This week at ELI

Fall eLEAD Series-  ELI Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students! eLEAD is a 4-week asynchronous program delivered via Blackboard. The overall goal is to foster a sense of community among students taking online courses, to develop more self-awareness of leadership strengths and skills, and to help you maximize your talents as they relate to academic and professional goals. Register now!

nullJoin our Virtual Student Union. Are you taking online classes and looking to connect with other students outside of a classroom setting? Check out our Virtual Student Union or VSU. This is an engagement hub where ELI students have access to create a profile, join discussion forums and connect with other students. In celebration of our new site launch, students will be eligible for raffle prizes once they create an account and interact on the site. Drawings will be done weekly and monthly through the fall semester. Join now!

Become an ELI Student Blogger. Love to write? Become an ELI Student Blogger! This group will be geared toward students who enjoy to write or blog and are possibly interested in pursuing a career in media and/or journalism. Members of this group will directly contribute to the ELIfe student blog. For more information, fill out the ELI Student Bloggers Interest Form.

Engage in your Community! We want to learn more about how NOVA ELI Students are engaging in the community! Email us at and tell us where and when you are volunteering and we will send you a FREE NOVA Student Life T-shirt to wear!  Coming Soon! (Community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available).

Don’t forget to sign-up for NOVA Alert.  NOVA Alert is a free alert system that allows NOVA to contact you during an emergency by sending messages to your cell phone and email.

Online Virtual Scavenger Hunt

Happy National Online Learning Day! Today we celebrate the wonderful opportunity that NOVA offers for students to take online classes no matter where you live!

To celebrate, we have created a virtual online scavenger hunt so you can learn more about taking online courses through the Extended Learning Institute at NOVA. Here is what you need to know to begin:

1)Beginning at 9am pm on September 15th , participants will have 24 hours (until 9am on September 16th) to submit your answers.

2)Answers can be found on any of the digital resources that ELI provides.(Follow our Twitter handle @NOVAELIfe for possible hints).

3) Tie breakers will be determined by which participant(s) submitted their form in the quickest time. Prizes will be given to the first 5 participants who turn in their form in the quickest time with all the correct answers. Five additional participation winners will also be announced.

Good Luck and HAVE FUN!

-ELI Student Life


Start the Virtual Scavenger Hunt 

Jobs and Internships Database for NOVA Students

Trying to find an internship?  Looking for a job?  Whether you are near a computer or on the go, a great place to begin your search is by accessing the Jobs and Internships Database for NOVA Students. 

The following are some benefits of using the system.

  • Search for jobs and internships.  Take a look at many local positions available now.
  • Build a new resume with the Resume Builder feature.
  • Upload your resume and make it searchable to employers.
  • Check out over 1,000 career articles written by industry professionals.
  • View career videos and listen to over 25 career advice podcasts on topics including resume basics,  interviewing, and personal branding.
  • Browse and sign-up for upcoming workshops, programs, and events at NOVA and in the surrounding area.

Don’t delay – follow the steps below to begin using the system.

  1. Access the Jobs and Internships Database
  2. Select Students
  3. Follow on screen instructions

Contact ELI Counselor, Christy Jensen ( if you have any problems accessing the system.

National Online Learning Day!

National Online Learning Day is Friday, September 15 and we want to celebrate you all week! We wanted to take the opportunity to share with you 10 things you might not know about the Extended Learning Institute (ELI) at Northern Virginia Community College.

This picture was dated 1974 and shows staff getting media ready for some of the first distance/correspondence learning courses offered through the  Extended Learning Institute! 1974-eli-011.    23,000 NOVA students taken online courses through the ELI each year.

2.    ELI offers more than 500 online courses, so whatever field you’re in and whatever degree requirement you’re working to fill, you can probably find some options at ELI!

3.    ELI courses and ELI faculty win national awards every year.

4.    You are not alone when you take an ELI course – you will interact with your instructor and classmates through discussions, group assignments, and more.

5.    ELI staff provide lots of services to support you in your online courses, too, including 24/7 free online tutoring, online librarians, 24/7 technical support, student success coaches, and much more.

6.    ELI offers several start dates each semester, for most of our courses, so just about any time you want to get started with us, we have a new session starting soon!

7.    You can earn more than 40 complete associate’s degrees and certificates entirely through ELI. Check out the complete list on ELI’s website.

8.    Not sure whether an online course is right for you? You can take the SmarterMeasure assessment to find out!

9.    ELI offers courses in 16-week, 12-week, 10-week and 8-week lengths so you can choose the schedule and course length that best fits your needs.

10.    Most ELI students take classes on campus as well as ELI classes; combining the two can be the perfect way to complete your degree.

