Jul 21, 2024  
2023-2024 NOVA Catalog 
2023-2024 NOVA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Affairs

Each campus (and NOVA Online) provides a number of services designed to help with a student’s education, career, and personal development.

The NOVA Student Handbook provides additional information about the College, including student activities and organizations and the statement of student rights and responsibilities. Copies of the Student Handbook may be accessed online at www.nvcc.edu/students/handbook.

The dean of students on each campus is responsible for most of the student services. Contact the dean or members of the Student Services staff to take full advantage of these opportunities for assistance.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

For information, please go to the Student Records (FERPA) page and Federal FERPA page.

Student Rights and Responsibilities

There are certain rights that each NOVA student may expect to enjoy as well as obligations that each student accepts by his or her enrollment. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities (OSRR) website contains a statement on student rights and responsibilities and the College’s policies on academic dishonesty, illegal substances, and student conduct and discipline.

Counseling and Advising Services

Academic Advising

Academic advising is a comprehensive program facilitated by counselors, advisors, teaching faculty and student services personnel who share responsibility with advisees for student success. The advising relationship is a continuous developmental process involving open communication in an atmosphere of mutual respect and honesty. It assists students with the transition to college and the evaluation and attainment of their academic, career, and personal goals. By their participation in a range of advising activities, including individual and group advising sessions, classes, and workshops, students gain an understanding of campus and College resources and develop the skills to make informed, independent decisions.

All new students should work with a counselor or academic advisor to select a program to meet their educational objectives. Once the student has chosen a major, he/she will then be referred to a faculty advisor or counselor who will assist in planning the rest of the student’s program for all subsequent terms.

Students should meet with their advisor to discuss progress toward graduation near the midpoint of their program. All students are encouraged to seek information and assistance from academic advisors in career planning in addition to curriculum planning. Even students not enrolled in a specific curricular major may seek assistance from academic advisors and counselors to help select courses during enrollment.

Academic Planning

Students should use the online Advisement Report to monitor their progress toward their degree or certificate by logging onto NOVAConnect. From the My NOVA tab on the College’s home page, students can enter the VCCS SIS: Student Information System and click on “Self Service.” After clicking on the “Student Center,” the “My Academics” selection offers students a menu option to view their “Advisement Report.”

Virtual Advising

Virtual advising is offered through live chat and rapid response email. Students can log on during specified hours and chat with an advisor. In addition, email sent to VirtualAdvising@nvcc.edu will be answered within 24 hours. Virtual advisors can help current and prospective students declare or change their major, review their degree progress, register for classes, prepare for graduation, determine their eligibility for individual courses or programs, and a host of other activities. For more information, visit www.nvcc.edu/virtualadvising.

Counseling Services

Counselors, located in the Student Services Center, are professionals who are available to assist students in their educational, career, and life planning. They can help students to make effective decisions and to deal with problems they may be facing while in attendance at the College. Interviews with counselors are confidential. Referral information is available for persons requiring professional assistance beyond the scope and training of the counselors.

A counselor can help students explore and develop career goals and plan their education to help meet those goals. Students who want to enroll in a degree or certificate curriculum and did not indicate a choice of curriculum on their Application for Admission should meet with an advisor to select a major. This may mean planning a developmental program to gain the necessary skills in certain areas to meet the entrance requirements for a curriculum. It may mean planning a program to take the right courses for transfer to a four-year college or university when the student leaves NOVA. It may mean selecting the career/technical program best suited to one’s career goals. The counseling service on each campus provides a testing program to help students better understand their abilities, interests, skills, and values. Tests and inventories are administered and interpreted at a nominal charge to students.

During a student’s first semester at NOVA, the counselor may refer him or her to a faculty advisor who will assist in planning the student’s second semester and the rest of his or her program.

Counseling services are open to students throughout their enrollment at the College.

Counselors assist with such information as transfer, self-assessment inventories, career opportunities, volunteer service placement and job counseling. Special group programs are also available in career planning, personal exploration and other skill-building topics.

Students requiring accommodations or special services should see the “Accommodations and Accessibility Services” section of the website for more information.

