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Change Course Access Dates For Students

Sunrise over road with treesOfficial courses in Canvas are automatically set to:

  • begin on the first scheduled day of class at 7am.
  • conclude three weeks past the last scheduled day of class.

However, faculty may adjust dates to allow early access for students, if needed.

IMPORTANT: California Ed Code and District policy prohibit beginning instruction prior to the first day of an official term.  Faculty may provide access to the course syllabus and basic content, but students cannot be required to submit work or participate in the class prior to the official start date.

Change Course Access Dates

IMPORTANT: Note that course Start/End dates must be edited in TWO places.

To adjust the Start date to allow early access to students:

1. Edit the course dates:

  • go to Settings
  • on the Course Details tab, edit the Start or End date
  • click Update Course Details

2. Edit the section dates:

  • click the Sections tab
  • click the section name
      (edit each section if there are more than one)
  • click Edit Section
  • edit the Start or End date
  • click Update Section
  • click Back to Course Settings
  • click the Course Details tab
  • click Update Course Details

IMPORTANT:  A course must be Published to be visible to students.

See the Canvas Guides:

How do I change the start and end dates for a course?

How Do I Publish A Course?


Communicate With Students Early

Use MyBC

Faculty can use their official roster in MyBC Self-Service to email students before classes begin.  

Use Canvas

Students are enrolled into Canvas a few days before the beginning of each semester.

If the course Start date has been adjusted and the course has been published, the instructor can use Announcements and the Inbox to communicate with students before the first scheduled day of class.

IMPORTANT:  Class hasn’t started yet!  Some students may still add the class after you have sent messages to the rest of the class, but before the course has officially begun.  Be sure to repeat or clarify any information or announcements students may have missed.

See the Canvas Guides:

How do I send a message to all students using the Inbox?

How do I add an announcement in a course?




5 thoughts on “Change Course Access Dates For Students”

  1. this was very helpful and easy to do. I wanted to edit/delete the course summary below my syllabus that had loaded all of my online quizzes, is there a way to do that?

  2. If your course has multiple combined sections and you want to give students early access, then changing the global start date and publishing is not enough. You need to go into the sections area within settings and change the start date of each section. Sneaky…



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