Summer 2018 Registration Open!

Open registration for summer courses begins today, March 27, 2018!

To review a list of available courses, please click here (Select ELI under Campus/Center).

If you need assistance, we are here for you:

Do you need help registering for the course?  For step-by-step online registration instructions, please click here.  If you need additional assistance, please contact us at 703.323.3347 or

Do you need help with course selection? If you have not been assigned a faculty advisor you can contact an ELI Counselor at for assistance with course selection. If you would like to schedule a phone call with an academic counselor, please include your contact information. Use your VCCS student email and include your student ID# when emailing.

Are you a visiting/transient student? If you are attempting to enroll in a course at NOVA for which you believe you have successfully completed (a grade of “C“ or higher) the required prerequisite(s) at an accredited college or university, you will need to work with an advisor before being permitted to enroll in courses at NOVA. More information at the Visiting and Transient Student webpage or reach out to a Virtual Advisor at

Are you new to ELI?  We encourage you to attend an ELI Orientation webinar! The ELI Orientation will focus on answering key questions to getting started. For more information and to register for a session, click here.

Do you have questions about Tuition and Payment? For payment due dates, methods, and online payment instructions, please click here. Make sure to have your tuition paid or financial aid in place before the deadline, so you are not dropped from your courses.

If you are looking for additional resources to help you achieve academic success, the ELI Student Services Team is here for you! You can access free online tutoringwebinars, and free online workshops to help you succeed in your ELI courses.

We also encourage you to take the SmarterMeasure assessment to gauge your readiness for online learning.

You can reach us at 703.323.3347 or visit us at


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

How to Sell Yourself at the Career Fair

A career fair is a great place to gather information about potential employers and make contacts that can lead to your first job. Here’s some advice on how to make the most of your time.

5 Things to Take to the Career Fair

  1. Information about the organizations attending. Gather information as you would for a job interview on organizations you’re interested in talking to. To maximize the brief time you have with each employer, you need to know how your skills and interests match their needs. And don’t just concentrate on the “big names.” There are often great opportunities with smaller companies or those with which you are not familiar.
  2. A 30-second “sales pitch.” Share basic information about yourself and your career interests like this: “Hello, I’m Carrie Jones. I’m a senior here at Wonderful University and I’m majoring in English. I’m very interested in a marketing career. As you can see on my resume, I just completed an internship in the Marketing Division of the ABC Company in Peoria. I’ve taken some courses in business marketing. I’m very interested in talking with you about marketing opportunities with your organization.”
  3. Copies of your resume (10 t0 15, depending on the size of the event). Be sure it represents your knowledge, skills, and abilities effectively. It needs to look professional—easy to read format on plain white or cream colored paper—and be free of typos. If you are looking at several career options, you may want to have two or more targeted resumes with different career objectives!
  4. A smile, a strong handshake, and a positive attitude. First impressions are important. Approach an employer, smile, and offer your hand when you introduce yourself.
  5. Energy! Career fairs require you to be on your feet moving from table to table for an hour or so. Each time you meet someone, be at your best!

5 Things Not to Do at the Career Fair

  1. Don’t “wing it” with employers. Do your homework! Research the companies just as you would for an interview. Focus on why you want to work for the organization and what you can do for them.
  2. Don’t cruise the booths with a group of friends. Interact with the recruiters on your own. Make your own positive impression!
  3. Don’t carry your backpack, large purse, or other paraphernalia with you. Carry your resume in a professional-looking portfolio or a small briefcase. It will keep your resume neat and handy, and gives you a place to file business cards of recruiters that you meet. Stow your coat, backpack, or other gear in a coatroom.
  4. Don’t come dressed casually. A career fair is a professional activity—perhaps your first contact with a future employer.
  5. Don’t come during the last half hour of the event. Many employers come a long distance to attend the fair and may need to leave early. If you come late, you may miss the organizations you wanted to contact!

5 Things to Take Home From the Career Fair

  1. Business cards from the recruiters you have met. Use the cards to write follow-up notes to those organizations in which you are most interested.
  2. Notes about contacts you made. Write down important details about particular organizations, including names of people who may not have had business cards. Take a few minutes after you leave each table to jot down these notes!
  3. Information about organizations you have contacted. Most recruiters will have information for you to pick up, including company brochures, computer diskettes or CD’s, position descriptions, and other data. You won’t have time to deal with these at the fair!
  4. A better sense of your career options. If you have used the event correctly, you will have made contact with several organizations that hire people with your skills and interests. In thinking about their needs and your background, evaluate whether each company might be a match for you.
  5. Self-confidence in interacting with employer representatives. A career fair gives you the opportunity to practice your interview skills in a less formidable environment than a formal interview. Use this experience to practice talking about what you have done, what you know, and what your interests are.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Graduation Application Deadline: Spring 2018

Are YOU planning to graduate in May? The deadline to apply is March 1st! Not sure where to start?

View the recording of Crossing the Finish Line: NOVA Graduation Preparation Program (video opens in a separate window)!

This 17-minute video to obtain information on what you need to graduate from NOVA and plan for transfer or prepare for employment.

You will learn how to:

  • Verify the remaining requirements of your program
  • Apply for graduation and attend commencement
  • Financially prepare for your last semester at NOVA and your new institution. 

Learn about the information you will need to graduate from NOVA and plan for transfer or prepare for employment. Questions? Visit the NOVA Graduation Website or contact an ELI Counselor at!

Democracy Builders: 2018 Lightning Talks

Democracy Builders:  2018 Lightning Talks Information

We believe that informed civil discourse has an essential and relevant role in a democratic society.  We invite you, our NOVA students, to prepare a “lightning talk”—a five-minute speech suggesting how you would increase informed civil discourse in our society.  You may address specific current critical and/or controversial topics, at local, regional, state, or national levels.  Be creative and dream big.  Tell us how you would re-invent our social structures and processes to promote thoughtful, informed, and respectful discussion of issues.  Representatives will be selected from NOVA campuses, and the final competition will be held on April 19, 2018 at 6pm.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You must be in good academic standing at NOVA and be currently enrolled for 3 or more academic credits in the Spring 2018 semester


  • Promoting Informed Civil Discourse in a Democratic Society

Speech Requirements:

  • A five-minute speech
  • A 10 slide powerpoint that advances automatically every 30 seconds.
  • Your original work
  • Standard attribution of quotes, citations, etc.
  • If selected, you must be available to give your talk on Thursday, April 19th, at 6pm.


You will submit your slides to your campus’ Lighting Talks Committee before your presentation.

Evaluation Criteria:

Innovation & Usefulness – Ideas presented are innovative, unique, and creative; practical and useful.

Persuasive & Well-Delivered – Message is delivered in a highly articulate and persuasive manner; overall presentation is polished, non-verbal delivery conveys enthusiasm and professionalism.

Presentation – Visual aid is relevant and interesting; enhances overall message.


About Democracy Builders: The Loser-Savkar Democracy Builders competition was established by NOVA Chemistry Professor Reva A. Savkar, and NOVA Professor Emeritus Robert C. Loser. Reva A. Savkar, born and raised in the world’s largest democracy (India), has been teaching at NOVA for more than three decades. Robert C. Loser, born and raised in the world’s second largest democracy (USA), recently retired after three decades at NOVA. They believe that democracy depends on an informed citizenry actively participating in decisions, and that civil discourse is an essential part of this process.  They created this contest to spark innovations, foster ideas, and stimulate meaningful discourse.

The essay, including the cover page, must be submitted via your official NOVA student email account to