Online MBA

Getting Started

Get Started on your Mobile Accelerated MBA at Cleveland State University

Welcome to the Online Accelerated MBA program. This guide is intended for students who have been accepted into the Online AMBA program. If you'd like to join the next cohort, apply today.

The Online Accelerated MBA program is a rigorous, accredited, and affordable MBA program that can be completed in one year. Designed for highly motivated individuals, all courses are offered in a mobile format, so you don't have to put your personal and professional life on hold while working to develop your career to its fullest potential.

Please read this guide completely and carefully. Follow the instructions below to prepare your computer, iPad and apps for participation in the program.

Online and Mobile Components

This program is offered at a distance using a Learning Management System (Blackboard), supplemented by several online resources and mobile applications. In addition to the iPad you received with registration, you will also need access to a computer with an internet connection. The courses in the Online Accelerated MBA program use Blackboard Learn, accessed through an internet browser, as the foundation on which all other elements (including the iPad apps) are organized. Blackboard is the primary entry point to all course materials.

Each course has a separate space (course shell) where you will find all the materials and resources you need to complete the course. Your instructors are available to you in each course shell via their preferred method of communication, which may include email, messages, discussions, chat, etc. Each course contains "Start Here" and "Course Information" sections. You should review these sections for the welcome and orientation to each course, course syllabus and other important information, such as course policies and expectations.

McGraw-Hill Higher Education

The program uses all McGraw-Hill electronic textbooks. The eTextbooks are available from CourseSmart on the Internet. CourseSmart also has an app for iPad users, which is a great reading tool for textbooks. Links to the CouseSmart website are available from within the Blackboard course, for your convenience, but you can also access these directly through the CourseSmart site or app. There are also numerous supplemental materials, presentations, videos, self-assessments, etc. available for the texts. These are integrated into the Blackboard system, and are available to you throughout the Blackboard course.

Getting Your Technology in Order

This section will guide you through the steps to set up your technology so that you are ready to hit the ground running. After completing this section, you will have:

  • Obtained a CSU ID and password
  • Prepared your computer and internet browser for use with Blackboard Learn
  • Logged into Blackboard Learn
  • Configured your iPad (if you are adding text books to your personal device)
  • Installed your required and recommended apps

Obtain a CSU ID and Password

A CSU ID and password are important because you will use them to log into any CSU system, including Blackboard Learn, CSU Email and CampusNet. CampusNet is an online portal for access to student records, registration and additional information.

  • Once your application and admission to Cleveland State University has been processed, you will receive a letter regarding access to university systems. You may be given an ID number and/or a temporary password. If you need assistance in obtaining this information, call CSU's Information Services and Technology call center at 216.687.5050. They can retrieve your ID number and/or reset your password in order for you to access university systems.
  • If your application is in process and you have not been issued an ID number, contact Caryn Lanzo in the Center for Instructional Media Services and Distance Education at She can issue a temporary login for Blackboard for your use only until your CSU ID is issued.

Prepare Your Computer and Internet Browser for Use with Blackboard Learn

Technical requirements and internet browser information are duplicated here but are also available at

Technical Requirements for Blackboard

Internet Access

Students need Internet access to connect to Blackboard. A broadband connection is preferred.

Operating System Requirements

  • PC: Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating systems
  • Mac: Macintosh OS X operating systems

Browser Requirements

Your web browser is the program (such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Internet Explorer) that allows you to access the Internet. The web browsers listed below have been tested and validated for use with Blackboard. Other browsers may have compatibility issues with Blackboard and are not supported. To determine your current browser version, open the Help menu at the top of the browser screen and select About.

If you typically use your Internet Service Provider's window to access the Internet, for your online course we recommend that you use instead one of the supported browsers below. To do this, first connect to the Internet through your ISP as usual, then minimize the window (do not close it!) so that you are still connected to the Internet. Click on the Start button at the bottom of your screen and go to the list of programs to open one of the supported browsers listed below.

Supported Browsers for Windows

Supported Browsers for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6

  • Safari 4.0 and 5.0
  • Firefox 3.6x ** This is the CSU Recommended browser for use with Blackboard
  • Google Chrome

Other Supported Technologies

  • Blackboard strives to make all its products as accessible as possible. JAWS for Windows 11 and 12 were used during accessibility testing.

Browsers and Technologies that are no Longer Supported

  • Internet Explorer 6 and 7
  • Firefox 1.x, 2.0, 3.0, and 3.5
  • Safari 2.0, 3.x (or any version on Windows)
  • Mac OS X 10.4
  • Java 5

Log into the CSU Blackboard Learn System

You must complete this step prior to setting up your iPad apps if you are choosing to use an iPad for reading text books. Logging into Blackboard will synchronize your courses and your textbooks, which you will need for your iPad app, specifically Blackboard Mobile and CourseSmart, to work correctly. You can log in here. You can also get to the Blackboard Login page by visiting the CSU website; go to My CSU, then choose Blackboard under Academic Resources for Students. Once you have logged into Blackboard Learn, you will see four courses in your account:

  • Online Accelerated MBA Student Orientation to Blackboard
  • MBA 600 - Team Dynamics
  • MKT 601 - Marketing Strategy
  • ACT 600 - Managerial Accounting

Specifically, you should go through the Orientation course in its entirety. For each of the program courses, you should review the Start Here and Course Information sections of the courses, which include important information on the policies and procedures of each course, syllabus and course expectations.

