Category Archives: MEC Student Success

Information on MEC’s Student Success Initiatives including Orientation, First Year Experience and Student Life

OPEN HOUSE: INOVA Fair Oaks Hospital RN and Clinical Technician

When: Thursday 4:00 pm-7:00 pm

Where:  Inova Fair Oaks Medical Campus
Auditorium – Lower Level
3580 Joseph Siewick Drive, Fairfax, VA

Inova Fair Oaks Hospital is recognized as one of the best
in Northern Virginia, with safety as our number one priority.
We are seeking experienced Registered Nurse and
Registered Nurse Graduates, as well as Clinical Technicians.
See our facility and meet with leaders from various
departments including Critical Care, Emergency
Department, Labor and Delivery, NICU, Obstetrics,
Operating Room, Pediatrics and more.

RSVP with a copy of your resume to Kristy DeHaven
at by Monday, July 18th


IFOH Open House July 21 2016

Job Fair!

We wanted to spread the word. The Fairfax is hosting a job fair this May.  Details below.


The Fairfax
9140 Belvoir Woods Pkwy Fort Belvoir, VA
Corner of Telegraph Rd. and Route 1

Monday, May 9 from 11 to 4

Bringing a smile to a residents face is the most rewarding feeling that you can get from your job.

The advantage of working at The Fairfax goes far beyond a beautiful work environment.
We have great benefits for full time positions and flexible schedules for all positions.
Health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts- Comprehensive medical and prescription
drug plan Paid vacation, sick time, holiday and bereavement leave- Long-term service recognition
program- Life and accident insurance plans- Tuition reimbursement program- 401(k) retirement
savings plan- Wellness program- Dental plan- Vision plan

The Fairfax is always looking for talented, professional Team Members!

Do you have passion for working with seniors? Are you motivate and driven to be the best?

Are you ready to start your career, not just a job?

Then join us to at our Job Fair to learn how you can join our team of dedicated professionals.

ositions available Servers Cooks CNAs LPNs

Stop by for an interview at our Job Fair or apply online


Snowed In- Organize and Optimize

For many students unexpected time off may feel like a blessing. Time to relax and repose. However the avid learner will recognize that this “extra” time is illusory. As a student you will still be expected to keep up with your assigned materials. What you miss is vital instruction time. For our Allied Health and Nursing students, this means time away from practice labs and clinical rotations. Each hour spent in lab or clinical is a vital learning opportunity. Time snowed in is best spent practicing your skills and reviewing.

We recommend that when faced with extra time you do some of the following.

 1. Organize

We often fail to realize how important good organization is. This will mean different things to different people. However the key is to understand that you must optimize your time and workspace to best leverage your learning style and available resources.

This might mean cleaning your desk, moving furniture or organizing and digitizing notes. Knowing when things are due, and where things are will save you a great deal of time going forward.

The point here is not to model your workspace after some ideal, but to model it after your ideal.  This may visually translate into a spartan desktop, or a chaotic maelstrom.

2. Inventory

Part of the effort to organize will involve inventorying. This basically means assessing your physical resources as well as you intellectual resources. Are you really good at memorizing and recalling information? Great! But do you struggle with contextualizing that information? Do you have enough pens, batteries and the entire minutia required for studying well? Have you set an appointment to speak to a disabilities or academic success counselor?
Another part and possibly most crucial part of the inventory, is to understand realistically how long it takes you to complete a given task. If you know it takes you a day to read a chapter make a note of it. Knowing the boundaries of your abilities will help you push those boundaries further.
The greater detail in your personal inventory the better organized you’ll become.

3. L.S.E

After you have organized and inventoried your life, you will almost be ready to tackle your assignments. Having organized and inventoried, the first thing you will need is a copy of your syllabus from each course. In addition you will have any in class and online announcements related to your class easily accessible.

Make a list of all pending work. This includes projects, exams, and the areas of weakness you identified earlier. Next to each establish a deadline and level of priority. You should also write down the how much time you realistically take on the task.

Armed with your list of task, deadlines, priorities and projected times to completion you will be able to make an accurate schedule. Order your list of task by deadline and then priority.

