It’s Advising Week!

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. Advising week for the Fall 2016 semester will be held from April 4 – April 8.

Get the most out of advising week by following the steps below:

  1. Attend a Getting Ready for Your Next Semester webinar. Learn more about the webinar and register for an upcoming session.
  2. Use the Student Success Planner to build your academic plan and compare your plan to program requirements.
  3. Review your Advisement Report.  Access NOVAConnect to run an advisement report to view your progress and outstanding degree requirements.
  4. Take a moment to reflect upon your career planning. If you need more information about career options or would like to learn about a resource to help you build a career plan consider attending a Focus on Your Career Planning webinar. Learn more about the webinar and register for an upcoming session.
  5. Communicate with your advisor about your academic and career goals.  Be sure to take a moment to review your plans for both the summer term (registration is occurring now) and the fall semester. Plan to have your academic plan,  advisement report, and/or career plan handy when communicating with your advisor.

If you have not declared a program of study or are not pursuing a specific program at NOVA connect with an academic counselor or advisor for assistance. Priority registration for the fall semester begins today. All current students will be assigned a priority registration date. During advising week access NOVAConnect to identify your priority registration date. Open registration begins on May 2.

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 throughout the process. Take advantage of Advising Week events on campus or virtually as you plan your schedule and register for courses. Reach out to the Student Services offices or Virtual Advisors with any questions you have as you are planning your courses.

De-stress as you move into Advising Week

Winding down from one semester, and planning for your next can be a significant adjustment. With the demand of approaching deadlines, it is easy to get overwhelmed in the blink of an eye. As you move into Advising Week, we want to provide you with some resources to help you unwind, and refocus on preparing for your next step.

Yoga has more benefits than I can list but the ones I want you to take advantage of right now is it’s capacity to reduce anxiety and stress. Taking time to stretch and twist the body, releases chemicals that our bodies naturally produce when stressed. Beyond the physical movements, yoga has a meditative component that ignites your inner strength in a way that will empower you to tackle any obstacle, help you maintain peace when feeling harried, and turn down the volume of the loud voice of self-doubt. iStock_000052315416_LargeIncorporating yoga into your daily practice has been made easy with the use of technology. Here are some free apps you can download today that can jump-start your yoga practice! There is no greater obstacle to overcome than your own mind, feed it with positivity and it will help you accomplish great things! Namaste.

YogaQuote: Gives you daily inspirational yoga quotes and mantras.

Daily Yoga: Gives you live training with  videos and a professionally made yoga program for you to follow without needing to go to a gym. This app even has yoga to help you de-stress at your desk (great to do right before writing a paper)!

As you move into Advising Week, continue to follow ELife for tips on:

  • Familiarizing yourself with resources to help you with your academic planning.
  • Focusing on your career planning.
  • Checking to make sure you are on the right path to achieve your goals.
  • Gaining skills outside the classroom.
  • Taking some time for reflection.

This post was written by NOVA Online Success Coach, Jennifer. Have a question, but not sure who to ask? Start with a Success Coach! They can be reached at or call 703.323.3347.

Take advantage of Advising Week events on campus or virtually as you plan your schedule and register for courses. Reach out to the Student Services offices or Virtual Advisors with any questions you have as you are planning your courses.

Student Lingo: Stay Motivated and Disciplined in an Online Course

The idea of taking an online course with NOVA Online is amazing! The flexibility of not having to travel to campus and working on assignments when it is convenient for you sounds like a dream come true. But how will you keep from procrastinating and falling behind? What tools will you use to help manage your time? How will you feel connected to your classmates and instructor? What you will do when something unexpected occurs?

If you are new to online learning you might be a little anxious about what to anticipate and what some of the challenges might be.  The How to Stay Motivated and Disciplined in an Online Course online workshop from Student Lingo highlights some of the common difficulties that online students experience such as procrastinating, poor time management, feeling disconnected with faculty and staff and managing the unexpected.

By taking a few minutes to view this on demand workshop:

  • You will have a head start on what to anticipate.
  • Know how to navigate those challenging situations before they even happen and then when they do,
  • You will have a plan in place to ensure you stay on track.

As a Success Coach, I tell my students all the time “Knowing is half the battle!” By watching this Student Lingo online workshop you are going to get a sneak peek into the life of an online student. By doing so you are going to know what to expect and be able to better prepare from the very first day of your first online course.

Plan on taking away tools to help:

    • Create a schedule and ideas on how to break up assignments in turn allowing to build in time for unexpected situations.
    • Know how to use the syllabus can be used as a guide to keep you on track with homework, projects and tests.

