Best practice for email at Beloit College is to use the Google interface (mail.beloit.edu). The other option is to configure your email client with IMAP or POP settings.
For a brief description of the difference between IMAP and POP, seethis page. In simple terms, IMAP is a two-way connection with the mail server and POP is a one way download of mail from the server.
Enabling IMAP in Gmail
General IMAP Configuration Instructions
Enabling POP in Gmail
General POP Configuration Instructions