New to NOVA? Here’s How to Get Started!



If you are a student in the 17-24 age range and this is your first time attending college (no transfer credits, unless they are dual enrollment), then you will be a part of the GPS for Success program. GPS stands for Goals, Plans, and Strategies for Success. Our purpose is to provide you with professional advisement and proven successful study skills and strategies to assist you in your academic progression at NOVA. We are also here to help you decide what program is best for you, and to plan for transfer to four-year institutions if that is your goal. So how do you successfully navigate NOVA as a GPS student?

1. Have you applied to NOVA? If you have applied to NOVA and you fit the eligibility criteria mentioned above, then you are automatically a part of the GPS for Success program. There is nothing else that you need to do to be part of GPS. When you applied, you received a User ID (a combination of letters and numbers), and what is called either an EMPLID or SIS ID (a 7-digit number). These will be very important, as you will need these for everything NOVA-related. Your User ID will also be your VCCS email. Just add “” to your User ID and you have your new NOVA email! Log in to MyNOVA to access your student information and email.

2. Have you taken your English and Math Placement tests? If not, you are able to take the placement test at any campus placement testing center. You can just walk in, no appointment is necessary. Please bring a photo ID with you (driver’s license/permit, school ID, passport or green card) and be prepared to allot 2-3 hours per test. To find out testing center hours, get an idea of what the placement tests are like, and take a practice test, go here.

3. Do you have holds on your account? A hold means that you may not be able to register for courses until you have turned in some documentation. You may have to visit your campus Student Services center in order to turn in this documentation. It is best to log in to MyNOVA and find out what, if any, holds are on your account before moving on to the next steps. If you only have a “GPS” hold on your account, that hold will be removed once you have come to campus for New Student Orientation.

4. Have you met with a First Year Advisor? While you will be registering for classes during New Student Orientation, it is wise to meet with a First Year Advisor for early advising, to discuss your program plan and your academic goals, or just to establish your advising relationship! If you are in need of Disability Services, it would also be a good idea to meet with a Disability Support Services counselor and complete an intake packet prior to starting classes. Find out more about Disability Support Services here.

5. Have you signed up for a New Student Orientation? You will need to register for Orientation in order to enroll in courses at NOVA. At Student Orientation you will:

  • Receive interpretation of Placement Test scores
  • Develop an academic goal
  • Meet with a first-year advisor
  • Create your class schedule and register for courses
  • Learn about payment options and Financial Aid

Register for a Student Orientation here.

Next Steps:

Paying for Courses: After attending a Student Orientation, you will have to pay for courses. Financial aid may be used to pay for your courses. To find out more about payment options, click here.

Obtaining your NOVA ID card: click here for more information.

Obtaining Textbooks and Course Supplies: click here for campus Bookstore information.

Obtaining a Parking Pass: click here for Parking Information. Please note that after 4pm, parking is FREE in all B-lots and garages.

Please feel free to walk into any campus Student Services Center for more help with any of these steps. We are here for you as you start your journey at NOVA!

Test First! at the NOVA Alexandria Campus

If you are a first-time-to-college student who is graduating from high school this June, have already applied to NOVA, and plan on attending either in Summer 2015 for our Summer Bridge program or in the Fall 2015 semester, you can take advantage of special placement testing at the Alexandria campus this spring!

Test First! is an opportunity to take your English and Math placement tests on campus, receive early advising, and talk about your next steps for attending NOVA. There are four dates available for testing at the Alexandria campus:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015  4-7pm

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 4-7pm

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 4-7pm

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 4-7pm

For more information about Test First! at NOVA Alexandria and to register, please click here for our Eventbrite invitation.

See you at Test First!


Are you eager to improve your math skills, so that you can take college level math courses in your first semester at college? Are you a budding leader? Do you want to get a head-start in earning college credit toward graduation?

Then, Summer Bridge at NOVA is for YOU!

The Summer Bridge program is an opportunity for recent high school graduates to increase knowledge, skills and self-confidence by participating in a comprehensive summer program that builds a bridge between high school and college. In this six-week summer program you will receive instruction and help in math, participate in Leadership activities and complete the SDV 100-College Success Skills course, which gives you the opportunity to earn credit toward graduation.

Program Dates

July 7 – August 6, 2015

Tuesday, July 7, 2015: MANDATORY Summer Bridge Orientation

Classes held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location: TBD

Program Eligibility

  • Must be a 2015 high school graduate with a high school diploma or the equivalent and be eligible for admission to NOVA.Must have taken math placement tests and have placed into developmental math.

Program Requirements

  • Mandatory attendance and participation in all class sessions, activities and events.
  • Enrollment in Student Development (SDV 100): This college skills course is designed to assist you in making a successful transition to college. It provides you with the academic tools you need to succeed and teaches the skills of self-management and self-responsibility that relate to being a successful student. In addition, the course helps you learn how to make responsible choices about your academic, personal and career goals. Information about the College and community resources, the College’s policies and procedures, and the processes of moving effectively through the educational system are also provided.

Program Benefits

  • Increase proficiency level in basic arithmetic and algebra.
  • Develop and strengthen leadership and academic skills.
  • Receive academic planning and advising.
  • Become familiar with campus resources.
  • Build a support network with students, faculty and staff.

Program Costs

Student Responsibility

  • SDV 100 Tuition & Fees ($161.75)

NOVA Provides

  • Math Instruction
  • Tutoring
  • Experiential Learning

To apply for the 2015 Summer Bridge program, complete the following application at the link below:

Summer Bridge Application (click here

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Le’Cha Tyson at

SPRING OPEN HOUSE!!! April 25, 2015

Alexandria Open House Flyer

The GPS (Goals, Plans and Strategies) for Success Team will host its annual Spring Open House on Saturday, April 25th from 10am until 2pm in the Bisdorf Building, Room AA196.

Come out to meet the GPS Team, along with other NOVA Faculty and Staff, as well as learn additional information about:

  • Financial Aid
  • Admissions Process
  • Placement Testing
  • First Year Advisors
  • Dual Enrollment
  • Workforce Development
  • Summer Bridge Program
  • Student Life

and much, much more!

To register, please go to our Eventbrite invitation here.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Ms. Patricia Gonzalez at .