Tag Archives: success

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 8-week courses. 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!

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.

Democracy Builders Essay Contest. Democracy depends on an informed citizenry actively participating in decisions, and that civil discourse is an essential part of the process. Up to five essays will be selected for prizes of $100 each. Essay due Friday, March 17!

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!

E-lead Series. ELI Student Life has created a virtual co-curricular opportunity to develop leadership skills for students! This program is free and does not offer academic credit, however, students who participate will receive a certificate of completion. This is also a great resume builder! Registration:   Leadership Pilot Program Registration Form.

Financial Avenue – Financial Literacy Contest – Twenty $100 NOVA bookstore gift cards towards educational costs at NOVA will be given-away throughout the 2016‐2017 academic year to randomly selected students ELI who successfully complete Financial Avenue web‐based financial literacy modules! For more information visit Financial Aid’s Financial Literacy Blog. Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here.

Preparing for Exams

As you are preparing for final exams in your online courses, the ELI Student Success Coaches have complied a list of resources to help you as you prepare. If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to an ELI Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or elisuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, they are here to answer your questions and help you access resources that will empower you to navigate the semester and pave your way to a successful academic journey.

Does your heart start pounding when a test is placed in front of you? Do you know the material but your mind goes blank? These are just a few of the common challenges students face when taking a test. To address these common fears, ELI offers a wide variety of resources that will empower you and promote your testing success.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your way to an ‘A’.Computer screenIf you learn best hearing or speaking (auditory learner), you will welcome the workshops offered through Student Lingo. These free workshops are presented online by a facilitator in an engaging format. Each workshop is about 30 minutes use the link above to access the following workshops:

If you prefer to read (visual learner) the short ELife Blog posts, referenced below are just for you! These ELife Blog posts referenced below, offer timely tips to help you organize and prepare for your next test:

If you prefer to be actively involved and busy as you learn (kinesthetic learner) you may enjoy the following study methods:

  • Quizlet or Study Stack Apps: Take your practice tests and review your flash cards on the go using these apps which will enable you to create flash cards along with practice tests and quizzes.
  • If you prefer, consider the tried and true flash cards made from index cards. This allows kinesthetic learners to flip around the cards, write notes and review at any location, walking, standing or sitting (as with an app). Just flip the cards while you are studying and walk around as you review. Write cues on the cards to help you remember. You can even be creative and develop a game using your flashcards.

If memory/recall is a challenge when studying for your tests, consider exploring the ELife Blogs highlighted below which are focused on strategies to trigger memory:

Stress and anxiety is another common challenge many students experience when testing. To combat your stress, click here to view a short video on stress, facilitated by ELI’s PED instructor, Dr. Gamal Aboshadi. It will provide a better understanding of stress and empower you with valuable techniques to promote relaxation as you study and prepare to go to the testing center.

No matter what your learning style, as you plan for success on your next test, be sure to take time to put these resources into action!

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Graduation Application Deadline!

Are YOU planning to graduate in May? The deadline to apply is March 1st! Graduation_16Not 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 ELICounselors@nvcc.edu!

Transfer Planning Webinars

Thinking about transferring after NOVA and not sure where to start? Want to make sure you have options available to you if you decide to transfer? Start planning now! Join us for Transfer Planning Webinars!

Transfer Planning Webinar:

Join ELI’s Transfer Counselor on Friday, February 17th, 12:00pm-1:00pm

It’s never too early to begin your planning to transfer another institution. This one-hour webinar will discuss the basics of transfer planning; information about Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements, and Transfer Guides; and a provide web tour of NOVA’s transfer website.Join us live or request a recording.

Transfer Q&A Webinar:

Join in on this virtual open forum to chat and get your questions answered by a NOVA transfer counselor on Friday, February 24th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm. Join us live!

Everyone is welcome to join us!

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

To apply for financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To complete your FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is free and you should never pay to complete the FAFSA! NOVA’s Federal Financial Aid School Code is 003727.

What Documents Do I Need to Complete The FAFSA?

