Do I Need SDV 101?

I am reading some of the evaluations of my SDV 101 faculty and some students will make the comment that they have already taken SDV 100-College Success Skills.

The following students are exempt from taking SDV 101 for program admission:

  • You have already taken SDV 100 or another SDV course at NOVA
  • You have transferred in an SDV elective from another college (verified by NOVA transcript evaluation)
  • You have a transferrable associates degree or higher from a U.S. college or university (verfied by NOVA transcript evaluation)
  • You have passed the NOVA SDV ABLE Examination

All first-time college students interested in MEC are encouraged to take SDV 101 within their first 16 credits at NOVA.  You can take the course on MEC campus or online through the Extended Learning Institute (ELI).  

The SDV course is centered on college success skills.  Often students misinterpret the 101 courses to be Allied Health 101 or Nursing 101.  The discipline is STUDENT DEVELOPMENT.  The learning outcomes are the same as SDV 100 courses but we adjust our instruction, textbook, and assignments to students who are interested in healthcare careers. 

You have the opportunity to learn more about MEC admissions if you take the SDV 101 course.  You can also experience the campus environment and some facilities if you take the in-person courses in Springfield.

No Wait Lists at MEC

We do not have wait lists for Nursing and Allied Health programs.  Years and years ago some MEC programs did have wait lists (sometimes the wait would be over one year).   Currently, students apply and are either accepted or denied admission into the entering class.

Right now the following programs are competitive:  Nursing, Dental Hygiene and Radiography.  Sonography is a possible addition in the future to the competitive admissions process (pending approval).  These programs have a period where they accept applications by a published deadline.  Next, all qualified applicants are reviewed and students are offered admission based upon the scoring criteria of that academic department.  Each department can only allow admission to a certain amount of students based upon accreditation and available faculty/clinical sites, etc.  So although many qualify and are great students, not everyone can be offered admission each year.  If you are not accepted into the program, you have the opportunity to reapply for the next entering class.   There is no wait list.  Now occassionally one or more students who are accepted into programs may decline admission (because they are moving or going to another college, etc.).  In that case, the offer may be extended to the next competitive applicant.

Other Allied Health programs are first-come first served and do not have a competitive admissions process.  Yes most of these programs have deadlines; however, as eligible students apply they will be offered admission until all spaces for that program has been filled.  So when you complete your pre-requisites for those programs, submit your application pronto!  The first-come first served programs include:  Medical Laboratory Technology/Phlebotomy, Physical Therapist Assistant, Respiratory Therapy, Health Information Management/Clinical Data Coding, and Emergency Medical Services.

For deadlines refer to page 4 of the Allied Health Application packet online and the Nursing website.  Please comment if you have any questions.

Upcoming Workshop for Prospective MEC Students

If you are a student who is interested in applying to either MEC Nursing or Allied Health programs, this workshop is for you!

 At this academic advising week workshop, we will: 

  • review admissions requirements,
  • discuss how to prioritize pre-requisites/plan ahead for course selection,
  • discuss frequently asked questions/common mistakes, and
  • provide other program options (if not offered MEC Admission)

 MEC Exchange Workshop (Friday, November 4th, 2pm-4pm, Rooms 327/330)

 Prospective MEC students, please click on the following link to register for the MEC Exchange Workshop:  

 Space is limited.  You must register to attend. If you have any additional inquiries please contact Ms. Tonda Shine (MEC Retention Counselor) at

Allied Health Common Application: What Happened to the Checklists?

Students, faculty and staff!  If you have not already noticed, there is no longer the two step process to apply for Allied Health Degree programs (at the present time this does not include Nursing).  In the past students had to submit a checklist to MEC Student Services and an advisor would verify whether students met the requirements for admission.  If so, they would receive an application to be submitted to the academic department.

This summer a common application for MEC Allied Health degrees was introduced where students will complete and submit by the admissions deadline.  Allied Health applications are only to be submitted if students have completed all requirements for admission and are ready to apply to the next entering class.  It is now a one-step process!  The Allied Health application can be found on all MEC Allied Health academic department websites and the Allied Health webpage at

Please view information sessions for all interested programs and follow the directions provided in the info sessions and application.  Right now, some information sessions may not have the audio but just the powerpoints are available.  View the powerpoint slides which provide instructions for prospective students.  You may be prompted to open in Acrobat Reader.  Click on that statement if the information session is not visible immediately. 

