Call for Student Advisors!

NOVA Online Student Life & Library are launching a Student Advisory Board in Spring 2020.

We are looking for a large group of student advisors to represent NOVA Online’s diverse population!

Visit the Student Advisory Board  page in the Virtual Student Union for more details & to sign up.

Charlotte and Helen

Charlotte Lombardo, Student Life Coordinator for NOVA Online |

Helen McManus, NOVA Online Librarian |

Episode Two of #YoNOVA: More Than Tuition: How to Meet Unseen Costs on the Path to a College Degree

#YoNOVA – You Oughta NOVA

#YoNOVA - You Oughta NOVA Podcast Artwork Image

Check Out Episode Two of #YoNOVA!
More Than Tuition: How to Meet Unseen Costs on the Path to a College Degree

Access the Podcast on the Virtual Student Union (VSU)

Once In the VSU Follow the Steps Below: 


For more Info visit the podcast’s website:


First, make sure you know enough about the organization, the job, and the details of each offer to weigh one offer against another. If you lack information, seek it out by asking the employer, researching the organization, and talking to others who work at or are familiar with the organization or job. Ask your career services staff if they have had feedback from past students who have taken jobs with the organizations you are considering, and check to see if your career office has an alumni adviser to help you make contact with alumni working for these organizations.

There is no perfect formula for making your decision, but one of the best ways to begin is by making a list of all of the features that are important to you in your first job. These may include such items as the type of work you’ll be doing, the organization’s reputation/prestige, training program, salary, specific benefits, location of job, opportunity for advancement, work environment, opportunity for free time (evenings and weekends), opportunity for travel, colleagues with whom you’ll be working, and so forth. Add every possible item you can think of to your list.


After you have all the features on your list, rank them in order of their priority to you. For example, type of work may be most important to you, followed by salary, and then specific benefits.

Next, look at each job offer you are considering, and rate the features of each using a scale of one to five (with five being excellent and one being poor). For example, if ABC Company’s offer provides a great starting salary, you’ll most likely give that feature a “5” under ABC. If XYZ Company’s offer provides a lesser starting salary, XYZ might earn a “3” rating for salary. (See the sample below.)

After you have finished rating all the features for all your offers, add up the scores for each offer. Although this is an inexact science, it is a way to demonstrate which offer provides you with the most of whatever features are important to you.


In the final analysis, remember to weigh carefully what is most important to you. Don’t be unduly swayed by the job title or the prestige of the organization and how it will impress your relatives. While it is helpful to get advice from family and friends, you are the one who will be going to work every day. You need to be sure that your job will be a good experience for you and will allow you to achieve your initial goals. Remember, though, that no job is perfect or able to meet all your needs. Consider the factors that you are willing to compromise on or have met in other ways. For example, if you enjoy travel and your job provides little opportunity for it, you can use long weekends and vacations for this interest.


Keep in mind that while you want to make the best possible decision at this moment in time, your decision is not irrevocable. The odds are great that you will not remain with your first employer for your entire career. As you progress in your career, you will continue to learn which features are of highest priority for you (your priorities will also probably change with time) and how to find the best opportunity to have these priorities met. Good luck!

Sample Rating Sheet for Multiple Job Offers
Challenging work 4 5 4
Advancement opportunities 3 4 2
Medical benefits 5 5 5
Salary 5 3 5
401(k) retirement plan 4 4 3
Dental benefits 4 4 4
Training program 3 4 4
Life insurance 4 4 3
Job location 5 4 4
Workplace environment 4 3 4
Opportunity to travel 4 2 2
Tuition reimbursement
for grad school
5 4 1
Total Rating: 50 46 41
Create your own list of features that matter to you and list them in order of importance, with the most important feature appearing at the top of your list. Then, rate the features of each company’s offer on a scale of one to five (five=excellent; 1=poor). In the sample to the left, the offer from ABC Company has the highest rating, indicating that ABC’s offer provides more of the features that matter to the sample job seeker. This is one way to compare job offers.

by Marcia B. Harris and Sharon L. Jones. Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

As part of the NOVA Online NCDM Webinar Series 2019 – the How to Research a Company webinar is being offered today at 12:15 pm.  Learn more and register at

Applications are Open for NOVA’s SEAL Award

Nominations are open for NOVA’s SEAL Award. The SEAL Award recognizes our students that best exemplify

Service, Engagement, Academics, and Leadership.

It is one of the most prestigious college-wide student awards.  Students have the option of self-nominating as long as you provide a letter of recommendation! The nomination criteria and the form link is located below.


Students, faculty, or staff may nominate students that best display the following attributes. Students can also self-nominate, but they must provide a letter of recommendation (minimum of one) to the Student Life Office by December 13th to support their nomination.

SERVICE: Community service, volunteer efforts on or off campus.

ENGAGEMENT: Participation in a community organization, active in a campus club or organization, campus enhancement, student life.

ACADEMICS: Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better and have earned minimum of 20 credits by the conclusion of the Fall term.

LEADERSHIP: Leadership in a student club, student government, campus committee, or community leadership position.


When filing out the form make sure to select NOVA Online as the primary campus if you are an online student.

Application Deadline: Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Thank you in advance. Please feel free to reach me with any questions!

#YoNOVA – You Oughta NOVA – NOVA’s First Podcast!

