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NOVA 2011-2012 College Catalog


Attendance/Student Participation
Education is a cooperative endeavor between the student and the instructor. Instructors plan a variety of learning activities to help their students master the course content. Your contribution is to participate in these activities within the framework established in the class syllabus. Faculty will identify specific class attendance policies and other requirements of the class in the class syllabus that is distributed at the beginning of each term. Successful learning requires good communication between students and instructors; therefore, in most cases, regular classroom attendance, or regular participation in the case of a non-traditional course format, is essential.

It is your responsibility to inform your instructor prior to an absence from class if this is requested by the instructor in the class syllabus. You are responsible for making up all course work missed during an absence. In the event of unexplained absences, your instructor may withdraw you administratively from the course.

If you do not attend at least one class meeting or participate in a distance learning class by the Census Date (Last Day to Drop with a Tuition Refund) , your class registration will be administratively deleted.  This means that there will be no record of the class or any letter grade on your transcript. Furthermore, your class load will be reduced by the course credits, and this may affect your full-time or part-time student status.  Your tuition will not be refunded.

A credit at NOVA is equivalent to one collegiate semester hour credit. One credit is awarded for each of the following:

1. One hour per week of lecture (15 hours per semester plus an exam period).
2. Two hours per week of laboratory with one hour of out-of-class practice (45 hours per semester plus an exam period).
3. Three hours per week of laboratory with no out-of-class practice (45 hours per semester plus an exam period).
4. Courses offered in a non-traditional format require an equivalent amount of time.

Grading System for Credit Classes
In order to receive any letter grade, a student must have attended a minimum of one class meeting or the equivalent in the case of a distance learning course. In a distance learning course, initial student attendance is determined by course participation as measured by accessing and using course materials, completion of a class assignment, participation in a course discussion, or other evidence of participation. The College will administratively drop students who enroll in a course but do not attend a minimum of one class meeting or the distance learning equivalent by the census date. Existing college policies regarding tuition refund shall remain in effect.

The grades of A, B, C, D, P, and S are passing grades. Grades of F and U are failing grades. R and I are interim grades. Grades of W and X are final grades carrying no credit.

The quality of performance in any academic course is reported by a letter grade, the assignment of which is the responsibility of the instructor. These grades denote the character of study and are assigned quality points as follows:

A = Excellent—4 grade points per credit
B = Good—3 grade points per credit
C = Average—2 grade points per credit
D = Poor—1 grade point per credit
F = Failure—0 grade points
I = Incomplete—No grade point credit. The incomplete (I) grade is used only for verifiable unavoidable reasons that a student is unable to complete a course within the normal course time. To be eligible to receive an “I” grade, the student (1) must have satisfactorily completed more than 50% of the course requirements and (2) must request the faculty member to assign the “I” grade and indicate why it is warranted. The faculty member has the discretion to decide whether the “I” grade will be awarded. Since the “I” grade extends enrollment in the course, requirements for satisfactory completion will be established through consultation between the faculty member and the student and documented on the “I” Grade Assignment form, 125-076. In assigning the “I” grade, the faculty must complete documentation that (1) states the reason for assigning the grade; (2) specifies the work to be completed and indicates its percentage in relationship to the total work of the course; (3) specifies the date by which the work must be completed; and (4) identifies the default grade (B, C. D, F, P, R, or U) based upon course work already completed. Completion dates may not be set beyond the subsequent semester (to include summer term) without written approval of the provost. The student will be provided a copy of the documentation.  All “I” grades that have not been changed by the faculty member through the normal grade change processes will be subsequently changed to the default grade assigned by the faculty member.  An “I” grade will be changed to a “W” only under documented mitigating circumstances, which must be approved by the provost.
P = Pass—No grade point credit. Applies only to non-developmental courses. The P/U grading option may be used for an entire section of any course but not for a single individual within a course. Use of this grade must be approved by the division dean. Grades of P are not included in grade point average calculations. Only seven credit hours of P grades may be applied toward graduation. This maximum may be extended to fifteen credit hours for an approved experiential learning program such as PLACE (SDV 298).
R = Re-enroll--No grade point credit. The re-enroll (R) grade may be used as a grade option in developmental and College ESL courses only, to indicate satisfactory progress toward meeting course objectives.  In order to complete the course objectives, students receiving an “R” grade must re-enroll in the course and pay the specified tuition. The "R" grade may be given only once per course.
S = Satisfactory--No grade point credit. Used only for satisfactory completion of a developmental studies course (numbered 1-9) or any College ESL course. Grades of “S” are not included in grade point average calculations.
U = Unsatisfactory—No grade point credit. Applies to non-developmental courses being offered with a P/U grading option, as well as to developmental studies, College ESL courses, non-credit courses, and specialized courses and seminars at the discretion of the College. The P/U grading option may be used for an entire section of any course, but not for a single individual within a course.
W = Withdrawal—No grade point credit. A grade of W is awarded if you withdraw or are withdrawn from a course after the add/drop period but prior to the completion of 60 percent of the session, using the 125-047 form (rev. 1/06) Withdrawal Initiated by Student, or 125-031 (rev. 1/06) Withdrawal Initiated by Instructor. After the 60 percent point, you will receive a grade of F except under mitigating circumstances that must be documented on either the 125-047 or 125-031 form. In all cases, the instructor and division dean must approve the withdrawal, and the dean forwards the signed form to the Student Services Center. This documentation will be retained in the student’s record. See "Withdrawal From a Course" section, p. 29.
X = Audit—Students auditing a course may attend without taking the examination or receiving credit for the course. Permission of the instructor and the division dean is required to audit a course, no later than the census date for the course.  See p. 30, “Auditing a Course,” for more information.

Calculating Your GPA
The grade point average (GPA) is determined by dividing the total number of grade points earned in courses by the total number of credits attempted. Courses that do not generate grade points are not included in credits attempted. The GPA is carried out to two digits past the decimal point (example 1.00). No rounding shall be done to arrive at the GPA. The table below illustrates a GPA of 2.00 obtained by dividing 30 by 15.







BIO 101






ENG 111






MUS 141






PED 109






FRE 101






PSY 100












If you think that a semester grade is in error, you may check by contacting the appropriate instructor through the instructional division by the end of the next full semester. If the grade is in error, the instructor will take the necessary steps to correct it. After the next semester, the grade will stand. For grades earned at the end of the spring semester, you will have through the end of the subsequent fall semester to correct the discrepancy.

Repeating a Course
Credit courses that are designated as repeatable for credit in the College Catalog or are identified as General Usage courses may be repeated for credit.  Other than the general usage courses, the college may only designate those courses designed to develop and maintain proficiency in the visual and performing arts, or to meet requirements for certification or recertification in allied health or applied technology fields as repeatable for credit. You will be limited to 10 credits earned through multiple enrollments in the same course.

You are normally limited to two (2) enrollments in a credit course that is not designated as repeatable for credit or is not a General Usage course. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis when you submit a form 125-013, Course Repeat Request, to the academic division offering the course.

The following courses are exempted from the two-enrollment limit:
AUT 215, 225, 226
CST 132
EMS 115, 173, 243, 244, 245
GOL 135
MUS 136, 137, 138, 145, 148, 149, 155, 165, 166, 175, 185, 236, 237, 238, 245, 248, 249, 255, 265, 266, 275, 285
PED 160, 161, 163, 164, 166
General Usage Courses: 90-190-290; 93-193-293; 95-195-295; 96-196-296; 97-197-297; 98-198-298; 99-199-299.