Career Development Services

Career Planning Services

A variety of career planning information is available online at https://www.nvcc.edu/career-services/. A self-assessment tool, Focus II, is available to all students, and counselors are available to discuss the results with students. Information on entrance requirements, working conditions and compensation for thousands of careers is also available on the website under, “I am a Student and I Would Like To…” College transfer information is available online at www.nvcc.edu/transfer/, including transfer agreements.

Employment Resources

Area employers cooperate with the College to provide part-time and full-time employment for students. Career Connection is an online listing for students and local employers and is available at https://www.nvcc.edu/career-services/. This site also includes additional online job search engines and resources with information on public and private sector employment.

NOVA Online Students

NOVA Online provides a variety of student services to NOVA Online students, including academic counseling, financial aid assistance, student success coaching, transfer advising, career services, disability services, library services, online tutoring, New Student Orientation, registration support, and student life opportunities. NOVA Online students may also use services provided at any of the NOVA campuses and centers.

Student Orientation

New Student Orientation sessions are offered at each campus throughout the year. New Student Orientation provides academic advising, course registration, and an introduction to NOVA’s tradition and culture for recent high school graduates and first-semester NOVA students under the age of 25 years old. Each campus also conducts orientation sessions for new adult students..

Students and parents learn about degree and certificate programs and how to utilize NOVA resources, including financial aid, transfer counseling, tutoring, and academic counseling services. Students will also learn how to choose and register for classes online. Campus tours and a College resource fair are also conducted on the campuses.

Students can register for a Student Orientation session online at www.nvcc.edu/orientation.

Students taking their first online course at NOVA should also complete a NOVA Online orientation, offered via webinar on multiple dates and times around the start of each semester. Check the NOVA Online website or contact the NOVA Online Hotline at 703-323-3347 or onlinereg@nvcc.edu for registration information.

Student Life

To encourage students to make the most of their educational experience at NOVA, the College offers diverse educational, cultural, and social activities and programs. These unique opportunities are offered to complement and enhance the student’s learning process both in and out of the classroom environment. Student activities include student government, student publications, intercollegiate and intramural sports, performing arts, political organizations, professional and community service organizations, cultural and religious organizations, and many other interest groups. Students interested in getting involved should contact the Office of Student Life on each campus and NOVA Online.

Accommodations and Accessibility Services

NOVA is committed to ensuring all students have an opportunity to pursue a college education regardless of the presence or absence of a disability. NOVA makes reasonable accommodations in providing course, program, and building modification, and/or auxiliary aids and services in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008. No academically qualified student with a disability will be denied access to or participation in the services, programs, and activities of the College.

Students who require services should contact Accommodations and Accessibility Services at least four weeks prior to the beginning of classes for support. To qualify for accommodations, students must provide clear and specific evidence of a documented disability by a qualified professional. In general, documentation should be no more than three years old or must be based on adult norms. All information obtained in any diagnostic and/ or medical reports will be maintained and used in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements. College policy reclassifies any student not enrolled for three full years as inactive. Disability documentation records of inactive students will not be maintained.

Otherwise, qualified students with documented disabilities who are, by reason of their disability, unable to complete a requirement of their program with or without reasonable accommodations, may request an approved course substitution. Substitutions will generally not be granted for any course that is deemed essential to the program of instruction being pursued by such student, or to any directly related licensing requirement. If requirements are waived, students must successfully complete other courses to compensate for the credit hours.

Handicapped parking spaces are available at each campus. A handicapped permit issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles is required. The College does not issue handicapped parking permits.

Additional information about services provided by the office may be obtained by visiting: https://www.nvcc.edu/accommodations.

Military and Veteran Services Office

NOVA’s Office of Military and Veteran Services helps all members of the military community-active duty, veterans, and family members-achieve their education and career goals. Military members can receive assistance with navigating the admissions process, troubleshooting payment issues, understanding Tuition Assistance (TA) and VA benefits, and provide connections with College representatives and community resources.

