This week at ELI!

Throughout week 3 of the ELI Leadership Common Experience we will be discussing the importance of faculty rapport. We have a guest blogger,  instructor Will Hatheway, who will talk about making connections with your online faculty member.

Have you created a Google+ account with your VCCS Student Email address? Learn how to create the account, and join or leadership google community.

Plan ahead for the next Leadership Webinar Series – Looking for motivation to develop your personal leadership skills? Participate in a leadership webinar in conjunction with ELI’s Leadership Common Experience! Next week, Thursday, September 18 from 7:00-8:00, join us for our keynote speaker for the webinar series.  Joe Paul will speak about making the most of your time as an online student. Find out more information and register here.

Leadership Common Experience: Week 2

Understanding Self in the College Environment









Within week two of our Leadership Common Experience, we want to build on last week’s theme of success in an online education environment. We discussed important things to keep in mind when you are in the classroom and also how to stay engaged with other students and the college outside of the classroom.

An important aspect to also explore that can be an integral part of your college success is understanding yourself, your strengths, weakness, likes, dislikes, habits, how these qualities can effect your success perusing your education. What are ways you can be proactive and prevent these potential  stressors and obstacles from effecting your overall educational goals?

A great way to begin doing this is self-reflection.  Think about a typical day, the responsibilities you have and how much time  and energy is spent on each. How does your online education fit into this?  Will it drastically change your day to day routine? Are there other areas in which you spend your time that you can improve?

Here is a great article about Toxic Habits that Drain your Energy. Time and Energy work hand-in hand within your overall quality of life and this article gives some great everyday examples on how we can often lose this time and energy around things we can’t control.

How do you see your online education fitting into your personal day-today routine?

What are some other ways that we might mismanage our time and energy?

ELI’s Online Leadership Webinar Series!

Looking for motivation as an online student and developing your personal leadership skills?

Our first webinar is this Thursday, September 4th from 6-7pm!

This webinar will be presented by NOVA/ELI alumni Joshua Anton.

Register for the webinar here!

Check out Joshua’s Bio below!

Like many student leaders, Joshujoah antona Anton faced his own set of adversities. On February 10th, 2009, the day after his 18th birthday, Mr. Anton was asked to leave home while still a senior in high school. This event would change his life forever. Working 3 jobs and attending school full-time, he completed high school on schedule and later in that same year began his new life as a student at Northern Virginia Community College.

As a student leader at NOVA,  Mr. Anton helped to develop the Loudoun campus Student Government Association as its first President, served as a Student Ambassador, and Vice President of Marketing for Phi Theta Kappa. Mr. Anton would also work with future Attorney General, Mark Herring to develop a bus route in the Loudoun County Community that would provide enhanced public transportation to NVCC Students. As a student leader and alumnus, Mr. Anton worked with his fellow student leaders to leave behind many sustainable events that would continue to impact students, NOVA Cram Week (Free Tutors and Pizza before Finals) NOVA’s Got Talent (America’s Got Talent for NOVA) and the Loudoun Leaders League (student leadership conference promoting sustainable leadership)

In June 2012, Mr. Anton transferred to the University of Virginia, McIntire School of Commerce. Building on the foundation he developed at community college, Mr. Anton would venture into leadership once again, but this time through a sustainable product development competition co-sponsored by Unilever Corporation and the student organization Enactus. Mr. Anton and his team developed plans for an innovative disposable men’s razor called the “Ax Defiant” that if implemented will reduce a percentage of the 2.5 billion razors added to landfills annually.

The team won the U.S. Round of the competition and moved forward to become the representative of the United States in a global competition in Singapore. In this competition, 10 teams around the world proposed marketing strategies to Unilever Executives for their Lifebuoy brand. The theme of this competition was centered on designing innovative solutions to get children to wash their hands more often throughout the day resulting in saving 2 million children’s lives annually.

Mr. Anton’s professional endeavors have included numerous entrepreneurial related projects, including a social media consulting firm, yOptimize, a student textbook company called A.I. Textbooks; authoring a book named “Investing: Blunt and to the Point” that provides students with guidance on investing; and co-developing a mobile application for Apple iPhone and Android that prevents students from “so-called” drunk dialing. That application known as “Drunk Mode” is currently available in seven languages.

Mr. Anton has given numerous formal public speeches at local high schools, elementary schools, and community colleges regarding topics on his life story, leadership, entrepreneurship, and his community college experience.

 We look forward to “seeing” you there!

This week at ELI!

Happy Labor Day! NOVA offices are closed Monday, September 1.