If you were enrolled during any semester or session from fall 1988 or thereafter, and you repeat a course, only the last grade earned, not the higher of the two grades, is counted in computing the cumulative and curriculum GPA and for satisfying curricular requirements. If the subsequent grade is a W, X, or I, it does not replace the grade earned previously. When a course is repeated and the grade of F is earned, all grades, credits attempted, credits completed, and quality points for previous enrollments in that course are no longer applicable. Grades of W, X, and I shall not count as first or subsequent attempts for purposes of GPA calculation. These criteria apply only to courses you take under the semester system (beginning fall 1988) at NOVA. Graduates' curriculum and cumulative GPAs and honors designations at the time of graduation will remain unchanged. Certain courses where repeat enrollments cover new subject matter are not eligible for this policy. Examples are applied music and music ensemble, general usage courses, and others.

Academic Renewal
If you are a student who returns to the College after a separation of five (5) years or more, you may petition for academic renewal. The request must be in writing and submitted to a campus Student Services Center.

If you are found to be eligible for academic renewal, D and F grades earned prior to re-enrollment will be deleted from the cumulative and curriculum grade point average (GPA), subject to the following conditions:

1. Prior to petitioning for academic renewal you must demonstrate a renewed academic interest and effort by earning at least a 2.50 GPA in the first twelve (12) semester hours completed after re-enrollment.

2. All grades for credit courses received at the College will be a part of your official transcript.

3. You will receive degree credit only for courses in which grades of C or better were earned prior to academic renewal, providing that such courses meet current curriculum requirements.

4. Total hours for graduation will be based on all course work taken at the College after readmission, as well as former course work for which a grade of C or better was earned, and credits accepted from other colleges or universities.

5. The academic renewal policy may be used only once and cannot be revoked after approval by the dean of students.

6. Academic renewal cannot be applied to a degree or certificate that has already been conferred.

Developmental Courses Grading
An S grade will be assigned to indicate satisfactory completion of the course objectives for each developmental course (numbered 1-9).
If you are making satisfactory progress but have not completed all of the instructional objectives for a developmental course, you will be assigned an R (re-enroll) and you must re-enroll and pay the appropriate tuition to complete course objectives.
If you are not making satisfactory progress in a developmental course, you will be assigned a U (unsatisfactory). You should meet with your counselor for possible reevaluation of your goals and for determination of any subsequent academic work.
Credits earned for developmental courses are not counted in grade point computations toward graduation or in determining sophomore status. They are used in determining full-time or part-time status.

You are expected to take tests at regularly scheduled times. In addition, every student is required to take a final examination, receive an appropriate evaluation instrument, or continue receiving instruction during the scheduled final examination period. Any deviation from the final examination schedule must be approved by the campus provost. You have the right to review your final exam for one semester after the end of the term in which the final exam was taken.

Grade Information
Grades are obtained through NOVAConnect Web at www.nvcc.edu/novaconnect or NOVAConnect Telephone, 703-323-3770.  From Prince William County, call 703-330-3770. Grade reports are not mailed.

Academic Honors
The College provides the following recognitions for academic excellence:

1. Presidential Scholars
Your name will be placed on the Presidential Scholars’ list for any semester that your grade point average is 3.75 or higher. You must have completed at least nine (9) semester hours in the current semester (excluding developmental courses) and have earned a minimum of twenty (20) semester hours of credit at NOVA.

2. Dean's List
Your name will be placed on the Dean’s List for any semester that your grade point average is 3.50 or higher. You must have completed at least six (6) semester hours in the current semester (excluding developmental courses) with no grade lower than C.

Academic excellence recognitions can be viewed online on your Unofficial Transcript through NOVAConnect Web at http://www.nvcc.edu/novaconnect/

Academic Standing
You are considered in good academic standing if you maintain a semester minimum GPA of 2.00, are eligible to re-enroll at the College, and are not on academic suspension or dismissal status.

You are considered in good academic standing if you maintain a semester minimum GPA of 2.00, are eligible to re-enroll at the College, and are not on academic suspension or dismissal status.
If you are on academic warning or academic probation but are eligible to reenroll, you may be considered eligible to receive financial aid assistance or other benefits requiring a "good academic standing" status.