There are several items you will need to complete the FAFSA. The 2017-2018 FAFSA covers Fall 2017, Spring 2018 and Summer 2018. For 2017-2018, you will need financial information from 2015. All students will need the following information to complete the FAFSA application:

  • Your social security number
  • Your driver’s license, if applicable
  • Your 2015 federal income tax return
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ
  • Foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia or Palau
  • Your 2015 W-2 forms and other records of money earned in 2015, if any income was earned
  • Your 2015 untaxed income records, if applicable (i.e. child support received, interest income, veterans’ benefits, etc.)
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records as well as stocks, bonds and other investment records, if applicable
  • Your alien registration or permanent registration card, if applicable (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

If you are a dependent student, your parents will need to provide the following information:

Note: A dependent student is a student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

  • Parent(s) 2015 federal income tax return and W-2s
  • Parent(s) bank statements and current records for all non-retirement investment and asset accounts
  • Parent(s) social security number, date of birth (day, month and year)
  • Date your parents were married, widowed, divorced or separated
  • If you are married, you will also need to provide the 2015 federal income tax return information for your spouse.

How Do I Sign The FAFSA?

To sign your FAFSA online you must apply for an FSA ID. If you are dependent student, you and your parent must apply for an FSA ID. An FSA ID serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records. Never give your FSA ID to anyone, including commercial services that offer to help you complete your FAFSA.

Where Do I Get A FSA ID?

Visit https://fsaid.ed.gov to apply for an FSA ID. You will need your social security number and birthdate to complete this process. If you are dependent student, one of your parents will also need to create an FSA ID to sign your FAFSA.

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

FA Support Center

 

online course format

As you are thinking about future online courses through the Extended Learning Institute (ELI) give thought to the course format and pacing of online courses.

  • 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/supervised 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, 10, 8 or 6-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-, 12-, 10-, 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 elisuccess@nvcc.edu or call 703.764.5076. Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach!

On your first day!

Is today the first day of your online class? Not sure where to start? How to get started? What time to log in? Let us know. Are you readyVisit the ELI Student Blog for tips for success in online courses. Specifically read through Critical Course Deadlines and Preparing for your First Day for tips for success.
  1. Any time today – Log in to your My NOVA account using your VCCS username and password.
  2. Select “Blackboard Learn” from the My Tools Section.
  3. Find your courses in the “My Blackboard Courses” section and enter each course site.
  4. Read the course syllabus in detail. Make sure you are comfortable with the pace of the course. If you are enrolled in more than one course, go through each course syllabi in detail. Review the overview of assignments and take notes in your planner.
  5. Get started on your first week’s assignments. You must complete the first assignment by the assigned deadline to avoid being administratively dropped from the course for non-participation. Look ahead to see if you have any real-time meetings or virtual office hours you won’t want to miss!
  6. Have you already attended the ELI Orientation Webinar? If not, check out a session this week.
  7. Establish a Routine! All online classes, regardless of session length, are based on the full 16-week course material; 12, 8 and 6 week courses will move at an accelerated pace.
  8. Plan Ahead! All online classes require proctored exams or assignments. Plan ahead for your proctored exams so you don’t miss any deadlines. Check your course syllabus and review testing policies.
  9. Let ELI staff know if you have any questions. Use the contact form, or contact your Student Success Coach at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347.

Good luck in your online course. Make sure you check your VCCS student email regularly so you don’t miss any announcements. Let us know if you have any questions!

Critical Enrollment Dates

Not sure what the critical enrollment dates mean? Learn more so you don’t miss any important deadlines! Calendar planning conceptOne assumption some online students make is that all ELI courses are self-paced. To that end, students may put off getting started and learn that their instructor has withdrawn them for not meeting course deadlines. Don’t let this happen to you!

It is very important to understand that most ELI courses have weekly or even mid-weekly due dates. There are critical enrollment dates, that include your First Assignment Due Date – requiring you to log into your Blackboard course site and complete your First Assignment by the assigned due date. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in being administratively dropped from the course without a tuition refund. ELI courses may be 16, 12 , 8 , 6, or 4 weeks in length; each course has specific start, refund, first assignment due date, withdrawal, and end date that you should be aware of when you select a particular course. View the critical enrollment dates early and know your options.

You can also view your critical enrollment dates by visiting your class schedule in your Student Center.

After selecting “My Class Schedule” in your Student Center account view the calendar link under “deadlines” for each course. (See photo below)Critical_Deadlines

In addition to logging in and completing your first assignments (as referenced in your Quick Start Syllabus and Blackboard Course Site), ELI courses also have weekly or mid-weekly assignment deadlines.