Wednesday, September 3rd is the 2nd 8-week and 2nd 12-week start date for a number of ELI classes. Is your class starting? Join us for an ELI Orientation webinar to help you get started. The ELI Orientation is a general overview for students enrolled in courses offered through the Extended Learning Institute. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning. Advanced Registration is required here.

ELI Fantasy Football League: Join ELI’s online Fantasy Football League! Compete with other students and win prizes. Sign up here. The draft is tonight, September 1, limited spots left.

ELI Leadership Common Experience- Jumpstart your semester by participating in ELI’s Leadership Common Experience. Throughout week two of the Leadership Common Experience we will discuss understanding yourself in the college environment and goal setting for the semester. Learn more about the program and how to participate here.

Leadership Webinar Series– 6:00-7:00pm Looking for motivation to develop your personal leadership skills? Participate in a leadership webinar in conjunction with ELI’s Leadership Common Experience! This week’s webinar will be presented by NOVA/ELI alumni Joshua Anton.  Find out more information and Register here.

ELI Leadership Common Experience: Week 1

Student Success Skills and Engagement Outside of the Classroom

In the first post this week about student success, we referenced tips and strategies to help you as an online student within the virtual classroom, but what about success and engagement outside of the classroom?

One topic that is very important to promote your own personal success and develop strong leadership skills is personal resiliency and life skills. Now what do you think we mean by this?

Here are some examples:

– Learning to take responsibility for your actions, positive or negative.

-Acknowledging when you make a mistake and understanding you might not always get to chance to rectify it .

-Building your own support system whether family, friends, co-workers, peers when faced daily stressors.

By not only identifying how these skills can effect your personal success but also developing these areas within yourself, you will be better prepared for personal challenges that may arise. Throughout this Leadership Common Experience, we will be sharing topics and proving resources for you to further develop these abilities.

Here is another great article we wanted to share that talks more about this topic. Read it here.

A great way to further build on this idea in an educational environment is engagement with the college and other students. We want to highlight  this since it is just as important to be engaged  outside the classroom as it is inside the classroom

The National Survey of Student Engagement measures student involvement in co-curricular events and activities, and the effect they have on students. According to this survey, the more involved students are in an institution, the more invested they will be. This can also lead to higher grades and the more likelihood they are to persist to the next semester.

As on online student, it can be hard to find ways to keep connected with your college and peers outside the classroom since you are not seeing them face to face.

1) Follow ELI on social media- ELI is on Facebook, Twitter,  LinkedIn and  this blog to provide daily/weekly updates about important academic dates and deadlines, virtual and in-person events as well as programs such as this to promote your success as a student.

2) Connect with ELI on Google+: By creating a Google+ account through your student GMail, you will have access to +ELIfe and connect  with other online students, join some of our student interest group and attend online events such as Google hangouts.

3) Share your own ideas for engagement-  Have a great online event idea? Looking to connect with other student interest group we might not offer? On behalf of ELI Student Life, we want to hear your ideas and help you create ways for you to be engaged with ELI and other students. Contact to share these with us!

Do you feel engagement is important outside of the classroom? Is there anything that we forgot? Let us know here!

ELI Leadership Common Experience: Week 1

Week 1: Identifying Online Student Success Skills


As you are starting your online classes, for the fall semester, this is a great time to reflect on how you can be successful in an online classroom environment. For those if you who are taking online classes for the first time, you will see some significant differences including how classes are structured and  time that need to be dedicated to get the best learning experience possible. It is important to adapt your mindset and expectations when you think of success in a virtual classroom.

We want to take this opportunity to reference an article that outlines 10 tips of online college student success.  Here are some highlighted points from the article:

Self Determination-“As with traditional campus-based education, self-determination is just as much of a key factor to success in online education. Education should be viewed as a means to improve yourself and your circumstances; it can be the key that unlocks all the doors.”

Communicate Effectively with Faculty and Students“A good understanding of the coursework and expectations of the professors is crucial to passing and making good grades in any given course. Since in-person communication is not an option, make use of email, chats, forums, and other formats to communicate with fellow students and professors if you have any questions and need any clarification.”

Making school a routine– “As with other aspects of life, we often learn by doing, and in doing we get most proficient when we get into a routine. The same is true for online education. It is best to determine what time of day and where you are most productive and can give your full attention to the coursework, and make that a habit.”

To read more on these tips and others that made the list, you can visit the article here.

