Are you Ready for Advising Week!

Advising Week is held every fall and spring at NOVA to help students prepare for their next semester and create an academic plan that works for them! Advising Week for summer / fall 2018 will be held Monday, April 2nd – Friday, April 6th.

Follow this ELI Student Blog next week as we help you prepare to get the most out of Advising Week.

Things to watch for to help you prepare for Advising Week:

  • Creating a schedule that works for you.
  • Connecting with your advisor.
  • Communicating effectively with your advisor.
  • Taking time for yourself.

Questions to ask yourself as you prepare for Advising Week:

  • What is one change I can make to my schedule to be more successful next term/semester?
  • When would be a good time for me to connect with my advisor?
  • What questions do I have for my advisor?
  • What is one thing I can do this week to help manage stress?

Pay attention to the tuition deadline so you are not dropped for non-payment. Contact Financial Aid with any questions.

This Advising Week Series will focus on academic planning, connecting with your advisor, and preparing for your upcoming terms. Throughout Advising Week the ELI Student Blog will provide you with tools to plan effectively, resources to help guide your decisions, and answers to frequently asked questions throughout the process. Take advantage of Advising Week events on campus or virtually as you plan your schedule and register for courses. Reach out to the Student Services offices or Virtual Advisors with any questions you have as you are planning your courses.


Online Courses @ NOVA: What is the difference?

With summer/fall registration quickly approaching, Have you been questioning whether to take an online or campus-based course? 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.

Here 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!


Giving Back to Your Community

With spring time quickly approaching , it is a perfect time to think about how to give back within your community! Have you recently taken time to reflect on the impact your community has had on you and how you can civically engage in return? Here are some great ideas on how to do so:

4 Ideas for Giving Back Over Spring Break

The Difference Between “Civically Engaged” and “Volunteer” and How to Turn one into the Other

8 Ways College Students are Giving Back to Their Communities

We want to learn more about how NOVA ELI students are engaging with 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!

Purchasing Book/Supplies using Financial Aid

Students with financial aid awards for Spring 2018 can purchase books against their excess financial aid–either online or in campus bookstores.

Students wishing to purchase books on-line must complete and sign the Bookstore Authorization E-Form, via the Financial Aid Dashboard, prior to completing a purchase. Students enrolled or planning to enroll in later starting classes who desire to use their financial aid to purchase books must purchase during this purchase periods; no additional accommodations will be made.  The financial aid process must be complete and anticipated aid must be enough to cover tuition, fees and books.  Files can have no negative holds. E-forms must be submitted each academic year.

Last day to purchase books/supplies using financial aid for the spring term: March 16, 2018

You may place your on-line order 24 hours after completing the authorization e-form or on the first business day after completing the e-form, if later.

Search the  online bookstore for the textbooks and course materials required for your ELI courses.

Questions about your Financial Aid award? Contact them by phone, live chat, or email through the Student Support Center.

FA Support Center


ReelAbilities Film Festival

ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia coming to you March 10-18. Powered by the J, ReelAbilities Film Festival: Northern Virginia is part of the largest film festival of its kind dedicated to representing the lives, stories, and creative expressions of people with different abilities. We are proud to share our 2018 festival line up and invite you to be part of these special stories.

ReelAbilities strives for inclusion and offers many accommodations. All films are captioned or subtitled (unless otherwise noted) and all venues are wheelchair accessible. We also offer audio description, open captions, and ASL interpretation for select events upon advance request. Need accommodations? Contact the J’s Cultural Arts office .

Join the online community at and please help spread the word.

VALHEN Encuentro 2018

Join VALHEN for our Encuentro 2018: Dreamers & DACA, our annual conference to highlight and share the issues affecting our Hispanic/Latino communities, to network with outstanding Latinx professionals and college students, and to foster conversations on important educational issues in the Commonwealth. Also, meet our Hispanic College Institute (HCI) graduates and congratulate our 2018 Scholarship Winners!

Come get inspired with us – learn about opportunities, enhance your skills, and network with the top Latinx professionals, educators and students in Virginia.

Date and Time

Fri, March 9, 2018

8:00 AM – 4:00 PM EST


Northern Virginia Community College – Annandale

8333 Little River Turnpike

Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center

Registration for NOVA students is FREE!

VALHEN Encuentro 2018 Registration form