There are two steps that you will need to complete in order to access the McGraw-Hill Connect site for each course, and the textbook via CourseSmart for each course.

1. Access McGraw-Hill Connect Throughout Each Course (Excluding the Orientation Course)

Several areas of your courses are integrated with McGraw-Hill Connect, which provides resources associated with the textbooks. In some cases, your instructors may assign items from Connect via Blackboard, so it is imperative that you have access to this site via Blackboard. For each of your courses, there is a link in the Start Here folder to the McGraw-Hill Library for that course. There is also a registration code that you will use when you sign in to McGraw-Hill Connect. Use your CSU email address to register for Connect, and then use the code given for each course. The code is different in each class to align with the textbook for that class.

2. Use CourseSmart to Obtain eTextbooks

Set up your access to your textbooks through the Orientation course on Blackboard. Once in the orientation course, choose Messages from the Course Menu on the left. Messages is the internal messaging for each course in Blackboard. In your messages, you will have an email with the ISBN and coupon codes for your textbooks. You will need these to register for your textbooks via CourseSmart. Once you have your codes, click on CourseSmart from the Course Menu on the left. This will take you to the CourseSmart website. From this page, create an account using your CSU email address as your login. Once your account is created, you will be directed to a screen where you can enter the redemption codes for your textbooks and add them to your account.

Repeat these steps to add each additional book. You should have three books total (McShane, M: Organizational Behavior; Belch, Advertising and Promotion; and Grewal, Marketing). There are links on the Course Menu for CourseSmart so you can access them from each course. You will also download the CourseSmart app on your iPad so you have them available there as well. You only have to add the books to your account the first time. Once you have done this, they will appear each time you login via a browser or the CourseSmart app.

Configure Your iPad

  • To configure an iPad, connect to your computer and have the most recent version of iTunes installed (your iPad will detect this when you open iTunes). In addition, you will also have to create an Apple ID for use with iTunes, iCloud and the App Store, etc. You must create an Apple ID if you do not already have one. You will be prompted for this when you use iTunes.
  • Install the required and recommended apps below. Otherwise, you may set up your iPad in anyway conducive to your personal use. Add your email accounts to your settings, download apps and more. If you have an iPhone or an iPod, you can transfer music, apps, books and videos via iTunes.

Install Required and Recommended Apps

Install the following apps by navigating to the App Store from your iPad. Use the search function to locate each of the apps by the names given below.

  • Appstart for iPad (highly recommended). This app takes a fresh and fun approach to teach users how to become more familiar with the iPad and apps. It explains some basic things that all iPad users should know, as well as gives advice about apps that may suit your needs.
  • Blackboard Mobile Learn (required). The Blackboard Mobile Learn app extends your access to your courses by giving you access through an app interface. This is a good way to access your courses when you are on the go. There is a cost for this app of $2.99 for one-year access and $6.99 for unlimited (more than one year) access.

    After downloading the app, search for Cleveland State University via the app. Once you have selected Cleveland State University as your institution, the app will open a browser window for your login credentials. Once you have authenticated in the system, your courses will appear in your app.

  • CourseSmart (required). The CourseSmart app will be used for the eTextbook reader. The app provides a user-friendly eReader experience that gives you options to download sections of the book, to view sections offline if you anticipate being somewhere without Wi-Fi, highlight, make notes and mark pages. Before you download this app, be sure to login to Blackboard and complete the steps to create an account and add the books to your account that are outlined above. The app will then synchronize your books, and they will be available through your app on your iPad.
  • Tegrity. The Tegrity app is used for some instructor-produced videos in the courses. You will need it to view these videos. In order to use Tegrity, you will have to generate a code the first time you use it. See for instructions.
  • LearnSmart (highly recommended). A McGraw-Hill app, LearnSmart is a tool that allows students to access self-assessments that align with the textbook content.
  • Skyfire (optional). Skyfire is an app that is used as an optional internet browser on the iPad. Flash content found on the web is not viewable via the standard Safari browser that comes on the iPad. Skyfire is an alternative to view some sites that contain Flash content.
  • Quickoffice Pro (optional). Open, edit, create and share Microsoft Office files with this app. If you plan on using your iPad for these types of activities, then this app will be useful for you.

Next Steps

Return to Blackboard and review the Orientation course in its entirety. For each of the program courses, you should review the Start Here and Course Information sections of the course, which include important information on the policies and procedures of each course, syllabus and course expectations.

For additional questions, please contact the MBA and Graduate Programs Office:


Monte Ahuja College of Business

1860 East 18th Street, BU 327

phone: 216.687.3730