Category Archives: Student Life

Volunteer Opportunity: Clean the Bay Day

Volunteer with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for Save the Bay Day.

Each year, on the first Saturday of June, thousands of Virginians simultaneously descend on the rivers, streams, and beaches of the Chesapeake Bay watershed to remove harmful litter and debris. Thirty-one years strong, Clean the Bay Day is a true Virginian tradition and an annual opportunity for families, military installations, businesses, clubs, civic or church groups to give back to local waterways.

Saturday, June 1, 2019
9:00 am-Noon

Click here to Register —> https://www.cbf.org/events/clean-the-bay-day/

Volunteer at one of the numerous locations around Virginia. Clean up areas are available in every country that NOVA Campuses are located in.

Visit the link below for a full list of areas.

https://www.cbf.org/events/clean-the-bay-day/clean-the-bay-day-locations.html

Raffle Prizes for Volunteers

There’s more! NOVA Students who volunteer for Clean the Bay Day will be entered into a raffle to win a NOVA Online Tech Swag Bag- includes flash drive, webcam cover, mouse pad, & microfiber cloth key chain!!!!

To Enter the Raffle Follow Instructions Below 

  1. Sign up and volunteer at one of the Clean the Bay Day locations
  2. Share a photo from volunteering with a brief description of your experience. Sharing can be done in one of three ways:
      • sending the information/picture to Onlinestulife@nvcc.edu
      • tagging @NOVAELife on a Twitter post
      • tagging @NOVAElife on a Facebook post
  3. Winners will be announced the following week and prizes will be sent by mail.

For more information contact your Student Life Coordinator at onlinestulife@nvcc.edu.

 

 

2019 College Scholarship Program: The Virginia Writers Club

Finals may be over, but the chance to win a scholarship is not! The NOVA Online Book Club shared this great opportunity.

The Virginia Writers Club is awarding $2,000 to first year students in a writing related major. See details in the link below:

https://www.virginiawritersclub.org/2019-Scholarship

Applicants will write on the 2019 topic:

Tell about someone who inspired you and the effects of that inspiration on your writing life.

For more information on how to get involved with the NOVA Online’s  Book Club visit:

https://libguides.nvcc.edu/NOVAonlinereads/bookclub

Summer Internship Opportunity

Internship Opportunity

This Is My Brave is seeking a summer Intern! We’re a mental health storytelling organization (http://www.thisismybrave.org) and are experiencing significant growth.

This Is My Brave, Inc. provides a platform and a community for people affected by mental illness to share their stories through theater programs and community events. Their mission as a new non-profit organization is to ignite and actively promote a positive, national conversation on mental illness to end the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. They believe that every time a story is shared, there’s another crack helping to break down the stigma of mental illness. This is an unpaid internship, but offers excellent experience in a non-profit entrepreneurial environment with the opportunity to contribute your ideas and have your voice heard as a valuable contributor to the team.

Their physical location is Dulles, Virginia, but they mainly work out of home offices so this will be a work-from-home opportunity, with meetings in person (or via Skype) every other week to go over work and set new assignments.

Requirements:

  •  MUST be Local to the DC metro area
  •  Experience with Google Drive and Google documents
  •  Strong knowledge of social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, YouTube)
  • Ability to travel to Ashburn, VA bi-weekly (or do Skype meetings)
  • 5-10 hours a week
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Must work well independently with high attention to detail
  • Creative thinker, not afraid to offer up ideas for new and unique ways to reach our target audience
  • Administrative projects: Research, Data entry, and assisting Executive Director on special projects such as Facebook/IG Live campaigns as needed

    This is an exciting chance to get involved – and have a voice – with an organization which is on the leading edge of social change when it comes to the way society views mental illness.

    To apply, please email: jennifer(at)thisismybrave.org and submit your resume and a video clip (can be shot on your smartphone or using a computer’s webcam) telling why you’re interested in joining the team.

Test Taking Strategies

To enhance your test taking skills and get that ‘A’, take a moment to review the common test taking errors and tips referenced below.

Read the Instructions/Questions Carefully: You have probably heard this tip a thousand times but failure to read the instructions and each question carefully can result in careless errors. Do not skim—read thoroughly and carefully. Sometimes, wrong answers can be the result of skipping over important directions.