The application on page 4 provides a great chart that outlines: Pre-Admission Course Requirements, Cumulative Minimum GPA/Placement Test Requirements and Required Attachments to Application.  Please read these sections carefully to avoid applications being returned.  It is also a good resource for counselors to advise pre-Allied Health students at their campuses.  The required attachments are also very important.  For example, we are now requesting that high school transcripts for Dental Hygiene are included with your application packet instead of being mailed separately and in advance.

Certain certificate programs are still utilizing a checklist (EMS).  The common application right now applies to Allied Health associate degree programs.

Let us know if you have any questions!

Transcript Evaluation: Will this course come over to the MEC?

One of the biggest referrals we receive at MEC has to do with transcript evaluation and whether courses will transfer into Nursing and Allied Health programs.   Please read the following below about  the transcript evaluation process at MEC:

  • Students should submit their official college transcript (sealed and unopened) to MEC Campus Student Services (Rm. 202).  They can bring it in or have it mailed directy to our department.
  • Students must complete a NOVA Request for Evaluation of Transcript form (125-049) and submit to MEC Campus Student Services.  On the form students should indicate their MEC program of interest where indicated. 
  • Like other NOVA campuses, the transcript evaluation form and transcripts are sent to the College Records Office for evaluation.  They must allow the college up to 6 weeks for the transcript to be evaluated.
  • Transcript evaluators will be looking to see if students can transfer in pre-requisite courses and general education courses only.  If there is a math placement requirement for entry, they will also look to transfer in any applicable MTH course.  They do not transfer in unrelated courses to the major, Nursing, and Allied Health classes.  Any students wanting to transfer in Nursing or Allied Health classes must contact the academic department directly.
  • If students have a confirmed U.S. associates degree (A.A. or A.S.) or higher, they will receive a general education waiver (please see exceptions in the College’s advanced standing manual) and will not see specifically the ENG and SDV courses on their NOVA transcript.  This throws a lot of students off in believing that they did not receive any credit for those courses.  Therefore, students should check their Degree Progress Report for the General Education Met By External Degree statement (True or False).  [If an Allied Health  program STILL requires a specific English course with a specific grade (B or higher, etc.), our department will look for those grades to determine admissions eligibility]
  • College science (BIO, CHM, NAS, etc.), computer (ITE),  and pharmocology (HLT 250) are career/technical courses at MEC that must be current and will not be accepted for program admission (where applicable) and transfer if they were taken more than 10 years ago.

Therefore, it is important to understand that the questions regarding what will transfer to MEC will be answered upon completion of the transcript evaluation processs (not by MEC counselors or advisors during walk-in advising).  Students need to plan and keep in mind the deadline for admission into their program of interest because they need to give up to 6 weeks for transcript evaluation to be completed (upon the receipt of the transcript(s) and form).  

Students will receive an email upon completion of the transcript evaluation by the College Records Office.  If they have inquiries they can email  If there are questions about the status of MEC international transcript evaluation, they can email It helps the process when students submit their completed transcript evaluation form (indicating any name changes-maiden name, etc.)  and official transcript together to MEC Student Services. 

If students are are awaiting the results of the transcript evaluation, they can work with any NOVA advisor or counselor at any campus to identify courses required for admission that they clearly have not taken in the past.  If students are unsure or uncertain about their impending results, then they can wait until the transcript evaluation process is complete before proceeding with registration. 

Please comment if you have any questions! 




Welcome to The MEC Exchange

Welcome to our NOVA Medical Education Campus Blog where we will be providing useful and up-to-date information to students, faculty, and staff on admissions, academic advising, counseling and student success initiatives. 

Unlike most disciplines at NOVA, students must apply and obtain admission to MEC Nursing and Allied Health programs.  Therefore, students have to be successful in completing their admissions requirements for consideration.  Our programs are also very popular considering the demand for healthcare workers and the state of the economy (where more citizens are seeking employment in high demand fields).

Therefore, we hope that this Blog will be helpful to prospective students in providing information about some of the most frequently asked questions that we receive.  Current MEC students may also benefit from information provided by counseling, enrollment services, and student life departments.  Most importantly, our NOVA student affairs colleagues, faculty advisors, and college staff can use this Blog as a resource to assist you in advising our Pre-MEC population.

If there are any topics that you would suggest for us to cover, please let us know for future consideration.