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NOVA 2009-2010 College Catalog


Northern Virginia Community College is a comprehensive institution of higher education, offering programs of instruction generally extending not more than two years beyond the high school level.

College Transfer Education
The College transfer program includes courses typical of the first two years of a baccalaureate program in arts and sciences or preprofessional programs.. NOVA transfer courses closely parallel courses at four-year institutions, meeting standards acceptable to baccalaureate degree programs. Since requirements vary among four-year schools, if you are planning to transfer, you should check the requirements of the receiving institution before you plan your course of study at NOVA.
For more information on college transfer, refer to "Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing" in the Administrative Information section and to “Transfer Programs Information” in the Instructional Programs section.

Career and Technical Education
The career and technical education programs are designed to meet the increasing demand for technicians, office workers, paraprofessionals, and skilled craftspersons for employment in industry, business, the professions, and government. These programs, which normally require two years or less of education beyond high school, may include preparation for agricultural, business, engineering, health and medical, industrial, service, and other technical and career fields. The curricula are planned primarily to meet the needs for workers in the region being served by the College, but the State Board for Community Colleges may designate certain community colleges as centers to serve larger areas of the state in offering expensive and highly specialized career and technical education programs.

General Education
General education is that portion of the collegiate experience that addresses the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values characteristic of educated persons. It is unbounded by disciplines and honors the connections among bodies of knowledge. NOVA degree graduates will demonstrate competency in the following general education areas: communication, critical thinking, cultural and social understanding, information literacy, personal development, quantitative reasoning, and scientific reasoning.

Developmental Studies
Developmental courses are offered to prepare students for admission to the College transfer and career technical programs. These English and mathematics courses are designed to develop the basic skills and understanding needed for success in other courses and curricula.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Programs
NOVA ESL programs serve students who have a variety of goals, including access to American higher education, entry or advancement in the workforce, or simply language improvement. NOVA ESL students may be residents of Northern Virginia, international F-1 visa students, or other visitors to the United States. The two principal NOVA ESL programs are College ESL and the American Language and Culture Institute (ACLI). In both ESL programs, students acquire fluency, enhance their ability to express increasingly complex ideas, and gain greater control of the linguistic complexities of English.

Students in the College ESL program build the academic literacy and critical thinking skills necessary for success in American higher education. College ESL consists of four levels of instruction from Level 2 (low-intermediate ESL) through Level 5 (advanced ESL). Students in Levels 4 and 5 are often concurrently enrolled in general education courses.

NOVA’s other ESL program is the ACLI, part of the Office of Workforce Development and Continuing Education. This program offers Core Skills ESL and Specialty Courses to residents and visitors of Northern Virginia, and Intensive English to international F-1 visa students. Many ACLI students go on to take classes in College ESL and academic disciplines or prepare to enter or advance in the workforce.

Students take a placement test (ACCUPLACER) to assess their proficiency prior to enrolling in ESL courses. Students who score below 225 on the ACCUPLACER and students on F-1 visas who place at College ESL Levels 2 and 3 are referred to the ACLI. Students who score 225 or higher on the ACCUPLACER may place in College ESL or directly into ENG 111. In-state and out-of-state guidelines apply to the College ESL program, and financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Continuing Education
Continuing Education programs are offered to enable you to continue your learning experiences. Continuing Education programs may include credit and non-credit courses offered during the day and evening hours. The College awards Continuing Education Units (CEU) upon completion of most non-credit courses.

Community Education Services
The College provides specialized services to help meet the cultural and educational needs of the residents of the Northern Virginia area. These services include non-classroom and non-credit cultural events, workshops, meetings, lectures, conferences, seminars, short courses, and special community projects that are designed to provide cultural and educational opportunities for the residents of the region. The College works cooperatively with other local and state agencies and with businesses interested in developing such services.

Workforce Development Services
The mission of Workforce Development Services is to advance Virginia’s workforce through world-class programs and services that focus on employee and business development and technology deployment. Workforce development instruction is designed to assist Virginia residents in gaining skills necessary for entering employment or to retrain persons displaced from other jobs so that they may obtain gainful employment. These programs are usually of a short-term nature and are tailored to fit the exact needs of a company. To provide this service, the NOVA Workforce Development and Continuing Education Offices deal directly with employers in designing and offering courses to meet real, current, and projected workforce training needs. These course offerings are made available to business and industry at times and places that meet their needs. Training may take place anywhere in Virginia, as approved by the State Board for Community Colleges. For more information, call the director of Workforce Development and Continuing Education on any NOVA campus.