Label Your Test: Make sure your name and student ID are on the test along with any other information required by the instructor or testing center. You would be surprised at how many students, anxious to get started, forget to put their name on the test or the Scantron! Failure to include your name will most likely result in a zero!!

Sequence Errors: Concept errors such as misunderstanding a principle involved in solving the problem or steps involved in the process can create problems in answering the question correctly. When studying, take time to review your lecture notes and textbook carefully to ensure you follow the proper sequence is answering the question. (Use flash cards and/or mnemonics when studying, to help remember and recall the order.)

Missing Problems in the Test: If you are anxious and/or have a tendency to rush, you may miss problems or skip a step. If you are confused on a question, circle it and come back to it later. If you have a tendency to skip the last step or part of a question, be sure to look at this part of the problem first. Always remember to review your test before turning it in!

Spending too Much Time on One Question: If you are spending too much time on one question, circle it, and refer back to it after you have completed the other questions (as you move forward through the test – other questions may prompt you to remember the answer to the question that stumped you). If you are taking a timed test, you may want to consider wearing a watch (testing centers do not allow cell phones at your testing station).

Recording the Incorrect Answer: Accidentally, copying the wrong answer from your scratch paper to the actual test can result in a disaster. To avoid this, strategically plan to compare your answer on the scratch paper with the one on the test.

Review your Answers: Careless mistakes such as forgetting to add two numbers in a long math problem, skipping steps or accidentally missing a question, can result in zero credit or a loss of points. To protect yourself against this common error, after completing each question/problem, review your answers thoroughly.

Preparing for Future Quizzes/Tests: Once you have received your quiz/test back, be sure to review it and look up every question that you missed.  Determine the reason why you missed the question and learn from it so you will understand the concept(s) and be able to apply the correct information on your next exam.

If you have questions or would benefit from additional strategies, reach out to a NOVA Online Success Coach today by emailing onlinesuccess@nvcc.edu. 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.

 

Here’s an Info-graphic with a short summary!

 

Preparing for Finals

As you are preparing for final exams in your online courses, the NOVA Online Student Success Coaches have complied a list of resources to help you as you prepare. 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 onlinesuccess@nvcc.edu. From test taking strategies to time management, they 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.

Take a moment now and explore the following resources to promote your success:

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 use the link above to access the following workshops:

If you prefer to read (visual learner) here are some websites that share testing review tips to help you survive multiple choice and true/false questions on 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 NOVA Online 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 a former 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!

Written by Adrienne, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Amber’s Recap on Spring Break

Alternative Spring Break – Roanoke, VA 

Amber Dunn is an online student working towards a degree in Film Studies. She shares her experience spending Spring break with Student Life in order to volunteer and give back to the community!

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Spring Break. A time to catch up with your friends. Maybe you and your besties hop in the car and go on a road trip. Or, your family might decide to soak up some sun rays on the beach. Whatever you do, you are having fun. Making memories with the people you hold close to your heart. Would you ever consider spending Spring Break with people you didn’t know? I’m talking about complete. Strangers. Would you be willing to spend Spring Break working? How would you feel if part of your Spring Break was spent getting dirty?

I was a little hesitant when the words “Alternative Spring Break” popped up on my screen. I thought, ”spend part of my time doing labor!” My best friend, Heather, convinced me. She exclaimed “Come on! It will be fun!” I decided “More time with my best friend, why not.”

The night before I left for the trip I was contemplating attending. At the time I was enrolled in an online course, and had a ton of work due plus an exam. I was worried I was not going to be able to finish the assignments, and adequately study. Then I reflected on the past month. I spent the entire month writing essays, and applying for what felt like 100 universities! I told myself, “you need this break.” The next morning, I was on my way to Roanoke, VA.

I did not except my life to be impacted within the three days. The first day we helped clean Mt. Zion AME church and settled in. The second day we helped Roanoke Rescue Mission. We helped package and give out food to families in need. It was a life changing experience because the quality of the food was superior. I have helped give back to families in need before, and the food these families typically received was non-perishables. The food Roanoke Rescue Mission gave out to their community in need was perishable and non-perishable. Food that had quality. Plus, they also provided dog or cat food. I was blown away by the food the community received. It was food with love.

Later in the day we went to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. While we were there we helped clean the store, rearrange books, and move shelves. The best part was learning about the mission of Habitat for Humanity, and hearing about the lives it has changed through ReStore.