If you are having academic difficulty, one of the following official indications will appear in your grade report on NOVAConnect Web:

1. Academic Warning
If you fail to maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.00 for any semester you will receive an academic warning.  Students on academic warning should be encouraged to consult with their advisor/counselor and take advantage of academic support services provided by the college.

2. Academic Probation
If you fail to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 1.50, you will be placed on academic probation until your grade point average reaches 1. 75 or better. The statement "Placed on Academic Probation" will be included on your permanent record. Students on probation are ineligible for appointive or elective office in student organizations unless special permission is granted by the Dean of Student Services or another appropriate college administrator. You may be required to carry less than a normal load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor/counselor. You shall be placed on probation only after you have attempted 12 semester credits..

3. Academic Suspension
If you are on academic probation and fail to attain a semester GPA of 1.50 or better, you shall be placed on suspension only after you have attempted 24 semester credits. Academic suspension shall be for one semester. The statement “Academic Suspension” shall be placed on your permanent record. If you are placed on academic suspension and wish to appeal, you should follow the appeal process established by the College. You may be reinstated at the conclusion of the suspension period by following the process established by the College. Once you have been reinstated from academic suspension, you must achieve a 2.00 GPA for the semester of your reinstatement and must earn at least a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester of attendance. The statement “Subject to Dismissal” shall be placed on your permanent record. If you have been reinstated from academic suspension, you will remain subject to dismissal until your cumulative GPA is raised to a minimum of 1.75. Reinstated students may be required to carry less than a normal course load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor/counselor. You are encouraged to take advantage of additional academic support available to students who have been reinstated following academic suspension.

4. Academic Dismissal
If you do not attain at least a 2.00 GPA for the semester of reinstatement following academic suspension, you shall be academically dismissed. Students who achieve at least a 2.00 GPA for the semester of their reinstatement following academic suspension must earn at least a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester of enrollment. Failure to attain a 1.75 GPA in each subsequent semester until the cumulative GPA reaches 1.75 shall result in academic dismissal. The statement “Academic Dismissal” shall be placed on your permanent record. Academic dismissal is normally permanent. In exceptional circumstances, you may appeal and be reinstated following processes established by the College. If you are reinstated after academic dismissal, you will remain subject to dismissal until your cumulative GPA is raised to a minimum of 1.75. Reinstated students may be required to carry less than a normal course load the following semester and are required to consult with their advisor/counselor. You are encouraged to take advantage of additional academic support available to students who have been reinstated following academic dismissal.

5. College Procedures for Students Academically Suspended or Dismissed
The procedures listed below apply to students who have been academically suspended or dismissed:

  1. You are notified of your academic suspension/dismissal through both your grade report on NOVAConnect Web and a letter sent from the College that describes the suspension/dismissal policy and the steps available to you for appealing.
  2. A “hold” will be placed on your record so that you cannot register. The hold will indicate “academic suspension” or “academic dismissal” and is a part of your academic record.
  3. If you choose to appeal, you are required to write a letter to the chair of the Admissions Committee requesting an exception to the policy. The letter should detail the causes for your academic difficulties and describe remedies you propose to improve your academic performance.
  4. If you are requesting reinstatement to the College, you must meet with a counselor and/or dean of students.
  5. The campus dean of students will make the reinstatement decision.
  6. The dean of students' reinstatement decision may be appealed to the campus provost.

Academic Dishonesty
When College officials award credit, degrees, and certificates, they must assume the absolute integrity of the work you have done; therefore, it is important that you maintain the highest standard of honor in your scholastic work.