Another great way to help assess your readiness for online learning is SmarterMeasure. This tool offered through NOVA is an indicator of the degree to which distance learning and/or learning in a technology rich environment will be a good fit for you. It will help you prepare yourself for the online classroom and create realistic goals to be successful as a virtual student.

To obtain log-in information for the SmarterMeasure assessment, email from your VCCS email account. Once you complete the SmarterMeasure assessment, you can find more information in the ‘Assessment Summary’ section.

What do you think about the topics shared in this article? Do you agree? Is there anything you feel that was left out as you are starting your classes for the fall? Share your comments!

This week at ELI!

Every Monday we will post a weekly roundup of events at ELI! You can always check the Student Life calendar for upcoming events and activities! Find the Student Life calendar here.

ELI Leadership Common Experience- Jumpstart your semester by participating in ELI’s Leadership Common Experience. This 6-week program is for students taking online classes to engage with peers outside of their Blackboard classroom and explore personal and professional leadership skills . Learn more about the program and how to participate here.

ELI Fantasy Football League: Join ELI’s online Fantasy Football League! Compete with other students and win prizes. Sign up here.

ELI Orientation Webinar Wednesday, August 27 from 6:30-7:30pm: The ELI Orientation is a general overview for students enrolled in courses offered through the Extended Learning Institute. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning. Advanced Registration is required here.

Reviewing Your Online Syllabus: Thursday, August 28 from 12:15 – 12:45 pm: The single most important instrument in an online course is your course syllabus. In this 30 minute webinar you will learn what a syllabus is, what significant information is listed in a syllabus, the importance of regular syllabus reviews, using your syllabus as a planning tool, goal setting, and using your syllabus as a communication tool with classmates and instructors. Advanced Registration is required here.

ELI Leadership Common Experience

This fall, ELI has created a Leadership Common Experience for students taking online classes to engage with peers outside of their Blackboard classroom and explore personal and professional leadership skills and qualities that will promote their success and overall personal growth in college.460807473

We want to highlight that students can still find similar resources to make the most of their college experience, even if that experience is primarily virtual.

Beginning August 25th here is the outline of themes that we have picked for each week so you can see progression of the program and pick out topics that might be of interest to you:

Week 1: Identifying Online Student Success Skills In and Out of the Classroom 

Week 2: Understanding Self in the College Environment/Goal Setting for the Semester

Week3: The Importance of Faculty Rapport

Week 4: Job and Career Exploration

Week 5: Netiquette- Creating a Positive Online Presence    

Week 6: Next Steps- Revisiting Goal Setting For The Future


You are probably asking yourself, how can you participate?

1) Follow this blog,

2) Review the articles, videos and resources that we will post each week and share your thoughts and comments to connect with peers.

3) Attend one of our live virtual leadership webinar series speakers  featuring :

NOVA/ELI alumni, Joshua Anton

Keynote Speaker, Joe Paul (

NOVA ALumni, Omnia Elgoodah

Register for these webinars coming soon!

For more information, contact

First Day of Fall Classes!

As your ELI courses begin, it is important to keep in mind attendance and participation in your ELI courses are very important. In fact your attendance and participation are not just important, they are required. Be mindful of Critical Course Deadlines and course specific deadlines so you don’t miss any assignments.  null

As soon as your class begins, log into Blackboard and explore your course Blackboard. Use this opportunity to locate and review the course syllabus and assignments folder. This will give you a chance to see what you will be responsible for throughout the semester. In addition, this will also allow you sufficient time to plan your time appropriately, making certain you will be able to complete your readings, assignments, projects and tests in time for their specified due dates. It is crucial to ensure you have completed and submitted your first assignment prior to the First Assignment Due Date to avoid being administratively withdrawn from your course. 

Logging into Blackboard as soon as the semester begins will also give you the opportunity to identify any unexpected issues and provide ample time to ask any questions you might have. 

If you have any questions or you are not sure where to start, you can contact the ELI Student Services Team at 703-323-3347. 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.

On-Time Registration

The registration deadline for courses beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, August 20 is today at 11:59pm. On-Time Registration requires you to be registered for your courses no later than 11:59pm the night before the scheduled start date. 493707153ELI offers 12 and 8 week sessions that begin on September 3, September 17 and October 15. For more information about getting started in an ELI course this fall, email the ELI Counselors at

Follow this tutorial to help you search and enroll in online courses for the fall semester.

Instructors make courses available in blackboard on the course start date. Some instructors open courses early and you will be able to log in and see the information about the course. As soon as you have access to you course, log in and start navigating the virtual classroom.

The NOVA ELI Student Blog