This week at NOVA Online!

ThinkstockPhotos-77739879Summer Registration opens for all students on Tuesday, March 31. Check the schedule of classes in NOVA Connect and follow this tutorial to help you search for online classes through NOVA Online. If you register before April 26 payment is due by 5pm on Monday, April 27, or your classes may be dropped. If you register after April 27, your tuition will be due by 5pm the next business day. Don’t wait to register!

All Week- Pedometer Challenge. Participate in the NOVA Online Pedometer Challenge through our Health and Wellness Group! Compete and share experiences with other students by tracking your average daily steps for a month as well as create personal health and wellness goals. First 50 students who sign up get a FREE NOVA Online Pedometer. Challenge starts begins April 6th! Register here.

All Week- NOVA Online Book Club. Join NOVA Online’s Book Club! This semester we will read “How I Live Now” by Meg Rosoff. After you sign up, you will gain access to the book club’s discussion board. We will end the book club with a live viewing of the movie adaptation! So, don’t wait and sign up today! Register here.

Wednesday – NOVA Online Birthday Celebration. 1-3pm. The Extended Learning Institute is turning 40! NOVA Online will be visiting all six campuses and invite students to join us in celebrating 40 years of online learning at NOVA! This week we will be at Annandale! Festivities will include birthday treats, party games, and learn more about options with online learning at NOVA!

Resource of the Week – Do you have upcoming final exams and  papers due? Need to organize your ideas? Check out Idea Sketch. This app will help you brainstorm and organize your thoughts to help you prepare outlines for final papers, and help you study for exams. Available in the apple store and Google play.

Using your Body as an Ally in your Success

How many times have you woken up and not wanted to get out of the bed because your body wasn’t up to it? Our bodies sustain us in more ways than we realize. The body is the vehicle that drives us from point A to point B, it’s what motivates us to move, and it’s what, quite literally, allows us to move towards the goals we set for ourselves. Yet, we sacrifice caring for it when in pursuit of those goals.  Taking care of yourself makes it possible for you to achieve the goals you want to achieve. Our bodies should be viewed as an ally to our success and we should care for it as such. An ally is considered an asset, trustworthy, one that works in cooperation toward a common goal.  If your trusted friend needed care, would you deny him that? If he were hungry wouldn’t you feed him, if your friend was tired, would you encourage him to rest?  Why not do that for yourself too?

Give your body what it needs to take you where you want to go. Sometimes taking the time out to do the basic self-care activities you need to do may seem like it’s slowing you down or interrupting your progress but, in fact, you’re making sure you can stand up to the challenge that working towards your goals presents.  You wouldn’t set out on a road trip without making sure your car can  withstand the journey. So care for yourself, you have a great journey to success ahead of you and you need to make sure you can make it all the way and beyond. Namaste.

-Jennifer, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Marketing Your Resume to Employers

Job OpportunityHiring managers get flooded with resumes for job openings. How can you ensure your resume will be looked at? Take some advice from hiring managers:

  • Do the basics.
  • Proofread for spelling, grammar, and tone. (Ask friends to proofread, too.)
  • Use a simple, easy-to-read typeface.
  • Follow instructions in the job posting. If the employer asks for information—such as references or writing samples—provide it.
  • If you’re applying by e-mail, your cover letter should be contained in the e-mail. If you’re applying online and there’s no space indicated for a cover letter, put your cover letter in the comments section.
  • Don’t let the informality of e-mail and text correspondence seep into your communications—whether e-mailed, online, or written—with potential employers.
  • Organize your resume for the employer—Organize your resume information in a logical fashion. Keep descriptions clear and to the point. As possible, tailor your resume to the job and employer, emphasizing skills, experiences, abilities, and qualifications that match the job description.
  • Customize your response—Address the hiring manager directly, if possible, and include the name of the company and the position for which it is hiring in your cover letter/e-mail response.
  • Make it easy for the hiring manager—Use your name and the word “resume” in the e-mail subject line so it’s easy to identify.
  • Focus on the skills and abilities you can bring to the employer, not what you want from the job—In your cover letter, answer the questions: What can you do to make the hiring manager’s life easier? What can you do to help the company? This is your opportunity to market yourself and stand out from the other candidates. Your resume should support that.
  • Be professional—Use a professional-sounding e-mail address or voice mail/answering machine message.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

#NOVA OnlineBookClub

Book and movie posters for "How I live Now" by Meg Rosoff

The NOVA Online Book Club is here! Click this link to join: After you sign up, you will gain access to the book club’s discussion board. All you need is your NOVA e-mail address!