The College does not tolerate academic dishonesty.  Students who are not honest in their academic work will face disciplinary action along with any grade penalty the instructor imposes. Procedures for disciplinary measures and appeals are outlined in the Student Handbook.  In extreme cases, academic dishonesty may result in dismissal from the College. Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

  1. Cheating on an examination or quiz, including giving, receiving, or soliciting information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials during the examination or quiz.
  2. Buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting any material purported to be the unreleased contents of a forthcoming examination, or the use of such material.
  3. Substituting for another person during an examination or allowing another person to take your place.
  4. Plagiarizing means taking credit for another person’s work or ideas. This includes copying another person’s work either word for word or in substance without acknowledging the source.
  5. Accepting help from or giving help to another person to complete an assignment, unless the instructor has approved such collaboration in advance.
  6. Knowingly furnishing false information to the College; forgery and alteration or use of College documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud.

Transfer Credit and Advanced Standing
NOVA has an advanced standing program that allows previous academic study, examination, or career experience to be evaluated for possible college credit. Only students who have declared a major may apply for advanced standing. Students must have completed at least one course at NOVA before an official transcript reflecting transfer credit will be issued. No more than 75% of a degree or certificate may be earned through advanced standing credits. Advanced standing credits that are to be used to meet the specific requirements of a curriculum must be approved by the division dean responsible for your curriculum. Consult the NOVA publication, College Credit through Advanced Standing at www.nvcc.edu/depts/academic/standing.htm for a complete list of advanced standing opportunities.

If you wish to obtain advanced standing or transfer credit, only official transcripts or other documents specified in College Credit through Advanced Standing will be evaluated. An official transcript is one that has the seal of the institution and the signature of an official of that institution. An official transcript must be received in a sealed envelope from the sending institution that has no overt sign of having been opened or otherwise disturbed. Official transcripts may be mailed directly from the transferring institution to a Student Services Center at NOVA or delivered in acceptable condition, such that the receiving Registrar has confidence that the record received is authentic. Official transcripts that are sent to College faculty also may be accepted. Contact the Student Services Center at any campus for procedures required to initiate the evaluation of transfer credit or other advanced standing.

Transfer credit or advanced standing is available to students for educational experiences that fall into the following eight basic categories:

1. Transfer Credit From Other Colleges
Credit may be transferred only from colleges and universities that (a) are accredited by the Commission on Colleges or the Commission on Higher Education of the regional accreditation associations, such as the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools or (b) conform to the requirements published in the Transfer of Credit Practices of Designated Educational Institutions by the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers with regard to credit accepted for courses that are appropriate to the reporting institution’s baccalaureate programs.

Official transcripts from other institutions will be evaluated only after you have been admitted to the College and declared a major. All acceptable courses will be transferred as closely to the NOVA course equivalent as possible. If the course is in a discipline offered at the College but the course content is unlike any course at NOVA, elective credit may be granted. Credit is awarded only for courses with a grade of C or above; credit is not awarded for grades of C-minus or lower.

You may take courses at other institutions while attending NOVA. If you wish to apply the credits to your program at NOVA, you should verify with the division dean responsible for your curriculum at NOVA that these courses will be accepted.

Technical courses that were completed more than 10 years ago are not normally accepted for credit toward a certificate or degree. The division dean responsible for your curriculum may accept courses that were completed more than ten years ago if you have worked in the field or otherwise demonstrated that you have maintained technical competence.

If you have completed an Associate of Arts (A.A.) or Associate of Science (A.S.) in a non-career/technical field or any higher degree at a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher education, you will be considered to have met all general education requirements for degrees and certificates at NOVA. There are a few exceptions to this policy:  some programs require specific math, science, English, psychology, or SDV courses. Details are listed in College Credit through Advanced Standing.

Any Virginia Community College System (VCCS) course in which you receive a grade of C or better (excluding general usage courses) will transfer as the same course at any other college in the VCCS. (This applies only if the College offers the course requesting to be transferred.)

Credit from international post-secondary institutions must first be evaluated by a private evaluation agency that follows guidelines of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO). You must send an official transcript to the agency and request an English translation with a course-by-course evaluation. The transcript evaluation must be sent directly from the evaluation agency to any campus Student Services Center. You must pay private evaluators for their fees for evaluation of your international transcript.

