Category Archives: Student Life

Thank You!

We have reached a milestone of 500 likes on our NOVA Online Facebook page! Thank you to all our followers! Are you connected with us on social media?  We post a lot of tips and announcements throughout the semester to help you in your course. We also have trivia and other opportunities to win NOVA Online prizes! Join us on Facebook and Twitter!


Bicycle Etiquette: What to know

Now that the warm weather and long nights have arrived, if you are a bicycle enthusiast, promote your safety and well-being by obeying biking safety rules. Here are some tips that will help you be respectful of others on the roads and trails and overall promote the importance to being mindful of biking etiquette.bicycle

Wear a helmet at all times:  You may think you are safe without a helmet but one patch of sand or slip up and you could be down.  A helmet can make all the difference!

Be Respectful of Others (Observe the Traffic Rules):  Ride in the same direction of traffic and follow the same traffic laws as if you were driving a car.  Use hand singles to advise others of what you will be doing. Do not pass on the right and be sure to stop at red lights, stop signs and yield to pedestrians.  You are sharing the roads and must be respectful of automobiles and walkers.  If you are riding on a trail and notice walkers ahead, ring your bell (if you have one) and announce loudly, ‘coming up on your left’.  If the walkers do not move over, slow down.

Stay to the Right:  Ride as far to the right as is possible unless you are making a left-hand turn or avoiding hazards in the road.  If you must stop, do your best to move as far off the road as possible.

Ride Single File or in a Pair: When riding in a group of two or more, be sure that you do not ride more than two on the roads. According to LIVESTRONG, “no state permits riding more than two abreast on public roads”.

Equip Your Bike for Safety:  For safety purposes, your bicycle should have a bell, mirror headlight and taillight.

Regular Maintenance: As you would do with your car, keep your bike in excellent repair, checking the breaks and tires. Also, be sure to lock it when leaving it parked.

These are just a small listing of the safety measures you need to practice when riding your bicycle.  If you enjoy biking and want additional information on various websites to include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the  National Biking Safety Network.

Celebrating the 4th of July


Trying to make plans for the 4th of July holiday? Whether you are looking to see some fireworks, attend a festival/ parade or other events, we have provided some great resources below to plan a fun-filled holiday weekend.


This is a great resource where you can search the different 4ht of July events by city/zip code in the entire state of Virginia

 Northern Virginia

Details about events scheduled within the Northern Virginia region.

More information about celebrating the 4th of July in Richmond


Schedule of events for the 4th of July in VA Beach


Celebrating our nation’s birthday in Colonial Williamsburg

10 ways to celebrate Independence Day in Washington D.C.

Stay safe on the 4th of July in Washington D.C.  and take advantage of a free ride home

We hope that all NOVA Online students and their families have a fun and safe holiday weekend!

NOVA Online Summer Pedometer Challenge


Join The NOVA Online Fall Pedometer Challenge as part of our Health and Wellness Interest Group!

What is it? 

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.

How does it work?  

1) Once you have signed up for the challenge, you will receive a confirmation within 24-48hrs.

2) On June 13th, you will receive access to a Google spreadsheet where you will record your pedometer steps as well as keep track of what types of activity you took part in for the day/week. You MUST provide your VCCS email (the email that NOVA has provided you) to have access the spreadsheet.

3) Pedometer steps will be recorded daily by each participant starting June 16th.

4) The first 50 participants that sign up will be mailed a FREE pedometer to participate/ otherwise you will need to provide your own pedometer.

5) Challenge begins on June 16th and ends at 11:59pm on August 8th. Prizes will be given for several categories including: weekly winners, best average, overall step count…etc)

6) Throughout the challenge, you will added to our NOVA Online Health and Wellness Google group via Google Communities. This will be used for participants to share their progress in the challenge and great health and wellness motivational articles and tips. You can view it here:

How do I sign up?

You can sign up by following this link:

Questions? Contact NOVA Online Student Life at


Create a Google+ Account

Have you created a Google+ account through your student Gmail account?  NOVA Online Student Life hosts several online events that you can participate in by having one.  Check out the below instructions to see step by step instructions:

1) Log into your vssc email from the ‘My Nova’ ( page on the colleges’ website.

2) After logging into your Gmail,  you will then be logged into Google. On the top right of your screen you will see your first name and a + in front of it. Click there.

picture 1

3) You will be taken to a new page (as seen below), scroll down and click the ‘continue’ button. A little pop up will appear and ask you if you are sure you don’t want to ‘follow’ anyone right now. Click ‘continue anyway’. You will receive the option again to add followers after your profile is created.

picture 2

3)  You will now be taken to page to fill out your personal profile. Feel free to add anything to describe you in these fields.  Then hit finish.

picture 3

Once you have completed your account,  You can find us under the unsername NOVA Online to learn more about how you can get involved in our virtual events/activities!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact We look forward to connecting with you soon!

