What is Canvas?

Canvas is a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS) that we use to support instruction. Canvas allows instructors to upload course content to a virtual classroom where they can distribute that content to students near and far. Canvas also allows instructors to facilitate instruction through a variety of tools that encourage student-to-student, student-to-instructor, and student-to-content interactions. For example, when using Canvas, students may be asked to read articles, watch videos, submit assignments, take quizzes, participate in discussions, and complete group projects. Some of our instructors use this tool to enhance their face-to-face courses, while others use it support their hybrid and fully online instruction.

Canvas Overview

200 - Canvas Overview for Students from Instructure Canvas Community on Vimeo.


Username: ctcLink ID (EMPLID) - (example: 101000222)

Canvas example login screen:

Canvas login example screen

Online and Visual Media courses support:

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 courses, including its publishing status. If your course is not published and you are not using a publisher's website to access content, please contact your instructor.

You should also check your enrollment status. If you are on a course waitlist, you will not have access to the course until you are officially enrolled. You may have been dropped from the course for non-payment or non-participation. For instructions on resolving the issue and being re-enrolled in your courses, check with Registration at (206) 934-6918, e-mail them at or come to the Registration office at the Broadway Edison building, room 1104.

If you are a tuition waiver student and you need access to a Canvas course while waiting to be registered, you must have the instructor's permission in writing to be added to the course. Please forward your instructor's written approval to, and include both your SID and the section's four-digit item number (found at the course schedule). For example, ACCT&201 Section 1234.OL.

Finally, double-check which campus your course is going through. If you attend classes at both South Seattle College and Seattle Central College, for example, you may have two Canvas accounts. Check which account you are logged into. If you have multiple accounts, you can merge them following these instructions (Links to an external site.). If you cannot log in to your Seattle Central College account, please contact

If you have confirmed that you are enrolled in the course, and the course does not appear as Not Published on your All Courses list, please contact

Canvas works best with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. 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, Microsoft Edge, or Apple Safari. You can use a browser or the web app to access Canvas from a mobile device, but neither option works well for submitting assignments. If you need to submit an assignment, participate in a discussion, or complete a quiz, we highly encourage you to access the course from a computer.

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.

Ensuring an accessible and pleasant experience to all users, regardless of disability, is a key element of Canvas software. The Canvas platform was built using the most modern HTML and CSS technologies, and is committed to W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative and Section 508 guidelines.

The Voluntary Product Accessibility Template, or VPAT, is a tool that administrators and decision-makers can use to evaluate Canvas' conformance with the accessibility standards under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. View more information about the Canvas Voluntary Product Accessibility Template.

General accessibility design guidelines can be found in the General Accessibility Design Guidelines document.

You can read more about the most recent accessibility and feature enhancements in the Canvas Product Release Notes. If you have additional suggestions, please contact

Learn more... (Links to an external site.)

Computer Requirements

Canvas provides a list of basic computer system requirements to use.

Supported Browsers

Not all browsers are created equal. Some work better with Canvas, and some may encounter problems.

  • We recommend Google Chrome and Firefox. Internet Explorer and Safari are NOT recommended.
  • Although Canvas “supports” a list of browsers, some are supported less than others.
  • Use browsers with current updates. Most likely your browser is set for auto update. Visit the What Browser Am I Using website to find out what browser and what version you are using. Then, check the Canvas Supported Browser page to see if your version is supported. If not, you can manually update your browser.