2. Credit for Military Service
Credit will be granted for military service school courses if the awarding of credit is recommended in the current edition of the American Council on Education’s publication, A Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services, and approved by the division dean of your curriculum. The following information must be obtained to receive credit for military service:

a. Full and correct title of course.
b. Location of training.
c. Length of course in weeks.
d. Exact dates of attendance.
e. Service that gave the course.

You must submit an official record and initiate the request for evaluation. Active duty servicemembers must submit a DD295 certified by the commanding officer and the education officer. This form must be mailed directly from the Education Office to NOVA. Veterans and reserve personnel must submit a certified copy of the DD214.* The veterans advisor on each campus can certify a copy of the original.

*Students who entered the Army on or after January 1984 must submit an AARTS (Army American Council on Education Registry Transcript System) transcript in lieu of a DD295 or DD214. Air Force personnel, both active and veteran, must submit a CCAF (Community College of the Air Force) transcript.

The military service courses and skills should be equivalent to NOVA courses and will be applied as the student's program determines. Military service credit in career/technical areas that is ten years old or older must be approved by appropriate division deans.

Credit may be granted for Army primary and secondary MOS's (military occupational specialty) at Skill Level 30-40 if current proficiency can be documented. Credit for MOS Skill Level 10 will only be granted for ratings prior to October 1991, however, credit may be granted for courses leading to this skill level after October 1991. After March 1995 skill levels 30 and 40 may yield credit for management skills but not technical skills. Skill level 20 is valid only from January 1990 to February 1995. No credit is awarded for duty MOS’s. See also “Servicemembers Opportunity College” in the Student Development Services section of this catalog.

3. Credit for Training Courses
Transfer credit for training courses will be awarded only in accordance with the recommendations of the NOVA College Credit through Advanced Standing booklet or the American Council on Education’s publication, National Guide to Educational Credit for Training Programs.

4. Credit for High School Courses
You may receive credit for high school courses through dual enrollment, Advanced Placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB). Please refer to the “Dual Enrollment of Current High School Students and Home School Students” in this section for details.  Please refer to the following section for information on AP and IB.

5. Credit by Examination
Advanced standing may be granted to students who have successfully completed examinations in any of the following programs:

  1. Abitur. Advanced standing will be granted to students successfully completing the Abitur, Certificate of University Maturity (Zeugnis Der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife). Credit will be granted for scores of 1-3 in Biology, Chemistry, French, German, History, Physics, and Social Studies. Test scores must be presented directly to NOVA.
  2. Advanced Placement (AP). AP examinations of the College Entrance Examination Board may be used for advanced placement. Specific college course credits will be granted for scores of three, four, or five on the Advanced Placement (AP) examinations. You must have official AP score reports forwarded from the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to NOVA for inclusion in your permanent record. Contact a Student Services Center for procedures required to initiate an evaluation of transfer credit.
  3. Assessment by Local Examination (ABLE). ABLE examinations may be constructed by NOVA where tests are not available from outside sources such as CLEP. The College grants specific course credit for acceptable performance on ABLE examinations for AIR 111, AIR 121, DRF elective, HLT 141, HRT 100, NAS 150, and SDV 100. Credits earned through ABLE exams cannot be used to fulfill residency requirements.
  4. Cambridge, University of, Advanced Level Examinations.  Credit will be granted to students successfully completing the University of Cambridge Advanced Level Examinations General Certificate of Education. A grade of A or B is required for chemistry and a grade of C or better is required for all others. Test scores must be presented directly to NOVA.
  5. College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). CLEP examinations from the Educational Testing Service are approved for advanced standing. CLEP is a program of credit by examination that offers students the opportunity to earn college credit for knowledge acquired outside the conventional college classroom. To participate in the CLEP program, contact a campus counseling office.
  6. International Baccalaureate (IB). Students completing the Higher Level exams for International Baccalaureate may be granted advanced standing credit in some disciplines . Consult Credit through Advanced Standing for required scores. You must have an official report of exam scores sent from the International Baccalaureate Organisation to the registrar at your campus of record.
  7. SST Program (formerly known as DANTES) The DSST Program is offered by Prometric, which began updating exams in 2008. NOVA awards specific course credit for acceptable scores, as recommended by the American Council on Education. Several types of examinations are reported: end-of-course examinations for correspondence, extension courses from regionally accredited colleges and universities, College-Level Tests of General Educational Development given prior to 1960, and General Examination of the College-Level Examination Program. Also, college course credit may be granted for tests administered by the United States Armed Forces Institutes (USAFI) prior to June 1, 1974 for scores at the 40th percentile and above. Scores at the 20th percentile and above are accepted for DANTES exams taken prior to September 1981. A complete listing of current and prior tests and recommended scores may be found at: GetCollegeCredit.com. Exams are administered at Ft. Belvoir and Quantico Marine Corps Base. See page 30 of NOVA’s College Credit through Advanced Standing, January 2010.

