GPS for Success - Students
Advising and Learning - Learning to Chart Your Course
Academic advising is something that many students take for granted or feel they don’t need. However, it is a service that can help you be sure to choose the correct coursework to get you where you want to go and complement your skills, interests and values.
GPS for Success is a new advising initiative through which you will receive personal attention from a professional advisor in the beginning of your first semester at NOVA. Afterward, you will be introduced to a faculty member in your chosen major who will advise you about coursework and career issues.
If you are a recent high school graduate, have never attended college before (except dual enrollment) and are enrolled in an academic program, then GPS for Success is for you!
- Attend SOAR and NSO for initial instruction.
- Complete the assignments and assessments that the advising specialist and faculty advisor ask you to take.
- Be responsible for knowing your degree requirements, relevant NOVA policies and important deadlines, and for consulting with your advisor.
- Be respectful of others -- be on time, be prepared*, and treat your advisor and others the way you wish to be treated.
- Gather all relevant decision-making information.
- Think of questions ahead of time -- WRITE them down so you don’t forget them.
- Understand the general information contained in the Student Handbook, especially your rights and responsibilities as a student at NOVA.
- Accept responsibility for your decisions and actions.
- Be open to developing and clarifying your personal values and goals.
- Think about what’s important to you. Do you like your classes? What do you like or dislike about them?
- Review degree requirements and look at the course schedule.
- Investigate courses you think you want to take (course content summaries).
- Map out a tentative schedule.
- Be knowledgeable about college programs, policies, procedures, and opportunities as appropriate. If you don’t know, ask.
- Review your Degree Progress Report at least once a semester and keep a record of your academic progress and goals.
- Be courteous and plan ahead (schedule appointments early and cancel or reschedule if necessary).
- Be an active learner by participating fully in the advising experience.
- Use your NOVA email account for all official correspondence with NOVA and check your email regularly (at least 2 to 3 times per week).
- Become familiar with the academic calendar and be aware of deadlines.
- Be proactive and seek help when needed and use appropriate campus resources.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to inquire about things you don’t know.
Your Advising Specialist will:
- Help you identify and develop your academic goal.
- Make sure you are in an appropriate field of study for your goal.
- Assign you to an appropriate faculty advisor for your goal/major.
- Remind you to complete assignments and assessments in Blackboard.
- Introduce you to your faculty advisor by email.
- Help you start an academic program completion plan to map out your coursework for your goal/major.
- Help connect you with the appropriate resources.
- Advise you on how to make the most of your time with your faculty advisor.
Your Faculty Advisor will:
- Be available to meet you during office hours.
- Most likely require you to make an appointment.
- Help you determine the academic requirements for your program.
- Help you complete your academic program completion plan (map out courses to graduation).
- Help you determine where your strengths lie, where you are doing well and how to evaluate your academic performance.
- Expect you to ask questions.
- Listen and respond to your questions respectfully and thoroughly.
- Meet you in your first semester at NOVA before you schedule for the next semester.
- Serve as a resource to guide your course selection appropriately for your goal.
Coordinators of Student Success at your campus:
Woodbridge: Dr. Tanya Ingram
Loudoun: Dr. James Edwards
Manassas: Khaseem Davis
Alexandria: Dr. Rhonda Myers
Annandale: Mark Mannheimer
What is an advising syllabus?
Not unlike a course syllabus, an advising syllabus will outline important information like your advisor’s contact information and physical location, the outcomes that you are expected to learn, and resources for you to reference. It helps you understand what’s expected of you in the process.
Who is in the QEP/GPS population? Does this apply to me?
Students who have recently graduated from high school, who haven’t taken any other college courses (except Dual Enrollment), and who are interested in attending college for a program (not just taking a course for interest) are included in the GPS population. These students will be provided with the advising services described on this page.
What if my faculty advisor doesn't contact me?
It is your responsibility to be proactive and contact the faculty member to whom you are assigned. However, if you make an appropriate effort: allowing 24-48 hours (not including weekends) for response; leaving both voicemail and email messages, and still have no response, you should contact your Advising Specialist. He/she will help connect you.
What are these assessments and assignments you mention?
As part of the proof that you have learned from the interactions with your advisors, you will be asked to complete a couple of very short assignments/surveys that will help you form and articulate your goals and your academic plan. These will be completed through Blackboard, an online course management tool, and will help your Advising Specialist and Faculty Advisor learn in what areas you may need more assistance.