ADVANCE receives national award for enhancing the student transition experience

George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) were honored with the 2019 John N. Gardner Institutional Excellence for Students in Transition Award for their innovative partnership ADVANCE.

The award, presented by the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition, recognizes cross-institutional initiatives that aim to enhance the student transition experience at the undergraduate level.

Now in its second year, ADVANCE is redefining the transfer experience for almost 700 students who will make the journey from NOVA to Mason. Streamlined admissions, defined curricular pathways, success coaching and wraparound student support are making it easier and more affordable for students to earn degrees.

“ADVANCE is receiving tremendous recognition because of its potential to transform the way higher ed institutions collaborate for student success,” said Ashlie Prioleau, executive director of ADVANCE. “Not only is it breaking down transfer barriers for students, but is also creating more streamlined internal processes across NOVA and Mason that ultimately benefit the student.”

The John N. Gardner Institutional Excellence for Students in Transition Award is named in honor of the individual who first envisioned and created the National Resource Center at the University of South Carolina.

“John’s work has always been focused on assisting institutions in making changes to better support their first-year and other students in transition,” said Jennifer Keup, Director of the National Resource Center. “Countless students have persisted at colleges and universities because of the influence and impact of the courses and programs that he created, championed, and inspired through personal interactions and Center-sponsored events and resources.”

“Mason and NOVA are honored to be receiving this award,” said Prioleau. “Our institutions have a long and impressive history of collaboration. In many ways, ADVANCE is a culmination of our efforts to support transfer students and ease some of the transitional barriers they experience. Together we are building what we believe is a national model for dramatically expanding educational access and helping students succeed throughout their academic journey and beyond.”

By Angelina Jarrouj

VCU Information Session: Pathways to Teaching Career Switcher Program

Have you been dreaming of becoming a teacher as a second career and are ready to make it happen now? The Pathways accelerated program is for you!

The VCU Career Switcher Program provides an efficient path to the classroom for many individuals interested in pursuing a career in PreK-12 education.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university.
  •  Have at least three years of full-time work experience or its equivalent.
  • Begin the process for taking VA Qualifying exams.

RSVP here for the next information session.

When: Thursday, November 7, 2019

Time: 6:00PM

Location: Grace E. Harris Hall, Room 2108
1015 Floyd Ave, Richmond, VA 23220

For more info, contact: Dr. Joshua Cole at colejp@vcu.ed

University of Maryland University College Name Change

In case you missed it, the University of Maryland University College is now called the University of Maryland Global Campus. The  new website is:

The old website ( will route to the new website for now. 

UMCG provides opportunities for NOVA students to study in the Metropolitan DC Area as well as online.   If you want face to face classes, there are courses offered at local locations in Maryland and Northern Virginia.  They primarily serve working adults and well known for educating active military, veterans and families.  They are a public state university that provides scholarships and federal financial aid.

NOVA has an articulation agreement with UMGC (formerly UMUC).

They also have a reverse transfer program which would allow you to take UMGC courses and transfer it back to complete your NOVA degree.

There are various bachelors degrees.  Main academic areas include majors such as: Business & Management, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics, Education & Teaching, Healthcare & Science, Information Technology & Computer Science, Liberal Arts & Communication, and Public Safety.  

If you have any questions about UMGC and interested in more materials or information, please contact 1-855-655-8682 or go to the Prospective Student  webpage and provide your information.

University of Virginia Transfer Admission Open House

When: Friday, November 15, 2019

Time: 9:30 AM-3:30 PM

Location: Newcomb Hall 180 McCormick Road

Charlottesville, VA 22903

Please join UVA for their Transfer Open House, which will feature a transfer admission session, a tour of Grounds, and individual school sessions sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the McIntire School of Commerce, the School of Architecture, the Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, the School of Nursing and the Curry School of Education.

If you are interested, please using the following link to register:



VCU School of Nursing Open House

When: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019

Time: 5:00Pm-7:00PM

Location: 1100 E. Leigh St. Richmond, VA 23298

Learn about the program, meet faculty and staff, and tour VCU’s School of Nursing.

Register here for the open house by noon on Oct. 16.

*For questions, contact the School of Nursing’s Office of Student Success at (804) 828-5171 or

*For more information, contact Alicia Edgerton at or (804) 828-5171 or visit

NOVA/MASON Advance Partnership

Advance is a program for NOVA students who are interested in George Mason University.  Students will receive academic advising assistance with the transfer pathways to certain academic programs and success coaching/support.  Students are also afforded the opportunity to use MASON’s facilities/resources and may be able to co-enroll in classes.

Enrollment Requirements:

  • Earned a high school diploma or GED
  • Minimum 2.00 cumulative grade point average for students with college credit
  • Enrolled in NOVA associate’s degree curricular program
  • Earned no more than 30 credit hours of applicable credit at the time of enrollment in ADVANCE

Sabrey Garling


Sabrey Garling is the Success Coach for NOVA’s Alexandria and Medical Education campuses. After graduating from NOVA Loudoun in 2013, Sabrey transferred to the University of Virginia and earned her Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English. Afterwards, Sabrey served as a College Adviser with the Virginia College Advising Corps, helping underrepresented, first-generation, and low-income high school students achieve their post-secondary aspirations. Sabrey earned her Master of Education in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University in 2019.


If you are interested in MASON Advance, please read the website below and sign up for the program:

If you have any questions contact