Register now for MEC Exchange Workshop for Fall 2012

At this MEC Exchange 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)

This workshop will be held at the various campuses.  Prospective MEC students, please click on the following link to register for the MEC Exchange Workshop: closest to you.

Submission of Transcripts from other VCCS Colleges

The college is seeing a surge in the number of students sending transcripts from other VCCS colleges in order to transfer credit to NOVA. As a reminder, transcripts from other VCCS colleges are not required since we are able to view the student’s record in SIS. However, students do need to fill out a Request for Evaluation of Transcript form to transfer their VCCS credits.


There have been rumors floating around that the Dianostic Medical Sonography program here at the MEC Campus is not available. This is untrue. The program is still available to students.  However, the specializations are not currently available to students.


The catalog has been updated online to reflect this as well:

Diagnostic Medical Sonography A.A.S. (Degree program still active)

    Echocardiography Specialization NOVA is not currently accepting students into this degree specialization
    Vascular Sonography Specialization NOVA is not currently accepting students into this degree specialization

The program had received notice that it formally received its accreditation in the spring 2012:

Congratulations to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program! The program has now been officially accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Please read the Special Accreditation Announcement for more information.

Please view the information sessions for all current updates and the current application for the program.

MEC Counselor Email

For specific questions which require us to access your academic record, you should use the email.  Please use your vccs student email and provide us with your question and EMPL ID number.  For privacy reasons and a faster response, please refrain from using the MEC Blog to ask specific questions relating to your status.  Thanks!

New Occupational Therapy Assistant Program!

Beginning Fall of 2012, the MEC will be accepting completed applications to be considered for admission to our exciting new Occupational Therapy Assistant program, which will be officially starting January 2013!

Occupational Therapy is the art and science of helping impaired individuals meet a level of independence needed to perform the roles necessary to live a productive life (occupation) within their environment. These tasks may include: work tasks, play/leisure tasks, or self-care tasks.

What exactly does a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant entail, you ask? As an Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) you will work under the supervision of Occupational Therapists to provide rehabilitative services to individuals across the lifespan who have mental, physical, developmental, and/or emotional difficulties. The goal of the OTA is to help clients be able to successfully perform daily activities that promote improved quality of life.

OTAs may work in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, nursing facilities, outpatient/private practice, and academia, and can look forward to enjoying a number of perks including flexible work hours, good salary, job security, and, most important, a fun and rewarding career path.

Some fun facts to consider about OTA:

  • Employment is expected to increase by 30% through 2018!
  • 94% of OTA graduates were able to secure a job within 8 weeks of graduation
  • Median annual salary: $48,230/year
  • Shortage of OTAs = increased likelihood of better salary, sign-on bonuses, tuition reimbursement

To be considered for admission to the OTA program, you must first:

  • Complete the NOVA/VCCS application
  • Attend an OTA Information Session
  • Submit High School Diploma or GED
  • Earn a curricular GPA of 2.5 or greater at last school attended (minimum of 13 credits)
  • Complete ENG 111
  • Complete HLT 141 
  • Complete SDV 101 or equivalent
  • Complete BIO 141 – “C” or higher (NAS 161 will be accepted)
  • Complete BIO 142 – “C” or higher (NAS 162 will be accepted)
  • Qualify for placement into MTH 151 or higher on NOVA Math placement tests or transfer equivalent college credit.
  • Complete 16 hours of observation time/volunteer/and/or paid work time with OT/COTA
  • Submit your application within the application period: September 4, 2012 – October 19, 2012

It is important to be aware that applicants to the OTA program are not guaranteed entrance into the program. For the January 2013  cohort, qualified applicants will be accepted based on an approved competitive admissions process. The competitive admissions process will include:

  1. Meeting all of the above admission requirements in full.
  2. Viewing the total number of observation hours in clinical settings.
  3. Viewing the total number of working hours as a rehabilitation technician or therapy aide.
  4. Viewing if a Career Sciences Certification is earned.
  5. Viewing BIO 141 and BIO 142 grades.
  6. Video Interview.

To review the Allied Health Application and for information session dates and times, please see:


Fall 2012 registration: RAD 100 AND DMS 100

RAD 100 –

  • Does not need permission.
  •  The “department consent required” on RAD 100 will be taken off and students can    register beginning June 5. We are staying with the advertised date even though fall registration opened early since this course fills very quickly.

 DMS 100

  • Requires permission from Anita Freeman via email at
  • The course is full but we are keeping a manual wait list for interested students.

Health Information Alphabet Soup: What is HIM/HIT/HIS?

We understand that some students as well as counselors/faculty advisors may have difficulty explaining the differences between HIM, HIT and HIS programs.  The following information was provided by Chidinma Onyedike-former Career Specialist in the HIS Department at the MEC Campus. 

H.I.M stands for Health Information Management. HIM is comprised of employees who manage healthcare information. The importance of HIM is in operations management. HIM professionals manage the coding and accuracy of healthcare data. Careers of HIM professionals include: Registered Health Information Administrator (RHIA), Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT), Certified Coding Associate (CCA), and Certified Coding Specialist (CCS). NOVA offers an A.A.S degree program in HIM.

H.I.T stands for Health Information Technology. HIT is comprised of the technology used to manage healthcare information. These professionals handle hardware, software, and telecommunications technology. Careers of HIT professionals include: Implementation Support Specialist, Technical Support Specialist, Implementation Manager, and other careers that may deal with such things as Electronic Health Records. NOVA offers a 2-track educational workforce training program through the H.I.S Center of Excellence to train the healthcare workforce in 6 work roles. These 6 workforce roles are based on training in Electronic Health Records. This training program is 6 months long and was designed for students with a healthcare or information technology employment background.

H.I.S stands for Health Information Systems. HIS is comprised of the technological systems used to maintain healthcare information. These automated systems use the technology of HIT to record, manipulate, store, recover, and disseminate data. These systems are used by HIT and HIM professionals to do their jobs.

In summary, HIM includes the people who manage healthcare information through the use of HIT. HIT is the technology used by healthcare professionals to maintain data and health information. HIS are the hardware and software systems HIT/HIM professionals use to do their jobs. The main theme of these acronyms is Health Information. Healthcare Information career fields are extremely important in delivering the accurate and quality healthcare that we all need.

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!