If you have any questions, contact the ELI Student Services Team at 703.323.3347 or or connect with us on social media. We are more than happy to answer your questions, as well as refer you to useful resources and services that will support your online learning experience.

This week at ELI!

Is today the first day of your ELI course? Review the Critical Enrollment Dates blog post to make sure you get off to a great start. Join us for today’s ELI Orientation webinar or request a recording!

All courses beginning today are 12, 10 or 8-week courses. These courses will run at an accelerated pace to cover the full 16-week semester’s material. Make sure you are comfortable with the pace of the course from day 1. An ELI Student Blogger has shared her experiences preparing for an 8-week course to help you!

Join us Friday for ELI NOVA DAY. Join us in celebrating National Online Learning Day! Follow NOVA’s Facebook page to learn out to participate in our virtual scavenger hunt for some awesome prizes. Look for our staff at the Manassas campus from 11-1pm to learn more about online learning and to get some ELI swag! 

Don’t forget to sign-up for NOVA Alert.  NOVA Alert is a free alert system that allows NOVA to contact you during an emergency by sending messages to your cell phone and email.

Join ELI’s Virtual Student Union. ELI’s VSU has a new look! Are you taking online classes and looking to connect with other students outside of a classroom setting? Check out our Virtual Student Union or VSU. Join now!

Become an ELI Student Blogger- Love to write? Become an ELI Student Blogger! This group will be geared toward students who enjoy to write or blog and are possibly interested in pursuing a career in media and/or journalism. Members of this group will directly contribute to the ELIfe student blog. For more information, fill out the ELI Student Bloggers Interest Form.

Make sure to look for emails from the Student Success Coaches – – that will give you reminders of specific upcoming dates and helpful tips for success throughout the term. You can always reply to their emails with any questions you have, or give them a call at 703.323.3347.

Free Career Planning Tool for NOVA Students

Did you know all NOVA students, staff, and faculty have free access to FOCUS 2, an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:

  • Select a program/major based on your interests and aspirations
  • Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes
  • Map out your career plans, present and future
  • Make informed career decisions

View a Getting Started with FOCUS 2 handout.

Follow the steps below to begin using FOCUS 2.

  1. Visit NOVA’s Career Services website
  2. Select FOCUS 2
  3. Click FOCUS 2 button
  4. Click REGISTER button
  5. Enter “NOVA” for the access code
  6. Enter your NOVA student e-mail address in the e-mail box
  7. Provide requested information
  8. Check box to acknowledge terms and conditions of system
  9. Click CONTINUE button

Contact Christy Jensen ( if you have any problems accessing the system.

How is online learning different from on-campus courses?

Hope everyone is having a great first week! We want to point out some of the differences between online through ELI and on-campus courses at NOVA.

  • Format
  • Technology
  • Time Required

Although online learning and on-campus courses cover the same content, the format is different. ELI courses are flexible, with stated deadlines, meaning, you can work on your course at any point throughout the week, but will need to meet weekly or even mid-weekly due dates. ELI requires proctored exams to be completed within the stated course deadlines. Some courses may also be accelerated with the instructor’s permission.

Technology provides content and interaction. ELI courses use Blackboard as the course management system to communicate and facilitate class discussions. Students are required to use their VCCS student email account to communicate with the instructor.

Online learning courses usually require at least as much time as you would spend taking a campus-based course. You should plan to study at least 2-3 hours a week for each credit. In other words, for a 16-week, three-credit course, you would study 6-9 hours per week. For 12 or 8-week courses, more time would need to be scheduled to complete your requirements. When you compare this time with what you spend in class and studying outside of class, it is about the same.

Weekly ScheduleHere is a chart that illustrates the general amount of time per week you should expect to study per credit hour based on the course length. For example, if you enroll in an 8-week, 3-credit class, you can expect to spend 12-18 hours per week studying for this class. In general, the shorter the class length (8, 10, 12, or 16-week), the more hours of study time you can expect to spend per week per credit. (Click on chart to enlarge picture)We encourage you to participate in an ELI Orientation to help as you are getting started in your first online course. You can view short videos from Blackboard to review how to submit an assignment, post on discussion board, check grades, etc.

For more information about getting started at ELI, please email or call 703.764.5076. Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach!

Parking Services

If you are taking exams at a NOVA Campus Testing Center (or going to campus for other reasons!) make sure you are familiar with the parking policies. Send qestions to

No Parking Permits are Required In ‘B’ Lots Until Enforcement Begins on September 8 @ 6 a.m. This does not include ‘A’ Lots or other reserved spaces – Open Parking includes ‘B’ and hourly parking lots/garages ONLY.