#YoNOVA – You Oughta NOVA

#YoNOVA - You Oughta NOVA Podcast Artwork Image

Produced by and for the Northern Virginia Community College community, this ‘cast o’ thousands covers happenings at one of the nation’s top-five largest colleges. With six campuses and a vast online community that spans a service area of nearly 5 million residents, what happens at NOVA is a big deal – and you oughta know it. Episodes are bi-weekly, with some wiggle room for holidays or special events. Recording and production courtesy of NOVA Sound and Music Recording Technology program ( in studio at the Loudoun Campus in Sterling, VA. Show music copyright Sanjay Mishra and Akar Music. Wanna study recording production? Give us a holler and we’ll set up a tour and an intro to the right people.
Listen below to Episode #1!

Hosts Mike McMillon and Tatyana Schum are in studio to answer the question “What is NOVA?”; welcome guest Zohra Naqibullah, a student pursuing studies in the Dental Hygiene program at the Medical Education Campus; and share hopes and dreams about what You Oughta NOVA (#YoNOVA) will be.

For more Info visit the podcast’s website at


Advising Week Spring 2020 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. 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.
  5. Participate in the NOVA Online Advising Week Spring 2020 lunchtime webinar series.
  6. Enter a post in the Advising Week Spring 2020 discussion board in the NOVA Online Virtual Student Union to earn a chance to win a Rocketbook.

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.

As you move forward, below are some deadlines to keep in mind.


  • In progress for current students.
  • Opens on November 11 for new students.
  • Registration ends at 11:59 pm on the day prior to a session start date.


Spring 2020

  • If you enroll through April 22 payment is due by 5 pm on April 23 or your classes may be dropped.
  • If you enroll on April 23 or later payment is due by 5 pm the next business day after you enroll or your classes may be dropped.

Information about payment methods is available at

Your Final Semester is Almost Here!


Congratulations to all students who will be preparing for their final semester !  You have almost reached the finish line. The following are a few things to do in preparation for graduation:

Apply for graduation. Access NOVA’s graduation website to view the Crossing the Finish Line: NOVA’s Graduation Program video and complete the Graduation Application Form.  The deadline to apply for graduation is March 1.

Update your resume.  Review an action plan you may have created in FOCUS 2.  Utilize resources in Career Connection.  Connect with a career advisor/counselor.

Prepare to conduct a job search if you will be looking for a job or a new opportunity.  NOVA’s Career Services website is a great place to start.

Review websites of potential transfer institutions for information about applying, if you are planning to transfer.  Don’t forget to look for information about financial aid and scholarships as well.  NOVA’s Plan to Transfer website has many helpful tips.

Participate in employment and transfer focused programs.  Check out NOVA’s Events calendar to see what is happening around the college.

Don’t forget, in addition to daily blog posts, NOVA Online is offering a lunchtime webinar series this week focusing on topics to help you with preparing for your next semester. All webinars are thirty minutes and begin at 12:15 pm. Learn more about the series and register at



Transfer Tips: College Visit Checklist


Article written by the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACA)

checklistEvery college visit should have at least two dimensions: formal and informal. Use this checklist to begin your planning. And don’t forget to call the college ahead of time to schedule your visit—the admission office can help you hit all the highlights.


  • Take a campus tour.
  • Have an interview with an admission officer.
  • Participate in a group information session at the admission office.
  • Sit in on a class (or two).
  • Talk to a professor in your chosen major.
  • Talk to a coach in your chosen sport.
  • Talk to a student or counselor in the career center.
  • Spend the night in the dorm with a current student.


  • Read the student newspaper, even the ads.
  • Try to find other student publications—department newsletters, alternative newspapers, literary reviews.
  • Eat in the cafeteria.
  • Ask a student why he/she chose this college, and what their favorite part about it is.
  • Wander around the campus by yourself.
  • Search for your favorite book in the library.
  • Read the bulletin boards in the student union and in the academic department you’re interested in.
  • Ask a student what he/she dislikes about the college.
  • Browse in the college bookstore.
  • Eavesdrop on students to hear what they’re talking (or complaining) about.
  • Walk or drive around the community surrounding the campus.
  • Find out how most students get around: Is there public transportation? Can you have a vehicle on campus?
  • Ask a student what he/she does on weekends.
  • Visit career services and ask about upcoming job opportunities.
  • Look into clubs and organizations on campus that interest you.
  • Listen to the college’s radio station.
  • Try to see a dorm that you didn’t see on the tour.
  • See if you can imagine yourself as a student at the college.


For more information on NACAC visit their website. 


Let Your Voice be Heard! Register for #RealNOVA – A Student Needs Symposium

Northern Virginia Community College is hosting real conversations and action-oriented approaches to tackling basic student needs. Join us! Students, be part of the conversation and share your story to initiate change!

The Symposium will work to start a collective conversation on the needs of our students (food, housing, transportation, mental, etc.) and address the barriers we can disable for our students. Students can attend the full day or second half of the event. FREE lunch and transportation provided if needed.

Wednesday, November 20th
Woodbridge Campus – Workforce Building

Register online:

Student Life Annual Fall Leadership Retreat

Check out the photos from Student Life’s annual Fall Leadership Retreat. Students were able to network with like-minded leaders, dive deeper into their particular leadership style, participate in problem solving sessions, take part in a privilege walk, and push the limits on a ropes course adventure! What a weekend.

To get more involved in Student Life leadership opportunities, join the Virtual Student Union today!