This last part is pretty straight forward, but the most challenging. Now you need to honor your schedule which given the level of detail and attention should allow you to flow effortlessly from task to task.

Becoming a successful student directly translates into becoming a better worker. Having a toolkit that allows you to prioritize and manage your time is one of the keys to having a successful career in any field. Next time you have “extra” time, try executing these simple tips. You’re work productivity should increase and your stress reduced.

Your Future Matters


A hashtag in today’s world can be a powerful thing. It can bring a nation to its knees or lift a forgotten cause to the forefront of our minds. To us you are more than a hashtag. You are a complex individual with hopes and dreams. You want a good job and a comfortable life. You also care about other people and see yourself as not only a caretaker for your family, but to others in need.

Your future matters to us. At NOVA we have made it our mission to act as the vehicle for your success. NOVA has been there for you and your family for fifty years. Whether it be at the Medical Education Campus pursuing one of our Allied Health or Nursing degrees, or studying electrical engineering at Annandale NOVA has given you the tools to succeed

NOVA has not stood still. As the economy has evolved so have our programs and campuses. At the MEC we have added Occupational Therapy Assistant and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs to our offerings.

Our MEC graduates are armed with degrees with starting salaries in the $50,000* range. On average an associate at NOVA cost around $15,000** with books and tuition. This means that the bulk of your cost is covered by the average financial aid package and scholarships. When compared to similar four year bachelor’s programs, it is easy to recognize that a degree from NOVA has a much higher rate of return. Especially considering the large loans that are often required to complete a bachelor’s degree that may have the same earning potential as an Allied Health or Nursing Degree.


NOVA and GMU Cost Compare

We simply ask that you take a moment and review the information session for any of the programs you may be interested in. Send us an email at, or visit our office to discuss your options and the necessary steps to apply.


We will be hosting an Open House at the MEC Campus on October 17. Join us to explore the programs that the MEC campus has to offer. Register by October 2nd and get entered to win an iPad Mini. 
Eventbrite - MEC Open House

#YourFutureMatters to us.


*BLS: May 2014 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV

** This is assuming a 72 credit hour associate charged at the prevailing instate rate $171.25 per credit hour and accounting for the average cost of text books and other materials. Some programs will be less than $15,000 while others may coast more.

*** Savings Calculator

MEC Open House

Have you ever wondered what the MEC is like, and what to expect in your courses here? Come and find out. Northern Virginia Community College’s Medical Education Campus will be hosting an Open House, featuring interactive demonstrations by every department and campus tours. Those that register by October 2nd are eligible to win an iPad Mini! Register Now at:



Transcript evaluation- What will Transfer?

If you have attended college prior to NOVA, you should request your official transcript from each institution attended. Additionally for  Nursing applicants you should  request your high school records as well. In order to know what will officially  transfer to NOVA, you must have each transcript evaluated by the College Records Office.  Simply submit your official transcript at any campus along with a Transcript Evaluation Request form (125-049).  The process takes approximately four to six weeks.

It is pertinent that you begin this process as soon as possible.   If you have other types of transfer credit such as AP, IB , ClEP follow the same steps.

If you would like to know what will transfer to NOVA, you may use the Transfer Credit Evaluation database maintained by the College Records Office.  


Please be aware that NOVA will only accept transfer credit from other universities that have been accredited by one of the following agencies.

  • Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools Middle States
  • Commission of Higher Education
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Higher Learning Commission
  • Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
  •  Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities

Please note that NOVA does not accept transfer credit from schools accredited by: Association Of Independent Colleges And Universities or National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities. 




Math the Final Frontier:


On most days I’ll have at least one or two students sitting across from me with this pervasive problem. They’ve completed everything to apply, and they still need to pass the math placement test, or in the case of our nursing students the math placement test and the TEAS (Nursing Pre-Admission) test.  You can see the frustration hang in clouds around them as they come to the common issue of mastering math before a deadline.  Let us call these two students Sigma (∑) and Mu (µ).