NOVA Online Summer Book and Cinema Club


Do you enjoy reading and looking for a place to share a common read with other NOVA Online students this summer?

Join our NOVA Online virtual Book and Cinema Club. This summer we will be reading/viewing Divergent by Veronica Roth

You are probably asking yourself, how does this work?

This group provides an opportunity for students to connect virtually while discussing book/movie topics. This is done in a few ways:

1)     Contribute to our discussion forum through our NOVA Online Google Community page

2)     Participate on our virtual book chats via Google Hangouts

3)     View a live screening of the movie from your home computer

The Summer Book and Cinema Club will run from June 9th-August 8th For more information on this event, feel free to contact NOVA Online Student Life at

Register here:

Connect with NOVA Online

NOVA Online is active on social media and our Virtual Student Union. We hope you join the conversation on our sites and participate in student life events throughout the semester. We offer both virtual and in-person events each semester.  Follow this link to access our NOVA Online Student Life Calendar.

Join fellow NOVA Online students in the NOVA Online Google+ Community and follow us on Twitter at @NOVANOVA OnlineFEFacebook, and on LinkedIn. This blog is a great resource for announcements, updates, and tips for success. If you would like to share your story with fellow NOVA Online students, please email us at

You can always call us – 703.323.3347 or email us with any questions you have about your NOVA Online classes!

NOVA Online Spotlight: Never Too Old or Too Busy For School

We are excited to share today’s NOVA Online spotlight written by a current NOVA Online student. If you are interested in sharing your story on the NOVA Online blog, contact!

I am a 46 year old wife, mother of three children (ages 6 years, 8 years, and 26 years old that have special needs), an ordained minister, and I have my own  business.  I wanted to go back to school to earn my associates degree and it seemed like I  couldn’t find the time.  But I did not want to give up on my goals and dreams.

Going back to school was exciting and scary for me.  It was exciting because it meant that I would have an opportunity to move my business out of the house and my dreams would become a reality.  I’ve always wanted to operate my own business but in order to move to the next level, I needed a degree.  It was scary because I haven’t been in a college setting for at least 12 years and I was sure a lot had changed. I wasn’t sure how I would do academically since I am much older than the average college student. At least that is what I thought.

I have chosen to take NOVA Online classes because my schedule is so hectic with my obligations to my church and my job.  I work over 60 hours a week and I  attend church at least three times a week. Going back to school seemed impossible. I researched the type of degree I wanted and looked at the courses offered through the NOVA Online program. There were only a few courses I needed that are not offered through NOVA Online.  I immediately signed up and began my journey.

The classes are at your own pace but within the given schedule of the course.  For example, I had a week to complete an assignment and I could work on it at my own pace within that week. I signed up for two 3-credit courses and one 1-credit course. My first experience was a wonderful one. The Orientation webinar was a big help to assist me with how to use the blackboard and  understand the course.  It showed me the programs I  needed on my computer to ensure they were compatible.  I made sure to complete this process before the  my classes started so I would become  familiar with the system.

Even though I wasn’t in a classroom  setting the communication between the other students and the  instructor was awesome.  The assignments were designed to help me think and also share my thoughts and ideas with others. One of the classes was the (SDV100) College Success Skills course. I learned lots of skills to help me with my classes.  Even though I know what career I am interested in, the class gave information to help towards my goals and useful study habits. If you want to go back to school and don’t have the time to go to a campus, then you should defiantly consider the NOVA Online program.  All the classes for your major may not be offered through the program but they have a large variety to choose from.  Even though this is my first semester I am excited to know that my goals and dreams are attainable.

Finals prep webinar!

Finals are approaching quickly for your NOVA Online courses. Start preparing now!

now or later
Participate in a How to Prepare for Finals webinar. This 30 minute, live information session will focus on topics and strategies to help ease anxiety and help you study smart such as: Early preparation, planning your approach and taking the exam. Sign up here to participate in the session of your choice. 

If you need assistance locating helpful study resources, contact your Student Success Coach at or call 703.764.5076.

Good Luck on your final exams and projects!

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day! Follow us throughout the day on Facebook for Eco-trivia and the opportunity to win some NOVA Online goodies!


Did you know we have been celebrating Earth Day in the U.S. since 1970? We celebrate Earth Day each year to bring attention to peace, justice, and the care of the Earth! What are you doing today to celebrate?