When taking an ELI course, it is important to understand that assignment due dates as well as test and quiz due dates come quickly. Due dates are firm and in some ELI courses, assignments and tests/quizzes are sometimes removed after the due date.

To be successful in your course:

Read through your course syllabus on the first day of class. Understand all the deadlines that apply to your course and record them in your planner.

Establish a Routine – Visit your Blackboard Course Site daily and read all of your emails and announcements.

Make Note of your Course Deadlines, and turn your assignments in on time.

If possible, take your test prior to the testing deadline—you never know what might come up at the last minute!

To ensure that you understand the ELI course deadlines, know your course specific critical course deadlines and review the important dates to include refund date, first assignment due date and last day to withdraw with a grade of ‘W’.

Make sure to look for emails from the Student Success Coaches – elisuccess@nvcc.edu – 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.

Join us for an ELI Orientation webinar

Are you enrolled in your first online learning course this spring? Or, have you taken an online course previously and want to ensure that you are headed in the right direction? Do you have any questions about using Blackboard to complete your ELI course? A great place to start is with the ELI Orientation webinar. 463461567A webinar is a live, online instruction session. You can participate in a webinar from any computer or mobile device with Internet access and speakers. A microphone is not required as we will use a text chat for all questions. Participation in all webinars offered through ELI is free, but registration is required. Register for a live session or request a copy of the recording on the ELI Webinar webpage.

The ELI Orientation webinar is a live, one hour online instruction session that focuses on getting started in your ELI courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, identifying tips for success, and highlighting student support services. During the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have before you start your course.

The ELI Orientation will cover an overview of navigating your Blakcboard Course Site. Instructors make courses available on the course start date or sometimes a few days in advance. If you haven’t used Blackboard in the past, you may be interested in some short videos to review how to submit an assignment, post on discussion board, check grades, etc.

The web conference tool we use at ELI is Blackboard Collaborate. You can test your connection ahead of time by following the steps in this ELI Student Blog post.

Connect with ELI on Facebook and Twitter for tips for success in your online courses. ELI Student Success Coaches are available for any questions as you are getting started. Reach out to them at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.764.5076.

NOVA Holiday Hours

Northern Virginia Community College will close for Winter Break on Thursday, December 22, 2016 at 5pm and remain closed until Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 8:00 am.

If you have common questions, the following information may be helpful:

Finals Grades: Fall 2016 grades will be accessible through NOVA Connect within 7 days of the end date of your course.

Blackboard Course Availability: Instructors make classes available in blackboard on the first day the course is scheduled to begin, or sometimes a few days in advance. If you are visiting Blackboard to access your Spring 2017 courses, you may not have access until the start date.

Course Start Dates: 1st 16 week, 1st 8 week, 1st 12 week and 1st 4 week (MTT only) sessions will begin on January 9, 2017. View your course specific critical enrollment dates on ELI’s website.

Course Registration: If you have not registered, Spring 2017 registration is still open. Although the College is closed, online registration is open. For registration information, please click here. Additional step by step registration instructions can be viewed by clicking here. If you need assistance with your course selection, ELI Counselors and Virtual Advisors will be available  when the college opens on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Emails will be answered in the order they are received.

Prerequisites satisfied at another College: 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 another regionally accredited institution, you will need to submit a copy of your unofficial transcript to an ELI counselor for review. Using your NOVA student email, submit the following information to the Virtual Advisors:

  • NOVA seven digit student identification number (EMPLID).
  • The specific course that you are registering for (ex: ENG 111 E55N, #45689).
  • Unofficial copy of your transcript (Must be able to clearly review your name, the dates attended, and the courses required).

Requests are reviewed and processed in the order in which they are received. You should expect to receive a response about your request within three business days after offices opens.

Online Academic Resources: If you have any downtime during the break, it would be an excellent opportunity to explore the free online workshops offered by Student Lingo. Student Lingo workshops focus on time management, career development, mastering the job interview, resume writing, stress management techniques, writing techniques, study skills, test anxiety and more! They are an excellent resource that will enrich your academic and career growth.

Consider registering for or reviewing ELI Orientation Webinar. This one hour webinar will focus on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning.

We wish you a safe and restful holiday break!