Develop strategies to connect with your classmates and instructor.

When you register for college courses you are investing your time and money. Invest in your success by watching this short presentation! Take some time afterwards to reflect and then develop some action steps to implement as soon as your online course begins.

  •  You know yourself as a student, what aspect of online learning is going to be the most challenging for you?
  • Think about the resources provided in the presentation and write down three actionable steps you will take during the first week of your online course that are going to help you be successful.

Remember a driving force in your success as an online student is meeting deadlines and holding yourself accountable. Commit to completing your three action items the first week of class! Liked the How to Stay Motivated and Disciplined in an Online Course Workshop? View more on-demand workshops from Student Lingo to help you succeed in your online courses.

-Laura, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

How to be Successful in a Summer Course

Summer courses can be extremely beneficial to your academic plan.  Taking courses during a non-traditional semester, such as summer, can help you knock out classes you need for graduation. Other perks of taking courses during the summer are that class sizes can be smaller and sessions are shorter.

But, as the days lengthen and the sun lures you outside, it can be difficult to stay focused on studying.  And, after being outside and finding fun in the sun, you could feel sluggish when it is time to study.  To help you stay focused and be successful in your academic endeavors, try these simple tricks:

  • Be Awake: Eat breakfast each day.  Keep your meals throughout the day light (include lots of fruits and veggies). Avoid heavy meals; they will make you feel drowsy.
  • Take Good Notes: Because summer sessions are often taught in a shorter session, their pace is often more vigorous then a traditional course.  Take lots of notes and review them often to help you remember the material.  Creating your notes in outline format or using colored pens or markers on your notes can help you remember how topics are related and help you remember the facts.
  • Sleep Well: During the summer, the days are longer. More daylight could cause you to not sleep as soundly as usual. To deter this, buy darkening blinds or curtains to help block out light.
  • Stay Positive: You are your biggest critic.  If you have an “I can do it” attitude, you are more likely to succeed.
  • Attendance: Go to class or sign into your online class every day.  Being present and up to date on any changes or announcements in the class is key to your success.

As you take steps to follow through on these recommendations, consider exploring the following ELife Blogs for further tips on healthy eating, note taking and attendance. And, be sure to reach out to your NOVA Online Success Coach with your questions or concerns. The Success Coaching Team can be reached at or (703) 764-5076.

-Kristin, NOVA Online Student Success Coach

Planning Ahead for Next Semester

The end of the semester will be here before you know it and there is no time like the present to start prepping for next semester. The longer you wait, the likelihood of you encountering roadblocks increasing drastically, so resist the urge to put it off. When you start thinking about the courses you want to take next semester, keep these tips and tidbits of information in mind to avoid missing out on the courses you need.

Plan ahead. Speak to an advisor ( to make sure you are taking the necessary courses toward degree/certificate completion. Read over NOVA’s course repeat policy and speak with an advisor if you are taking a course for the 3rd time. Make sure your finances are in order to pay your tuition on time. If you are using Financial Aid, call 1-855-323-3199 to check on your status.

Register for classes early. Please make note of NOVA’s On-Time Registration policy that does not allow enrollment into a class after 11:59pm the day before the class is scheduled to begin. Enrolling in the course early will help you avoid many unnecessary headaches, i.e. courses being closed, full, or unavailable (huge migraines!).

Be aware of your course start and end dates. NOVA offers courses that vary in length (16, 12, 8, and 4 week sessions) and that start at different times during the semester. You wouldn’t want to think the course starts and ends at the wrong time (disaster!). Also pay attention to the course’s critical dates that inform you of deadlines for refunds and withdrawals.

 Getting into a closed course. If the course you want is closed, and it is before the start date you may still be able to get into the course by emailing the instructor to request permission to be allowed into the course. The instructor has authority to grant or deny such a request. Once granted permission, have the instructor forward that email to, or you can forward it yourself, and NOVA Online Registration will enroll you in the course.

If you miss the registration deadline. NOVA offers students different sessions throughout the semester with different start dates. If you are unable to get into a course because you missed the registration deadline, search for a later starting session for the same course and enroll in that session, if available. However, if taking a later starting session is not an option for you, you can complete and send a Permission to Enroll During the First Week form to NOVA Online Registration ( to try to get in that session. Please note that there is no guarantee that you can get into the class after the start date so registering early is highly encouraged!

If you have any questions about the enrollment process, call NOVA Online Registration at 703-323-3368 or