This semester we will read “How I Live Now” by Meg Rosoff. In it, the protagonist “fifteen-year-old Daisy goes to England to stay with her aunt and cousins, with whom she instantly bonds, but soon war breaks out and rips apart the family while devastating the land.” –

In 3 weeks we will have an online book discussion and we will end the book club with a live viewing of the movie adaptation! So, don’t wait and sign up today!

Getting ready for your next semester

Fall registration will be here before you know it. We want to make sure you are on the right track with your degree plan (or program of study), your academic plan (or program of study) is up-to-date in NOVAConnect, and you are ready to register for your courses.RegistrationFall open registration for all students is May 5. Know your Priority registration date to register early, follow this tutorial to find your priority registration date for fall (based on credits).

Summer Registration opens on Tuesday, March 31.

To help you plan for your next semester, we encourage you to participate in the Getting Ready for your Next Semester webinar.

During this webinar, a NOVA Online Counselor will discuss the following topics:

  • Program identification.
  • Course selection.
  • College resources.
  • Schedule planning and registration.
  • Payment tips.

There will be a chance to ask any questions you have about the registration process. Advanced registration is required. Join us live, or request a recording!

If you have questions about Financial Aid, you can contact them at 855.323.3199 or visit the Financial Aid Support Center for more contact information.

Community Service Spotlight: NOVACares

volunteers_neededThis month we want to highlight some wonderful opportunities through our own NOVA campus community that are coming up in April to give back with community service.

NOVACares is one of our offices at the college that provide resources and services to students at NOVA around different wellness topics such as mental health, homelessness, domestic violence, sexual assault and many others.

On behalf of Sexual Assault Awareness month in April , NOVA Sexual Assault Services will be sponsoring events on several of the campuses to educate students and raise awareness about these important issues. Some of these include The Red Flag Campaign, Denim Day, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes and Take Back the Night.  Please contact Angela Acosta at for more information.

Please help support their outreach efforts and volunteer your time!

Free Online Job Search Tool for NOVA Students

182292619Looking for a job?  Trying to find an internship?  Whether you are near a computer or on the go, a great place to begin your search is by accessing College Central Network (CCN) – NOVA’s online job board system.

The following are some benefits of using the system.

  • Search for jobs and other opportunities posted exclusively to NOVA.  Take a look at many local positions available now.
  • Search for jobs on CCN’s Jobs Central® national job board.  The job board contains over 500,000 opportunities from unique sources.
  • Check out CCN’s Intern Central® national internship board to search for internships.
  • Build a new resume with the Resume Builder feature.
  • Upload your resume and make it searchable to employers.
  • Check out over 1,000 career articles written by industry professionals.
  • View career videos and listen to over 25 career advice podcasts on topics including resume basics,  interviewing, and personal branding.
  • Browse and sign-up for upcoming workshops, programs, and events at NOVA and in the surrounding area.

Get started today.  Check your VCCS student e-mail account with instructions for accessing your free account.  Contact Career and Experiential Learning Services if you cannot access your account.  A brief introduction to CCN will be provided in today’s Conducting a Job Search webinar being held from 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm.  Learn more and register at

#1 Tip for Students New to Online Classes

Today’s blog is provided by student blogger Rebecca! She has been taking NOVA Online classes for two semesters and has some tips for new NOVA Online students.