“Do I really need to do this?” Mu asked with a
hopeful glance that I will say no. “Is there someone I can talk to” Sigma plaintively asked, looking to be absolved from the burden of dealing with math.  Again I have to break the news that no, they must meet all established requirements.  Math for most of the allied health and nursing programs is not something to be taken lightly. The placement test requirement is there to make sure a student is well equipped to deal with the mathematical concepts present in the different disciplines.  As such it must be taken to heart that passing the test is not just meeting a requirement, but signaling that you are at least in part ready to tackle the challenge ahead.

Sigma stirs and says, “I’ve completed a degree….I don’t need to take the placement test do I?”  The short answer is always yes; all students are required to demonstrate that they are able to operate at the prescribed math level.  Not all degrees require college-level math courses and as such a student may in fact still need to take a test.  If a student has transferred college-level math to NOVA than a test is not required. For all others taking the math placement test is a must.

“Ok, I get it. I’m going to have to take the math placement test?  What can I do now? I’m ‘terrible’ at math,” grumbles Mu. At this point in the visit, the hope starts to drain out of a prospective student, swallowed up by the idea that this abstract assortment of esoteric knowledge will hold them back in their march forward.

Most students do not realize that they can prepare for the math placement test like any other test. They also do not understand that there exists a wealth of resources to get them up to speed in almost any topic imaginable and they’re all for free.  The cost to the student is the time and effort it takes to understand the material.  (Easier said than done right?)  Nothing comes easy, but at the end of the day, the question is how bad you want/need it.  For some students, this will mean taking a developmental math course for a semester or two, and potentially missing a deadline. For others, it will involve setting aside other commitments to focus on the primary objective.  Math does not need to be the end of the road, often it is just the beginning of it.

Take the time to look over the following links as you prepare to take a step towards your goal.

The first step is to review the Math Placement Test site on the NOVA website.  It offers a wide variety of links that may assist you. For many students the practice test and review packet is sufficient.

Placement test information:

Review Packet:

Some students will wish to practice their math skills before taking the exam. Khan Academy is a free online school.  Students typically find that practicing on this site at least an hour a day for a week or two  gets them ready for the test.

Math Practice:

If you are not able to pass the required units that your program application requires, you will then be required to take a developmental math course.  Developmental math is not a four letter word, but an opportunity for you to grow academically and better prepared to succeed in your program of choice.


Student Development (SDV) – Your Entrepôt to Success

For many students the idea of attending college feels daunting or overwhelming. A student might ask themselves, why should I go on for another two, four or eight years of school?  Perhaps that student has a relatively well paying job lined up for them straight out of high school.


Some students will find success outside of college or through some sort of post secondary education. However for the vast majority of people young or old seeking an advantage in today job market earning a college degree presents the best pathway to financial success.   The Center on Education and the Workforce detailed in their most recent publication The Economic Value of College Majors the importance the right credentials can have.  For those students that opt not to complete a degree they can expect their lifetime earnings to be significantly lower than their peers that did.

At NOVA, we strive to facilitate your educational goals and provide courses that maximize your potential.  NOVA requires students to complete a Student Development (SDV ) course. This prepares a student to get the most out of their time in higher education. As part of the course you will learn and hone the skills necessary to excel in higher education regardless of your current level of achievement. At the Medical Education Campus we offer several sections of SDV that meet any schedule.  SDV 100 and SDV 101 sections are available this summer and fall. If you are willing to commit the time and energy and education at NOVA will be  yield rich rewards. SDV is the first step in that journey to life long success.

For those students with tight schedules we offer SDV as an eight week meeting once a week for an hour and forty minutes.  Our SDV 100 (58345) starts this fall and meets every Thursday from august 24th until October 20th.


You can view a listing of SDV courses available at the Medical Education Campus HERE. You can also find more offerings by logging into MYNOVA and doing a  class search in SIS.

What Would You like to know?

The student services office at the MEC is responsible for the processing of all allied health and nursing applications. As such we do our best to stay abreast of any changes that may be upcoming. Check back regularly and comment to ask questions. If there is anything you’d like us to write about feel free to comment on this post with suggestions or questions.