Monthly Book Club February

Connect with other online readers! The Student Life Department and NOVA Online Library hosts a monthly book club give away. Every month you can sign up to receive a free copy of the book and participate in online activities relating to the book. Every book will fit one of the categories in the NOVA Reads challenge.

How to register? 

  • Fill out this month’s book club form to let us know you’re participating this month. Students who sign up will receive a copy of the book in the mail (while supplies last). We only have 30 copies, so we suggest signing up early!

Register HERE!!!

Current Book Selection

How to Be an Antiracist

Written by Ibram X. Kendi (Links to an external site.)

Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.




Student Spotlight: International Student Experience at an American College

Check out the following student spotlight post from Yaw, highlighting their experience as an international student and the strength and value of our diverse student body.


Adapting to a new culture is often challenging. I moved from Ghana to the United States for college. It was nothing like I imagined. Beforehand, my point of reference to life in the US is movies, pictures and other forms of media. College could be an exciting opportunity to mature away from parents but just as easily, the gift of freedom could motivate bad decisions and a drastic fall off. I have found that it is important to discover one’s balance with work and play as well as entertaining fruitful relationships with fellow school mates.

Upon arrival, my first significant shock was just how open everyone is. The experience of meeting a vast variety of personalities was very enlightening. I have found that integrating into the college is made easier by the range of diversity present. I believe that my perspective on issues has broadened, having the opportunity to appreciate different points of view. The faculty have been welcoming at the same time blunt. Nova presents an atmosphere not too comfortable for its students causing complacency but rather a competitive one that keeps me motivated throughout the course of the semester. Academic assistance is easily accessible. I often utilize writing labs for my ENG 111 essays, it has been extremely helpful to get more eyes on your paper to critique and help improve.

I would rate my experience so far, an 8 out of 10. It is definitely an experience I would never forget and would love to go through a second time.

If you are interested to share your NOVA story in one of our student spotlight posts, please reach out to us at

National Disability Awareness Month

NOVA is observing National Disability Awareness Month during October. Please join in this observance by viewing an interactive, informative and inspiring disability awareness video created by  NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute.

(Click on photo to play video)

For more information about Disability Support Services and requesting accommodations at NOVA review the Disability Support Services website.

Intersectionality and Me

 As a college-wide initiative intended to highlight LGBTQ History Month, Student Life will be hosting the Gender and Sexuality panel entitled Intersectionality and Me on Tuesday, October 24th from 2-4pm. This event will be hosted on the Manassas campus, streamed to select locations on participating campuses, and will be livestreamed to our NOVA server so that online and campus-based students who do not want to commute can participate. Following the panel, there will be a Q &A to localize this topic to the NOVA community.

Livestream instructions can be found at: Find out more information about the event and the panelists below:

How do identities intersect?

With the help of our diverse panel, we will discuss the concept
of holistic identity and how stereotypes and assumptions
influence daily interactions in the NOVA community and how
to become better allies.

Dio Aldridge identifies as a Blatinx transgender man born in Limon, Costa Rica. He graduated from UC, Santa Barbara’s Black Studies program, and it was there where he truly began his journey of understanding the complexity of how identity shapes and impacts our lived experiences.

Romeo Jackson is a Black, Queer, Non-Binary Femme, feminist dedicated to intersectional justice and cross movement building. Currently, they study Race, Gender, and Sexuality within a Higher Education Context with an emphasis on the experiences of Queer and Trans Students of Color.

Bianca Humady Rey was born and raised in the Philippines. Her passions include a devotion to the normalizing and visibility of the Transgender community. Bianca has also worked with Equality Virginia’s Transgender Advocacy Speaker Bureau Program as a Speaker/Facilitator. She is currently a Project Coordinator at Kaiser Permanente Mid-Atlantic States Region.


Honoring Veterans Day

Below is a NOVA Online student spotlight post from Army veteran Evette in honor of Veterans Day.

American Flag display commemorating national holiday memorial or veterans dayCongress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance national holiday, 11th of November as Veteran’s Day.

As an Army veteran, I look back at the time which I served my country with gratitude. My patriotism and willingness to serve and my sacrifice for many of years.  Take time to recognize soldiers, veterans, and families of soldiers who are away from their family.

RIP to my veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Veteran’s Day is not just a day off, honor veterans who had defended and continue to defend our country!

– Reach out to families of fallen soldiers and soldiers who remain in harm’s way today.

– Visit Veteran’s in Nursing Home, Wounded Warrior Hospital (Fort Belvoir, Va.), and veteran’s in the hospital.

– Most of all, recognize veterans everyday not just Veteran’s Day.

Remember, never forget our debt of gratitude to our brave men and women.


Want to write for the NOVA Online Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email NOVA for more information.

ToBeMe@NOVA: First Generation College Students Resources

I would like to thank all those students that shared their experience and let us get a glimpse of what it is like to be a First Time Generation College Student at NOVA. Below you will find tips and resources for students and faculty to help enhance the experience of First Time Generation College Students at NOVA.

For Students:

Be an advocate for yourself. Being the first to attend college, you may have to learn about college life on your own. Much of your success will depend on the initiative you take to get things done. You will have to seek out the information you need in many instances and be prepared to do the necessary follow through to get what you need accomplished.

Ask questions and follow through. Don’t be intimidated by what you do not know and ask questions whenever you are unsure. Learning to ask the right questions is an invaluable skill that will serve you well throughout your matriculation at NOVA and beyond and you can start practicing it now.

Use your student support services. You don’t have to stumble through college making mistakes as you go simply because you don’t know where to start. You have an entire support staff here to guide you. If you have questions about where to begin, are uncertain who to talk to about a specific matter, reach out to our NOVA Online Student Success Team at 703-764-5076 or who can point you in the right direction. If you would like to get information on campus, click here to learn the resources available at the student services center at your nearest campus.

Learn from the experiences of others. Find a mentor, friend, family member, etc. that can help coach you through what adjusting to college life is really like and give you information on what to expect. Getting the perspective of another student or former student can offer you an outlook that talking to a staff member cannot always provide.

For Faculty:

Be mindful of students balancing multiple responsibilities. Many students pay for school out of pocket and have to work full-time or part-time jobs to fund their education. It is always helpful to have instructors that understand the importance and demand of working while in school and that are flexible with students, when appropriate. Sometimes simply communicating that you acknowledge and respect their other responsibilities can be enough to help students feel more comfortable to reach out when mitigating circumstances arise.

Keep lines of communication open with students. Invite students to reach out to you with any questions they may have. You can be a great resource for your students and, often, a great referral source.

Acknowledge that this is a very diverse group of students. These students come from families that may not have college degrees but they may be entrepreneurs, career military, skilled tradesmen, or other professionals that worked their way up without a degree. So often it seems that the term “first generation” is used broad based to mean students who have lots of risks to success. There are certainly students on all parts of the spectrum and faculty and staff should try to be mindful not to make assumptions about students and get to know them as individuals. Each student comes with their own experiences that make them unique and valuable.

If you would like more resources, please reach out to the NOVA Online Success Team at 703-764-5076 or

-Jennifer, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

ToBeMe@NOVA: First Generation College Students

For the month of February 2015, we will be highlighting NOVA’s First-Generation College Students. Many of NOVA’s students are the first person in their family or household to ever go to college and with that role comes a very unique experience. This distinguished student group, like the many we serve at NOVA, has unparalleled strengths and character that deserves to be celebrated.

We are asking our First Generation Students to share what it’s like to be a First Generation Student at NOVA. Over the next two weeks, we want to know how handle the expectations of others,  how you balance your coursework with all your other responsibilities, what it feels like to hold this position in your family, and anything more about your experience you think others need to know.

Please respond to this post with your comments and experiences. You may also post your response on NOVA Online’s Facebook and NOVA Online’s Twitter pages with the #ToBeMe@NOVA after your comment.

***Please make sure all comments are appropriate for an academic setting. Please refrain from posting obscenities, profanity, and otherwise offensive remarks***

Be on the look out for First Generation College Student resources for students, faculty, and staff on the next ToBeMe@NOVA posting on Feb. 27, 2015!

ToBeMe@NOVA: Veteran/Active Duty Military Students

For the month of January 2015, NOVA Online is highlighting the unique experiences of NOVA’s Veterans/Active Duty Military Students, including active duty, veterans, military dependents, military spouses, etc. We are asking our Military Students to share what it’s like to be a student at NOVA while being a member of this remarkable population. Over the next two weeks, we want to hear about how you balance the call of duty with accomplishing your personal, academic, and professional goals, how your veteran status is impacting your experience in and out of the classroom, how deployment, that of yourself or of a significant other, impacts your academic concerns and performance, etc.

Please respond to this post with your comments and experiences. You may also post your response on NOVA Online’s Facebook and NOVA Online’s Twitter pages with the #ToBeMe@NOVA after your comment.

***Please make sure all comments are appropriate for an academic setting. Please refrain from posting obscenities, profanity, and otherwise offensive remarks***

Be on the look out for Veterans/Active Duty Military resources for students, faculty, and staff on the next ToBeMe@NOVA posting on Feb. 6, 2015!


#ToBeMe@NOVA Series: Employed Students Resources

working student2working student

I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their experience of what it’s like to be an employed student at NOVA.  NOVA Online is dedicated to creating an educational environment that appreciates and acknowledges the individual experiences of its diverse population of students, faculty, and staff and below are some resources and helpful tips for students and faculty that could help foster such an environment for our employed students.

Tips for Students and Faculty

For Students:

Prioritize:  If school is most important, cut back on your hours at work (if possible). If work is most important, take fewer classes.

Make yourself take time for yourself: You have to carve out space between work and school for you to enjoy your life. Don’t forget that life is meant to be lived and it’s more than deadlines, paychecks, bills, and assignments.

Successful planning and time management: Contact NOVA Online Success Coaches at or call 703-764-5076 for help with time management, planning, and a host of other resources and services.

Communicate with your instructor: Talk often and early about your work schedule, scheduling conflicts, etc. Your instructor may be willing to provide you with special accommodations.

For Faculty:

Open the door for communication: Invite students into the conversation about their concerns about work and school. Posting a statement on Blackboard is a good start.

Acknowledge the importance of the students’ other life responsibilities:  Create an environment of understanding and free of ultimatums.

Offer resources:  Empathize with your students and link them with assistance (i.e. tutoring resources, resources to help with work/school balance, etc.) that you would find useful if you were in their shoes. Your wealth of knowledge and life experience can be of great use to students.

Resources for Students

NOVA’s Career Services website – this website provides information about the career development process and connects individuals to resources pertaining to self-assessment, career exploration, decision making, and finding employment.

College Central Network – this resource includes a database of current, full-time, part-time, and contractual jobs posted by employers interested in hiring NOVA students.  Individuals can create and post their resume online.  This resource also includes a national job board, career articles written by industry professionals, career videos, and career advice podcasts.

CareerOneStop – this website provides information about occupations and industries as well as state labor market information and resources.

Monster – this resource includes an online job board as well as resources on a variety of areas to include resume advice, interviewing tips, and career advice by industry.    Individuals can create and post their resume online.  Individuals interested in articles about starting a new job, leaving a job, work-life balance, and workplace issues should take a look at the “In the Workplace” section.  Individuals interested in reading articles about getting promoted or changing careers should take a look at the “Career Development” section.  Both sections are located within the “Browse Career Advice” area of the “Career Resources” section.

If you would like more one-on-one career counseling, please contact NOVA Online Career Counselor, Christy Jensen at

–Jennifer, NOVA Online Success Coach

Introducing: “To Be Me” Diversity Series


This fall, NOVA Online is introducing the “To Be Me” Series that celebrates student cultural diversity and gives students, faculty, and staff the opportunity to share and learn from the unique experiences of the many cultural groups represented at NOVA. This will serve as a way for individuals to connect, invite others into their experience, and acknowledge the differences within groups and find the commonalities between groups.

Culture encapsulates so much more than just race and ethnicity and expands to include age, military status, family style, employment status, etc. So we will acknowledge groups, such as first-generation college students, students with disabilities, active duty military students, senior citizen students, and many other student populations! We will even take your suggestions about who to feature each month.

How it works:

Each month we will highlight a specific student group and let students share short phrases, funny anecdotes, little known facts, misconceptions, etc. about all the struggles and triumphs that come along with belonging to these unique groups. Postings will be every other Friday on the NOVA Online blog,  Twitter, and Facebook. The first Friday of the month, we will introduce the cultural group of the month and, throughout the next two weeks, students can post comments on the NOVA Online blog,  Twitter, or Facebook posts. All comments to the postings should end in #tobeme. The following post will contain a summary of the themes from student responses along with resources for students, faculty, and staff specific to that population.

***Please make sure all comments are appropriate for an academic setting. Please refrain from posting obscenities, profanity, and otherwise offensive remarks***

In light of Career Development Month, we’re highlighting the unique experience of our employed students to kickoff the To Be Me Series. This month we will focus on those students who are juggling a job and the demands of school simultaneously.

Please share your experiences and tell us What it’s like to be…an employed student.