Second Annual Common Reader Program

This summer, Extended Learning Institute (ELI) is planning its Second Annual Common Reader Program. Common Readers have become popular as part of the first year experience at many residential colleges but ELI’s program is unique to a distance learning environment.

The 2012 ELI Common Reader selection is “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot. The book details the life, death and legacy of a poor tobacco farmer from Virginia who changed the course of medical research, yet remains virtually unknown. Each chapter raises powerful questions about ethics, race, medical science and social justice.

ELI will invite 500 first-year students enrolled in ELI courses at NOVA to participate in the 2012 Common Reader program. This is a voluntary program designed to engage distance learning students and the book will be provided free of charge. ELI staff members hope invited students will take advantage of this unique opportunity to interact with their peers in an environment that will help to prepare them for successful online learning.

ELI has a team of faculty and staff involved in the planning and implementation of the 2012 ELI Common Reader Program. Events will include a Common Reader Blog, online discussions at ELI’s Virtual Student Union and various interactive events throughout the fall semester.

Please advise current ELI students who would like to mentor first-year students during this program to email

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