To obtain results of USAFI courses and high school and college-level GEDs, follow these instructions:

(1) For military personnel tested through USAFI prior to July 1, 1974, write to DANTES Contractor Representative (Transcripts), P.O. Box 2879, Princeton, NJ 08541-2879.
(2) The scores of military personnel tested overseas after July 1, 1974, may be obtained from Educational Testing Services, Box CN6604, Princeton, NJ 08541-6604.
(3) Military personnel tested in the United States at official GED centers or by State Departments of Education must request transcripts directly from the State Department of Education or the official GED center concerned.

    h.  SAT II.  Advanced standing will be granted to students for successful completion of SAT II Subject exams in American History, French, German, Latin, Russian and Spanish. Test scores must be sent directly to NOVA.

6. Credit for Prior Learning (PLACE)
PLACE (Prior Learning Activity for Credit Evaluation) is an NOVA program for adults who have gained college level learning through work, volunteer activities, participation in civic and community assignments, travel, independent study, and similar “life experiences.”

In order to convert these experiences into college credit, students must enroll in SDV 298, Seminar and Project PLACE Workshop. This course assists students in assembling a portfolio of evidence of their accomplishments. Completed portfolios are assessed by designated faculty who may recommend the awarding of credits.

Up to 15 semester credits in degree programs or 10 semester credits in certificate programs may be awarded through the portfolio process. In rare cases, more credits may be awarded at the instructor's discretion. Credits earned through PLACE cannot be used to fulfill residency requirements.

7. Credit for Physical Education

There are a number of ways the College may grant credit for the physical education/health requirement based on your involvement in outside activities or experience.  These include:


Military service/basic training


Completion of approved police and corrections academy programs


Active duty fire fighters and police


Red Cross CPR training


Participation in selected intramural or club sports teams at NOVA. 

      Please consult College Credit through Advanced Standing for details on how to receive PED credit.

8. Waiver for Foreign Language Credit and Advanced Standing
If you have completed two years of a single foreign language in high school or your native language is not English, you have the following options:

  1. Request assessment by the College faculty if it is currently a language taught at NOVA. Such assessment could place you into levels above the introductory course in the foreign language sequence. If you are granted advanced placement, additional general electives may have to be completed to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree.
  2. Take a CLEP exam if prior education is in a language covered by CLEP. If you achieve a satisfactory score, you will be awarded credit for the foreign language that may be used toward completion of a degree.
  3. Request waiver of the foreign language requirement in A.A. degree, if you are proficient in a foreign language not offered by NOVA or through CLEP. Proficiency is generally indicated if you have at least the equivalent of a high school diploma from an institution where the primary language is other than English. If the foreign language requirement is waived, additional general electives must be completed to meet the minimum credit requirements for the degree. This waiver is accomplished through a Substitution Request (NVCC 125-032) form generated by your faculty advisor.

9. Course Substitutions for Students with Documented Disabilities, covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
Otherwise qualified students with documented disabilities who are, by reason of their disability, unable to complete a requirement of the program pursued by the student, 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.