The office coordinates all veterans’ educational benefits from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs for the College. Information, counseling, and certification of enrollment for veterans are available from each campus veteran’s advisor. See also “Admission ” and “Financial Information ” for further information relative to veterans.

Safety Information

The College has a professionally trained police force on each campus. These officers provide protection for the campus community. The College publishes the Annual Security Report, which can be found on the Police section of NOVA’s website. The document details the College’s safety programs, crime statistics, and crime prevention. Furthermore, it includes the College’s policies and procedures to address alcohol and drug use, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.

Copies of the Annual Security Report are available from the campus Police Offices and Student Services Centers. It can also be found on the College web page at www.nvcc.edu/police/college-safety.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment of any member of the College community is serious misconduct and shall not be tolerated. The College has developed policies and procedures addressing sexual harassment and reporting of such complaints. The policies and procedures are available in the College Safety section, which is located on the College website.

Substance Abuse

In accordance with the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act of 1989, NOVA supports efforts to eliminate drug and alcohol abuse through a series of programs and services designed to prevent use of substances that are illegal and harmful, and to assist individuals who suffer from substance abuse. The use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol can endanger one’s health and future. Students who need help can contact Counseling Services at any campus for information about referral to community agencies.

No one may possess, sell, use, manufacture, give away, or otherwise distribute illegal substances while on campus or at College-sponsored events or meetings off-campus. Students who violate this policy will be subject to College discipline imposed through established due process procedures. The College will notify its Police and any other appropriate law enforcement agencies when its rules regarding illegal substances are broken, and cooperate fully in any investigation and prosecution.

Technology Support and Guidelines

NOVA students will have access to and use of information technology applications, services, and resources as part of their enrollment. Enrolled students are provided with a LAN (Local Area Network) account to access campus computer workstations, and an official VCCS account (NOVA Student ID) to access their student email account, the Student Information System (NOVAConnect), and online Canvas courses. NOVAConnect allows students to enroll and pay for courses online.

Students are responsible for checking their email often for College announcements on student services or messages from instructors and classmates. To ensure student privacy, the College will use a student’s official College email address.

The Virginia Community College System has established a student ethics agreement for the use of College computer information technology. Student use of this technology is limited to his or her role as a student at the College, and there are certain security procedures that all students are expected to observe. The Information Technology Student/Patron Ethics Agreement is available in the Student Handbook and posted in computer laboratories, libraries, and other areas where access to College computer services is available. Students may view this agreement at www.nvcc.edu/policies.

Voter Registration

Northern Virginia Community College encourages all eligible students to register to vote. Campus libraries and Student Services Centers can provide students with voter registration information, or students may register at http://vote.elections.virginia.gov.

Student Consumer Information

The College is obligated under the 1998 Amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965 to disclose annually where the following student consumer information may be found.

Consumer Information Where Available
  • Procedures for inspecting and reviewing of student’s education records
  • Procedures for amending student records
  • Procedures for disclosing student’s educational records
  • Procedures for filing a complaint to the U.S. Department of Education
  • A list of all available federal, state, local, private, and institutional financial need-based and non-need-based assistance programs
  • The application procedures, eligibility criteria, method and frequency of disbursements, terms of loans, general conditions, and exit counseling information for these assistance programs
  • Cost of attending College (tuition and fees posted online only)
  • Refund policy
  • Grant or loan return or repayment procedures for withdrawn students
  • Requirements for officially withdrawing from the College
  • Academic programs information
  • Organizations that accredit, license, or approve the College and its programs. Procedures for reviewing schools’ accreditation, licensing, or approval documentation
  • Description of any special services and facilities for disabled students
  • Title and availability of NOVA staff responsible for dissemination of institutional and financial assistance disclosure information and how to contact them
  • Statement that enrollment in a study abroad program approved for credit may be considered enrollment at NOVA for the purpose of applying for Title IV assistance
  • Completion or graduation rate for NOVA certificate-or degree-seeking, full-time students who graduated or completed their program within 150% of the normal time for graduation or completion
  • Transfer-out rate for above described students
  • Campus security report. The Annual Security Report includes statistics concerning crimes on College property. The report includes institutional policies on campus security, alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters.