and refund options.
  2. Go to the “Add or Drop Classes” screen in PAWS.
    In the Action column you will find a box by each course. Use the drop-down menu and select the “Drop Web” option.
  3. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Submit Changes”. This will drop the course from your schedule. The screen will refresh and show that the course was deleted.

There is a difference between “dropping” a course and “withdrawing” from a course. A drop occurs either prior to the start date of the class or by a specific deadline early in the term. (See the academic calendar for deadlines.) Students are not responsible for payment of hours for a dropped course. Withdrawal occurs after the drop deadline and students are held responsible for payment of the hours even though they are no longer enrolled in the class.

Late Retroactive Withdrawal
Students who, due to hospitalization or serious illness, are unable to withdraw from a class before the established deadline, have the option of requesting a Late Retroactive Withdrawal. Please contact your advisor to obtain the form. There is a $25 per semester hour fee for the late withdrawal request ($75 for a three hour course). The deadline for initiating a late withdrawal is March 15 for the immediately preceding Fall semester and October 15 for the immediately preceding Spring or Summer semester.

Please note: If you have a university hold on your account, you will not be able to add or drop any courses.

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Electronic Writing Portfolio (EWP)

The Electronic Writing Portfolio (EWP) is the method by which the University is able to ensure that all graduates communicate as effective writers; it is a requirement for all Eastern students. The portfolio is a compilation of three samples of a student’s writing. Those three EWP submissions may come from any undergraduate course for which the student has completed an appropriate writing assignment.

Students must deposit the first two submissions by the time they earn 60 credit hours; if they fail to do so, a registration hold will be placed at 75 credit hours. Students must deposit their final submission by the time they earn 105 credit hours. Transfer students who enter the University with a significant number of hours will be given some leeway on those deadlines, but we recommend that you try to submit your first EWP document as soon as possible.

Papers must meet the following criteria to be submitted to the EWP:

  1. The paper must be at least 750 words in length (approximately 3 pages).
  2. It must be written in standard English.
  3. It must be developed in a manner consistent with the demands of the discipline for which it was written.
  4. It must contain a coherent writing sample that connects ideas within and between paragraphs. (Therefore, lists, lesson plans, and other such documents may not be submitted.)
  5. Submissions may not be creative pieces, such as poems, short stories, or plays.

How do I submit papers to my EWP?

All students—new freshmen and transfers and continuing native students—will submit documents electronically, and all faculty will be approving documents electronically. To begin the submission process, go to

Students may only submit a document from the semester in which they are currently enrolled; they may not go back to previous semesters for submissions. Submissions must be made by the close of the semester (usually the day grades are due, which is the Monday following commencement for Fall and Spring semesters). However, faculty members may set an earlier deadline by which students need to comply.

Note: Graduating seniors need to submit their EWP documents earlier in the semester—they do not have until the end of the semester to complete their submissions. Students submitting an EWP document during their final semester should consider submitting the first writing sample from their class.

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E-Number, Net ID, and Password


When an individual is admitted to the University, he/she is assigned an E-number by which all records are stored. Anytime you call a University office and ask for help that requires access to your student records, it will be necessary to provide your E-number.

Some time ago students’ social security numbers were used to access information, but for more security E-numbers are now assigned. To obtain your E-number, contact your advisor.

Net ID and Password

The Net ID and Password will be used by students to access any site essential for academic function such as PAWS (the online student information system), EIU email (PantherMail), Desire2Learn for internet classes, etc. To obtain your Net ID and Password, contact your advisor.

A password that is randomly assigned to you can be changed to one that is easier to remember. Just be sure to reset it to something that would be hard for others to guess. All passwords should be “strong” which means they should contain a combination of capital and lower case letters, at least one symbol (! # % * + ?) and at least one numeral.

For assistance in changing your password, please contact the School of Extended Learning Technical Assistance at 217-581-7227 or by email at

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Library Assistance

Eastern Illinois University’s Booth Library offers assistance in several different ways, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To speak with a librarian, please go to and click on Ask a Librarian (located on the left-hand side under the "Help" section).

For an online tutorial on how to locate a single article or to gather information for a class paper, go to

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Viewing your PAWS Degree Audit

A degree audit specifies what you have completed and what you have remaining for degree completion. It is your responsibility to check your audit in PAWS regularly. It is continuously updated to reflect any changes to your student record, such as completion of a course, EWP submissions, or transfer hours.

Please follow the steps outlined below to access your degree audit through PAWS:

  • Log onto PAWS with your net ID and password. From PAWS main menu, click on "Student".
  • From the Student menu, click on "Student Records".
  • From the Student Records menu, click on "Degree Audit Reporting System".
  • Click on "Submit an Audit".
  • Click the "Run Audit" button, in the Select Degree Program area.
  • Click on "View Submitted Audits".
  • Click on your view link.

The audit is very detailed and thorough. Please make sure that you read through it from start to finish. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact our office at 217-581-5618. Our program advisors can walk you through your audit results.

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Registering in PAWS

Eastern students register by a system called PAWS. To access PAWS, students need their EIU Net ID and password.

If your login to PAWS is unsuccessful, please contact the School of Extended Learning Technical Assistance at 217-581-7227, she will help you through the process.

To Register For Classes

  • From the Eastern Illinois University home page (, click on the "PAWS" link
  • Click on "Login to PAWS"
  • Enter your EIU Net ID and EIU Network Password. (If you do not know your EIU Network ID and EIU Network password, you need to contact the Extended Learning technology assistant at 217-581-7227.)
  • Click on the “Student” link
  • Click on “Registration” which will take you to the Registration menu.
  • To begin registering for classes, choose the “Look up Classes” option.
  • Select the appropriate term for which you would like to register from the drop-down menu and click the “Submit” button.
  • Click on Advanced Search.
  • At this screen you may make your search as broad or as narrow as you wish. Make your selections and click on the “Class Search” button at the bottom of your screen. This will bring up all courses (both open and closed) that meet the criteria of your search. You must choose a subject before you can begin a search.

    Note: To help you further, we suggest that you highlight all the subjects then choose “Internet” for the Schedule Type.

  • As you review the listing of classes, be sure to click on the CRN (course reference number) and then “view catalog entry” for catalog descriptions. If there is a prerequisite for the class, it will be included in the catalog entry.
  • Courses that are open will have a box under the “select” column on the left side of your screen. To register for the course, click in the box and a checkmark will appear. Once you have checked all of your selections, you will click on the “Register” button at the bottom of your screen. This will add the course(s) to your schedule. To verify your schedule, click “Return to Menu” and then click on “Student Detail Schedule”.

    Note: If a "C" is next to a course, this means the course is closed.

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Student ID

The University issues non-photo student identification cards to off campus and online learners. This card grants the student the same access to library resources as on-campus students. For information on how to obtain this card, go to requestidcard.php. From this site, you will be able to access the School of Extended Learning I.D. Request Form.

The Extended Learning ID Card entitles you to:

  • Access the library catalog and electronic databases
  • Check out materials at a distance and have them sent to your home or office
  • Access Interlibrary loan services
  • Check out materials in person at Booth Library and 55 other academic libraries in Illinois. (An additional photo ID is required for this.)
  • Request reference services and electronic document delivery

Once you receive your Extended Learning ID Card, it will be valid until the end of the semester in which it was requested. Cards will automatically be reactivated when you register for a class. Please note that if you already have an active Panther Card, you may not request a Extended Learning ID card.

If you have further questions, call 217-581-5114 or send an email message:

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Student Responsibilities

Certain requirements must be met before a degree is granted. It is important for students to acquaint themselves with these requirements and to continue to keep themselves informed about them during their college careers. The student has the ultimate responsibility to know and fulfill the requirements for his/her degree program, to check his/her own eligibility to take courses, and to observe the academic rules governing his/her program. Although the advisor will attempt to help the student make wise decisions, the ultimate responsibility for meeting the requirements for graduation rests with the student.

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Textbook Rental

Because Eastern Illinois University uses a textbook rental system, students do not have to purchase books. A fee of $9.75 per semester hour is charged to students to support the operations of Textbook Rental Services.

Students who live outside Coles County and register for classes that are delivered by internet or offered at an off-campus location, will receive their textbooks by mail via UPS. Since UPS will not deliver to a PO Box, a street address must be provided by the student. It is the responsibility of the student to return textbooks in a timely manner (within five days after the end of the semester or after withdrawal of a course). Textbooks can be mailed back to Textbook Rental Services. Students are encouraged to insure all packages when mailing.

Anyone who registers late for a class should contact Textbook Rental Services to inform them of the late registration so a book can be mailed as soon as possible. The phone number for Textbook Rental Services between the hours of 8:00am - 4:30pm is 217-581-3626 or 581-7484 or email In this case, the student might not receive their books on or before the first night of class.

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Graduate School (Prepare Now)

If you think you might be interested in applying to The Graduate School after achieving your bachelor’s degree, you’ll want to take steps now toward that goal. Here is a list of recommendations.

  • Solid grades are a prerequisite to any graduate program, so maintain a high GPA. Professional work experience, employer recommendations, and favorable faculty evaluations are also important.
  • Contact the Graduate Coordinator for the graduate program you plan to pursue to ask if there are any undergraduate classes that you should take now as you work toward your bachelor’s degree, and that would be required for your graduate degree.
  • Take several classes in an area of study that will increase your knowledge of your chosen graduate program.
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills are necessary for success in a graduate program so don’t shy from opportunities to strengthen those skills, such as research papers and oral presentations. Some graduate applications will require a written essay from the applicant.
  • Listen to the presentation by our university’s Graduate School dean (Dr. Augustine), accessible from theSchool of Extended Learning website. You’ll find the “Preparation to Pursue a Graduate Degree” link on the right side of your screen.
  • Visit the EIU Graduate School website for information on the application process, required test scores, etc.

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Related Pages

Contact Information

School of Extended Learning

600 Lincoln Avenue
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-5114

Academy of Lifelong Learning

600 Lincoln Avenue, Buzzard Hall Room 1328
(217) 581-7415

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