Category Archives: Student Life


Students needing financial assistance paying for tuition or books, your Financial Aid Advisor can provide you with assistance in applying for the NOVA Book and Access Grant and others.

How to be Successful in a Summer Course

Summer courses can be extremely beneficial to your academic plan. Taking courses during a non-traditional semester, such as summer, can help you knock out classes you need for graduation. Other perks of taking courses during the summer are that class sizes can be smaller and sessions are shorter.

But, as the days lengthen and the sun lures you outside, it can be difficult to stay focused on studying. And, after being outside and finding fun in the sun, you could feel sluggish when it is time to study. To help you stay focused and be successful in your academic endeavors, try these simple tricks:

•Be Awake: Eat breakfast each day. Keep your meals throughout the day light (include lots of fruits and veggies). Avoid heavy meals; they will make you feel drowsy.

•Take Good Notes: Because summer sessions are often taught in a shorter session, their pace is often more vigorous then a traditional course. Take lots of notes and review them often to help you remember the material. Creating your notes in outline format or using colored pens or markers on your notes can help you remember how topics are related and help you remember the facts.

•Sleep Well: During the summer, the days are longer. More daylight could cause you to not sleep as soundly as usual. To deter this, buy darkening blinds or curtains to help block out light.

•Stay Positive: You are your biggest critic. If you have an “I can do it” attitude, you are more likely to succeed.

•Attendance: Go to class or sign into your online class every day. Being present and up to date on any changes or announcements in the class is key to your success.

As you take steps to follow through on these recommendations, consider exploring the following ELife Blogs for further tips on healthy eating, note taking and attendance. And, be sure to reach out to your ELI Success Coach with your questions or concerns. The Success Coaching Team can be reached at or (703) 323-3347.

-Kristin, ELI Student Success Coach

Do you want to be published?

Here is your opportunity, VCCS students!

We are pleased to announce the VCCS journal of student academic writing,
is accepting submissions for its third issue! We recently published our second issue, featuring scholarship from students like yourself at community colleges across the state, and we would like for you to join them.

Exigence is an online academic journal for original, scholarly student work.
The journal showcases the finest VCCS student academic research, compelling ideas, and exceptional writing from disciplines across the curriculum. Our second issue features research on controversial sunscreen ingredients, cosmic ray muons, Medicaid, hunting dogs, artificial superintelligence, and more.

Submitting your work to Exigence gives you an opportunity to enter a larger academic conversation, showcase your talents while building your resume, and give life to your academic work beyond the classroom.

We strongly encourage you to submit your in-depth research arguments, visuals, analyses, and/or reports for publication in the third issue of Exigence. Take that first step on the pathway to publication!

Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Click on the links below for more information.

Questions? Contact Tom Geary, Exigence Editor-in-Chief, at

Digital Commons @ VCCS
Submission Requirements & Guidelines
How to Submit

Fall Registration Is Underway

Thinking about an online class for Fall 2018?  Fall Registration is now open for all students. The online catalog is available in NOVAConnect now – search the online catalog to see what options you have for online courses.

New Student Orientation – Summer 2018

New Student Orientation for Adult Learners

Where: NOVA’s Alexandria Campus
When: Thursday, May 10th. 5-6:30 pm.

To register, visit:

Student Spotlight: Engaging Your Community With Music

Check out our ELI Student Spotlight, Ronnie who is engaging his community with his musical talents. 

Hi! My name is Ronnie.  Since 2008, I have been a percussionist with the Loudoun County Symphonic Winds (LCSW).  A percussionist is a term for someone who plays different percussion instruments – snare drum, drumset, cymbals, triangle, chimes, etc..  LCSW is a community band that is based in Loudoun County and gives about 6 concerts a year.  The music director is Dr. Gilbert Corella, who retired from the Air Force Band after 25 years of service.  LCSW plays a wide variety of music for the concerts; from John Philip Sousa to Aaron Copland.  Each concert has a theme, and one of my most favorite was the concert where we played music from “space”.  At this concert, we played the music from  Star Wars and Star Trek (2009).

I enjoy playing percussion with LCSW because it is a way for me to bring musical enjoyment to our community doing what I love – play drums!  Its very common that for each piece of music, I play a different percussion instrument, and sometimes different instruments within the same piece of music.  If you would like to learn more about the Loudoun County Symphonic Band and how to get involved, please visit the LCSW website at

Are you engaging in your community? Send us an email at to share your story!


Happy Earth Month!

Happy Earth Month! With Earth Day being celebrated on April 22nd, we wanted to highlight service opportunities that support environmentally conscious efforts. Check out these great resources where you can find opportunities not only to give back to your community by volunteering, but also being mindful about the future of our planet.

The Nature Conservancy–  This organization is focused on nature conservation all over the world and focuses on the science of how our world works to determine the areas and projects that are in need. View this video to find out more about the mission and vision of the organization: Who We Are &What We Do. On behalf of Earth day, The Nature Conservatory is offering several volunteer opportunities across all 50 states and several countries in the world to help promote the care for our Earth! Visit the site to find out more about a volunteer opportunity near you!– Volunteer Match provides a great resource for anyone looking for volunteer and community service opportunities. The reason this site is highlighted is not only due to its large database of opportunities, but also the ability to search virtual volunteer programs as well. Take a look at the site and type “earth day” in the search bar to find several in-person and virtual opportunities to volunteer to promote environmental action and green living.

How are you celebrating Earth Day? Did you know we have been celebrating Earth Day in the U.S. since 1970? We celebrate Earth Day each year to bring attention to peace, justice, and the care of the Earth!

Do you know of any other volunteer opportunities you would like to share? Let us know in the comments!

Graduation: Ordering Cap and Gown as an Online Student

Are you graduating this Spring 2018 semester? Are you out of the area but are needing to purchase a cap and gown?

If a student does not live near any of the six NOVA bookstores on campus, they may place their order via an order form. Students can email the NOVA bookstore at stating they do not live near a NOVA campus and thus would like to email their order. For more information about purchasing items for commencement, students should also contact the above email address.

Here are some FAQ’s for graduating students:

-Commencement will be held in the month of May at Jiffy Lube Live; 7800 Cellar Door Dr, Bristow, VA 20136. The doors close once the ceremony begins; no graduates will be admitted after that time. Students and their guests are asked to conduct themselves appropriately for this most important occasion and to remain in their seats until the conclusion of the ceremony.

-Your diploma or certificate will be mailed up to three months after the last day of the semester to the address listed in your student record. Please make sure your address is current in the system before the last day of the semester you intend to graduate.

-You will receive only one diploma for each degree or certificate you earn. The College will reissue diplomas in cases of natural disaster (such as fire or tornado), printing error or name changes resulting from gender reassignment.

For more FAQ visit our NOVA Graduation webpage.