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m scrambling to finish a paper by the 5pm deadline. I am just about to submit my paper at 4:55pm but I decide to proofread it one more time. By the time I finish it is a couple minutes after 5pm. Okay, I’ll go submit it now. It’s only two minutes, right? WRONG! As I click on the assignment I am startled to discover that the submission page has disappeared off of blackboard!

Yes, this did actually happened to me last semester. Luckily I emailed the professor and was able to turn in my assignment, although I did lose a lot of points. Don’t let this happen to you!

Online classes are great because they let you have flexibility in your schedule. However without a physical class everyday to remind you what is due, it’s easy to get behind if you don’t pace yourself. My #1 tip for students new to online classes is keep track of your course deadlines and your professor’s policy on deadlines.

Here are five things to look for on your syllabus:

  1. What day of the week and time are assignments due? The day and time of deadlines may vary for different courses. In my experience most classes have Sunday deadlines but the times may vary. For example, last semester one of my courses had a Sunday 5pm deadline, another had a Sunday 11:59pm deadline and another had a Monday 6am deadline. It’s helpful to write deadlines on a calendar (especially if you are taking multiple courses, so you don’t get caught off guard by a busy week)
  2. Are there any midweek deadlines? Once in awhile there may be a group project or discussion board posting with a midweek deadline, leaving time later in the week for comments.
  3. Are there strict deadlines? Some professors have strict weekly deadlines while others will accept all work right up until the course end date.
  4. Do exams have to be taken during a certain window? Are exams only available for a limited time? Can you take them early or late?
  5. Does your instructor accept late work? Some instructors will let you turn in work a day or two late if you email them and explain the situation. Other instructors will accept late work but take points off. Others are very strict about deadlines and will not accept work even a minute late.

We’ve all been there: You have a busy week and struggle to find the time. You have last minute computer problems. These things can and will happen. Avoid a stressful situation by learning about your course deadlines and professor’s policy before they do!532484521What do you wish you had known before taking your first NOVA Online class? Is this your first class? What questions do you have about getting started?

Feel free to leave a comment with any advice you have for students new to online learning or any questions you have about getting started!

Zero textbook costs with NOVA Online Digital Open courses

NOVA’s OER-Based Associate Degree Project is a comprehensive approach to addressing concerns over access, affordability and student success. The Extended Learning Institute (NOVA Online) offers nearly 40 courses that do not require students to purchase textbooks. Instead these courses, designated as Digital Open sections, use free open educational resources (OER) and library materials. NOVA students can earn a General Studies Certificate, or full Associate Degree, without having to purchase textbooks.

We developed our OER-Based Associate Degree Project to be delivered online, so that any student at any NOVA campus could have the opportunity to take these courses. Building digital content and resources into an online course helps to better engage the learner and is more conducive to learning online. This leads to better knowledge retention, better course outcomes, improved information literacy skills, and preparation to function more effectively in technology adapted careers.

We have seen immediate benefits of the OER-Based Associate Degree project, measuring cost-savings to students in excess of $800,000. And because every student in a Digital Open course section has access to all required course materials from day one, more students are able to successfully complete course requirements. Digital Open course sections offered at NOVA Online are identified in the online schedule of classes so that students can find which sections use free digital and open content, with no textbook purchase required.

Click the playlist in the upper right corner of the video, and view – NOVA’s OER-Based Associate Degree Project.

Plan For Success on Your Next Test: A Compilation of NOVA Online Testing Resources

test anxietyDoes 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, NOVA Online 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’.

If 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 and will promote your way to an ‘A’:

  •  How to Reduce Text Anxiety
  • Taking Tests Online: Strategies for Success

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 NOVA Online’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! If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to a NOVA Online Success Coach today by calling 703.323.3347 or From test taking strategies to time management, we 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.

For additional opportunities to promote your success, take advantage of our recorded webinar:

Tackling Math Anxiety!

To review a recorded session, click here.

Learn how to study more efficiently for mathematics and apply relaxing techniques to reduce your anxieties.

 Written by Adrienne, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

updated 7/6/17