The last day we spent going to church for six hours. You read it correctly. Church, for six hours. Now, now. You are probably thinking, “Church? Six hours?” I know, I know. It was wonderful. The reason we attended Church was to experience a different element. Personally, attending Church spoke to me. Spring Break was at a time, two years ago I applied for nine universities. I was devastated my applications did not turn out the way I envisioned it. I did get accepted into one school, Spelman University, but I couldn’t attend due to a promise I made to myself over eight years ago. I promised myself I would graduate college debt free.

As I sat in Church I reflected upon how I improved since then. I made tremendous progress. I saw how all the rejections came together and led me in a better direction. After Church we went back to the Rescue Mission to help serve food to homeless families. One thing I noticed as I served these families was how polite and thankful they were. It warmed my heart when people looked me in the eyes and said, “Thank you. God Bless.” I could feel the sincerity behind their words.

Once we were done serving Pastor Ziglar took us on a mini-tour of the city. We drove to The Roanoke Star. As we approached the star we witnessed a breath-taking view of the city, and its life.

After we gathered our breaths, we grabbed ice cream and headed back to Mt. Zion. The next morning it was time to depart. By the conclusion of the trip I got to know my trip members better and see a new community. In fact, I was bummed the trip wasn’t an entire week. It felt amazing giving back and meeting new people. If you are ever given the chance between Spring Break or ALTERNATIVE Spring Break, take the latter. You never know how your life might change.

Amber Dunn aed2543@email.vccs.edu

Student Support Resources

As you are working to finalize your schedule, now is a good time to be sure you are aware of the variety of resources and services NOVA offers to support your academic success and well being.

As a NOVA Online student there are a variety of resources you can access to support you in your academic success without ever stepping foot on a campus!

Smarthinking– is free online tutoring available in variety of content areas.

Hoonuit– provides short, easy-to-view tutorials give you just-in-time answers to your “How do I do that?” software questions.

Student Lingo– provides video resources to overcome barriers to academic success, and help students reach their personal, academic, and professional goals.

Library Services-gives access to dedicated library services for students in online courses.

Take advantage of live and recorded webinars produced by NOVA Online staff with topics that can support you during the various critical points of the semester.

As a student you also have access to a wealth of technology resources that range from free software and cloud services, to Google Apps and even wireless discounts!

Sometimes life happens, making balancing personal and academic commitments difficult. The Financial Stability Program offers resources, services and referrals to help you gain academic traction through financial stability.

As the semester gets busy, make sure you are taking time to take care of yourself! Check out these blog articles for suggestions on how to focus on your emotional and physical wellness through self care even in times of stress. NOVA Cares can provide additional referrals to on and off campus resources to help support you.

Also be sure to take advantage of NOVA Online Student Success Coaches who are available to provide one on one support with stress management, study and test taking skills, time management and can make referrals for resources, services and tools that will best support you in your academic success. Please reach out by sending an email to onlinesuccess@nvcc.edu.

What resources have been most valuable to you as a NOVA student? Let us know in the comments!

Advising Week is Here!

 

 

 

Advising Week is offered every fall and spring at NOVA as a time for students to reflect upon their academic goals and career development in preparation for planning and evaluating their schedule for next semester.

Get the most out of Advising Week by following the steps below:

  1. Reflect on your academic and career goals. If you need more information about career options or would like to learn about a resource to help you build a career plan visit NOVA’s Career Services website.
  2. Review your Advisement Report. The report indicates requirements that have and have not been satisfied for a certificate/degree of interest. It also indicates courses that can be used to satisfy program requirements.
  3. Communicate with an advisor about your academic and career goals. If you are pursuing a certificate or degree check with your advisor to make sure you are pursuing a program of study that aligns with your goals. Also make certain the program of study listed on your advisement report is the program of study you are pursuing.   It is a good idea to have a copy of your academic plan, advisement report, and/or career plan handy when communicating with an advisor.
  4. Put courses you plan to take in your shopping cart in NOVA Connect so you will have the specific information needed when it’s time to register. Registration for the summer term is in progress.  Priority registration for the Fall semester begins on April 1.  Open registration for the Fall semester begins on May 1.
  5. Participate in the NOVA Online Spring 2019 lunchtime webinar series. See below for the webinar schedule.  The webinars will begin at 12:15 pm EST and end at 12:45 pm.
    • Getting Ready for Your Next Semester – Tuesday, April 2
    •  What Can I Do With a Program of Study In . . .? – Wed., April 3
    • Support Services and Resources for Students – Thurs., April 4

Learn more and register at

https://nvcceli.wufoo.com/forms/q16k19iv1fjyzmb/.