When Enforcement Begins, Students Must Have a Permit or Utilize Hourly Options When Parking On Campus.

Discounted Flex Parking Options & Semester Hang-tags are Available:

  • Full Semester Permit:
    • Hangtag valid for the entire semester for up to two vehicles.
    • $80 if Purchased online.
    • $90 if Purchased at any Campus Parking Services office.
    • Print a temporary 21-day parking pass for immediate use after online purchase.
  • Passport Parking Mobile Payment App:
    • Pay hourly by phone using the Passport App in any student ‘B’ or Hourly Space.
    • Pre-Paid Bundles: 60 hours for $70 & 30 hours for $40!
    • More Info online.
  • Discounted Daily Scratch-Off Bundle:
    • Receive 8 one-day passes for $60 ($80 value) – Buy Online.
    • More Info online.


Starting this Fall, the time in which students may park in ‘B’ lots or Hourly spaces for free, without a permit, is now 3:45 p.m. on Weekdays and any time on Weekends.

We are proud to announce our new Annandale Hourly Garage Operations! We are moving to a new Pay-By-Space system. More information can be found below.


Please visit the NOVA Parking Webpage for further information as well as to see the NOVA Parking Brochure for a complete list of Parking Rules and Regulations 2017-2018.

Any Questions? Please contact Customer Support at 703-323-3123 or


Coming September 8th, 2017


The Hourly Garage on the Annandale Campus will be moving to a new Pay-By-Space system.


You will now Pay Upon Arrival to the Hourly Garage. No more pulling tickets or waiting for gates!


  • Upon arrival enter the garage and find an available numbered space.
  • Take note of the space number where you parked.
  • Pay for the amount of time you wish at any of the Pay Stations.
  • The Pay Stations are located on the 1st & 2nd floors of the garage.
  • No need to display anything on your dash. Just Pay and Go!

*You will need your receipt to add additional time*


The pricing has not changed:

$2.00 Per Hour – $10.00 Daily Max

The Pay Stations accept the following payment types:

Cash- $1, $5, $10 bills. Coins- $1, .25¢

Credit Cards– Visa, MasterCard, American Express

 *Please Note the Pay Stations DO NOT dispense change

and there are NO Refunds*

In addition, Parking is now: FREE after 3:45pm in Garages & B-Lots!


Please call AN Parking Services at 703-323-4267 or email

First Week Reminders!

Happy First Day of Classes, ELI Students!

Today’s first day blog is provided by student blogger Rebecca! She has been taking ELI classes for two semesters and has some tips to help new ELI students get started in fall classes.

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m scrambling to finish a paper by the 5pm deadline. I am just about to submit my paper at 4:55pm but I decide to proofread it one more time. By the time I finish it is a couple minutes after 5pm. Okay, I’ll go submit it now. It’s only two minutes, right? WRONG! As I click on the assignment I am startled to discover that the submission page has disappeared off of blackboard!

Yes, this did actually happened to me last semester. Luckily I emailed the professor and was able to turn in my assignment, although I did lose a lot of points. Don’t let this happen to you!

Online classes are great because they let you have flexibility in your schedule. However without a physical class everyday to remind you what is due, it’s easy to get behind if you don’t pace yourself. My #1 tip for students new to online classes is keep track of your course deadlines and your professor’s policy on deadlines.

Here are five things to look for on your syllabus:

  1. What day of the week and time are assignments due? The day and time of deadlines may vary for different courses. In my experience most classes have Sunday deadlines but the times may vary. For example, last semester one of my courses had a Sunday 5pm deadline, another had a Sunday 11:59pm deadline and another had a Monday 6am deadline. It’s helpful to write deadlines on a calendar (especially if you are taking multiple courses, so you don’t get caught off guard by a busy week)
  2. Are there any midweek deadlines? Once in a while there may be a group project or discussion board posting with a midweek deadline, leaving time later in the week for comments.
  3. Are there strict deadlines? Some professors have strict weekly deadlines while others will accept all work right up until the course end date.
  4. Do exams have to be taken during a certain window? Are exams only available for a limited time? Can you take them early or late?
  5. Does your instructor accept late work? Some instructors will let you turn in work a day or two late if you email them and explain the situation. Other instructors will accept late work but take points off. Others are very strict about deadlines and will not accept work even a minute late.

We’ve all been there: You have a busy week and struggle to find the time. You have last minute computer problems. These things can and will happen. Avoid a stressful situation by learning about your Critical Course Deadlines, course specific deadlines, and professor’s late and grading policy before you are too overwhelmed!

Want to write for the ELI Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email for more information.

The NOVA ELI Student Blog