Resources to Support You With Your Academic Goals

As a NOVA Online student you have access to numerous resources to support you in achieving your academic and professional goals.  This post highlights just a few of the resources.

Success Coach

NOVA Online Success Coaches are here to help, we can refer you to resources and supports, provide help with time management, testing skills and more!  Contact a coach at

Weekly Study Time for Online Learning

View an article that provides guidance on suggested study time based on course length and number of credits.


Access free tutoring available on days and times that meet your schedule.

Virtual Student Union 

Get connected and stay connected to the NOVA community.

Financial Stability and Advocacy Centers

Learn more about resources to support you in achieving your goals.




Know Your Course Due Dates

One assumption that some online students make is that all NOVA Online courses are self-paced. To that end, students may put off getting started and learn that their instructor has withdrawn them for not meeting course deadlines.  Don’t let this happen to you!  It is very important to understand that all NOVA Online courses have weekly or even mid-weekly due dates. There are critical enrollment dates, that include your First Assignment Due Date – requiring you to log into your Canvas course site and complete your First Assignment by the due date. Failure to follow these guidelines may result in being dropped from the course without a tuition refund.  Online courses may be 15 weeks, 12 weeks, 10 weeks, 8 weeks, 6 weeks, or 4 weeks in length; each course has specific start, refund, first assignment due date, withdrawal, and end date that you should be aware of when you select a particular course.

In addition to logging in and completing your first assignments (as referenced in your Quick Start Syllabus and Canvas course site), NOVA Online courses also have regular weekly assignment deadlines.

When taking a NOVA Online course, it is important to understand that assignment due dates as well as test and quiz due dates come quickly. Due dates are firm and in some NOVA Online courses, assignments and tests/quizzes are sometimes removed after the due date.

To be successful in your course:

Read through your course syllabus on the first day of class. Understand all the deadlines that apply to your course and record them in your planner.

Establish a Routine – Visit your Canvas course site daily and read all of your emails and announcements.

Make Note of your Course Deadlines, and turn your assignments in on time.

If possible, take your test prior to the testing deadline—you never know what might come up at the last minute!

To ensure that you understand the NOVA Online course deadlines, please review your course specific critical course deadlines and stay on top of weekly assignments.

This article was originally published by Katie, former Orientation and Advising Specialist for ELI (now NOVA Online).

First Week Reminders!

How is everything going your first week?

If you have any questions or you are not sure where to start, you can contact the NOVA Online Student Success Coaching Team at or Student Services Team at 703-323-3347. We are more than happy to answer your questions, as well as refer you to useful resources and services that will support your online learning experience.

This article was originally published by Katie, former Orientation and Advising Specialist for ELI (now NOVA Online).

Schedule Planning Tips for Taking Courses Through NOVA Online

Here are some questions to ask as you plan your schedule.

  • Do you have realistic expectations about your time and the time required for the course?
  • Have you thought about all of your commitments that will occur during a specific semester?
  • Have you familiarized yourself with course expectations?
  • Have you considered which session length would work best for you?
  • What is your experience with or interest in the courses you are considering?



Getting Started with NOVA Online

NOVA offers courses in a variety of formats both asynchronous and synchronous. Courses following an asynchronous format are offered through NOVA Online, NOVA’s online division, and with few exceptions, do not require any on-site or real-time meetings. Courses following a synchronous format are offered through a NOVA campus and may require on-site meetings and/or meetings online via Zoom in real-time.

View a current Schedule of Classes. Use the Search for A Class feature to search for courses of interest.  Select NOVA Online as the Location option to search for sections of courses offered through NOVA Online.  You will enroll in courses through NOVA’s student information system.

Follow the steps below to get started enrolling in courses:

  1. Apply to NOVA.  Read the Holds on Your Student Record article to identify how to address any holds on your student record.
  2. View New2NOVA, an online, interactive orientation program.
  3. Review NOVA course information –
  4. Communicate with a counselor ( if you have any questions about program of study or course selection.
  5. Enroll in courses –
  6. Review payment information and pay for courses.
  7. Purchase course materials through the Bookstore.  For NOVA Online materials select Alexandria campus and NOVA Online for campus option.
  8. Prepare to begin your course(s) by accessing Canvas. You should have access to a course site up to 3 days prior to the course start date, but no later than the course start date.

