The Women's Center at the Alexandria Campus was established in the Fall of 2008 through the efforts and contributions of a group of volunteer faculty, staff and student leaders. It was started based on the belief that NOVA was in need of a program that focused on building a sense of community through support, education, advocacy and opportunities, to assist students in pursuing their educational goals.
The Advisory Committee was formed in the Fall of 2007, comprised primarily of faculty members who conducted a needs assessment survey, formed focus groups and visited area Women's Centers. The Needs Assessment Survey of more than 500 male and female students indicated both an interest and a need for additional support services and professional opportunities (scholarships and internships).
The focus groups, co-facilitated by student leaders, surveyed international students, parents, non-traditional aged students, and student leaders on campus, with results indicating needs for co-op childcare opportunities, workshops on various topics related to health and well-being, and a need to have a space designated for conversations among women or quiet reflection between classes while on campus.
The Campus Administration allocated space for the Women's Center in the summer of 2008 and the Advisory Committee furnished the space through donations and contributions. The Gender and Women's Studies Center at George Mason University donated six boxes of books for the Women's Center library. The Women's Center opened its doors in September of 2008. All programs and services are provided by volunteer faculty, staff and student leaders, working together to build a sense of community at the Alexandria Campus.