Throughout Advising Week the NOVA Online Student Blog will provide you with tools to plan effectively, resources to help guide your decisions, and answers to frequently asked questions.  Programs to support you will also be offered across the College. Take advantage of Advising Week events online as well as on campus as you plan your schedule and prepare to register for courses.

Becoming a Leader in Group Projects

Check out this week’s Student Spotlight blog post  from Monica Lizarazo. Monica is an international student studying English. Group projects are never easy, but stepping up to take a leadership role within your group can be very rewarding. Monica shares three concepts that spark successful group leadership. 

Becoming a Leader in Group Projects

We all want to be a leader at some point in our lives, and it may be more important to want to be a leader while in college. You feel you need to lead group projects, participate a lot in your classes, explain lectures to other classmates or listen to your teacher, hey! Great job. All of these are signs you are loving that course. Thus, do not stop or get frustrated because your group does not work as well as you would like. Remember, leadership could be harder when you share different cultures, ages, and backgrounds. The key is to train your native leader to manage team-work based on three concepts: empathy, problem-solving, and synergistic communication.

If you are already in charge of a group, the first step you should study is empathy. This skill means to approach to the others’ thoughts; colloquially, being in others´ shoes. Consider that a project´s success will not be measured by the number of directions you could give to your classmates. This depends on how understanding you can be with them because they struggle as much as you do, but; you are their leader. Think in some questions such as who is my group? What are their other roles? Do they work or are they only students? Are they Americans or from another country? What are their majors? As much as you know your partners, you will get good ideas about their capacity and interest in the project to do the best team-work.

Besides understanding your team, if something falls on the way, you should never blame someone. You make them work together to figure out possible solutions, you are the problem solver. One more question is, ask yourself in silence to think better, what happened? Why did not we understand our goal? What are our options to fix it? Looking for someone to blame won’t help you, but it will make you waste time. Mohandas Gandhi said, “As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him” (qt Borton). If she or he did not send their part of the assignment; well, you are the leader. Did you have a plan b? For example, if you know who they are, you may have known she or he works and has a family (husband, wife or children). It meant they could not get on time to the presentation. Did you ask him how she or he was doing? Try always to be the problem solver and move on. Sometimes, they just need some support and they will do as much as they can.

Likewise, communication implies different levels and synergy infers to transmit a message from the receiver’s world. You cannot assume they understood your ideas only because you talked or wrote about it. You need to figure out how they communicate to create your own proper ways of communication. For example, if one of them learns by listening, you should verbally explain and call her or him. If the person does not speak English as a first language, you explain and email her or him. The synergistic communication allows you to make the others feel an important part of the group dynamic because you are giving a message in a way they enjoy. You will see you are a synergetic communicator when the project is done. Keep in mind, you are their leader, you need to take the initiative and work with your team.

Identification, solutions and active communication are keys to help you become a respectable leader. Although there are diverse leadership styles, you should choose one that best reflects your personality. However, you would not forget to enjoy the process because you are still in college. While you are studying, you have the right to make many mistakes that in real life may have bigger consequences. Your errors will always make you a better professional and human being. I loved to be the chief in charge when I studied my bachelor’s degree in Colombia. Now, I am starting over, so I am the listener.

Work Cited
Morton, Brian. “Falser Words Were Never Spoken”, published in The New York Times, 29 Aug. 2011. https://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/falser-words-were-never-spoken.html. Accessed 12 Mar. 2019.

Online Students Participate in Alternative Spring Break

This weekend Student Life participated in their third annual Alternative Spring Break Volunteer Experience. Students from every campus, online learners included, rode down to Roanoke, Virginia to stay with Mt. Zion AME Church. They were able to donate their time and energy to The Rescue Mission, a local homeless shelter, Habitat for Humanity, and to various projects around the Church. They immersed themselves in a different culture by staying in a city surrounded by The Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. Students reflected on the privilege they all have and how important it is to serve others. The experience was an exploration of personal heritage and values while learning about some of the social justice struggles in the United States.

We are so excited online learners participated in this valuable experience! Learning online does not exclude you from getting involved with Student Leadership and College Engagement.

#NOVAServes