Returning to NOVA After Being Away for Awhile?

Welcome back!  Before you can continue your studies at NOVA you may need to re-apply. If you are a returning student who needs to reapply because your record is inactive, who initially applied before 4/28/18, you will need to create a new account for the application. If not and you are unable to recall your username or password, there is a reset function you can use to get logged in. Your MyNOVA login information will not log you into this site.

Now that you’ve reapplied,check your Student Center to see if you have any holds and view New2NOVA, an online, interactive orientation program.

Ready to Become a Nighthawk?

The first step to becoming a NOVA Nighthawk is to complete the application for admission. By completing the NOVA application, a student record will be created that allows you to move forward with the next steps associated with being a new student. You will access your record by logging into myNOVA and visiting the Student Information System (SIS) icon. The Student Information System is where you will be able to search and register for classes, make a payment, track degree requirements and completion and manage your personal information.

Now that you’ve completed the application and established your student record, you should check your Student Center to see if you have any holds and view New2NOVA, an online, interactive orientation program.

Holds on Your Student Record

Holds can be placed on your student record based on your answers to questions on the application or the status of your student account. Most holds will require that you take action or provide documentation to have the hold removed. You can check your student account by logging into myNOVA and checking your student center for any holds.

To learn more about any holds on your student account visit our holds information page. Take immediate action to address holds by creating a case and submitting documents. Once holds are resolved, you should be able to proceed with course enrollment

Questions about a hold on your student record? Please contact

Helpful Hints for Transient Students

Welcome to NOVA! We are so excited to have you join the Nighthawk family this summer. If you haven’t already, please complete the NOVA application to establish your student account. Next, log into myNOVA and check for holds. To learn more about holds on your student account visit our holds information page. If you have holds that require documentation, take immediate action and submit your documents to NOVA. Once you have any holds on your record resolved, view the Schedule of Classes and enroll in courses unless a prerequisite needs to be verified. 

In order to register for a course for which a prerequisite needs to be verified, we will need to review your unofficial transcript. Please email an unofficial copy of your transcript to  Include in your email your NOVA student ID number along with the course(s) you’d like to be cleared to take. Monitor your email for a response to your request. Keep in mind your home institution may require approval in advance in order to transfer NOVA courses. Check with your advisor at your home institution to ensure you have everything in place to have your NOVA course transferred.

Once you have enrolled be sure you pay your tuition balance in full by the payment deadline. Also make sure to have your course materials on the first day your course begins, there is no time to lose with the short summer sessions! You will be able to purchase your books at the respective campus bookstore or online. Be sure to review guidance for purchasing books prior to ordering.  Your course will be available in Canvas up to three days prior to the scheduled start date.

After your course is finished and your grade has been posted to your transcript, you will be able to order an official copy of your NOVA transcript. Institutions’ transfer credit processes can vary, check with your institution to verify where your NOVA transcript should be sent and if any additional forms associated with the transfer credit process need to be completed.

Our summer courses fill quickly! We recommend finalizing your summer schedule as soon as possible.  Questions? Virtual Advisors are available to assist you in this process, either by email or online Live Chat.

Advising Week Comes to an End – Let’s Review

As advising week comes to an end, now is a good time to reflect on the week and the progress you are making towards achieving your academic and career goals.  At the beginning of the week you were encouraged to do the following:

  1. Reflect on your academic and career goals.
  2. Review your Advisement Report.
  3. Communicate with an advisor about your academic and career goals.
  4. Register for courses.
  5. Participate in programs being offered.

How did the week go?  Are you ready for your next semester or term?  Remember, NOVA offers many services and resources to support you.  Take a moment and review past blog posts to learn more.

Remember, registration is –

  • In progress for summer.
  • Opens for Fall 2020 on April 27.
  • Ends at 11:59 pm on the day prior to a session start date.