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NOVA 2012-2013 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, or go to the NOVA transfer website at www.nvcc.edu/current-students/transfer/index.html.

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 to succeed in 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 Culture and Language 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.

College ESL builds the academic literacy and critical thinking skills necessary for success in American higher education. College ESL consists of four levels of credit instruction from Level 2 (low-intermediate ESL) through Level 5 (advanced ESL). Students in the top two levels of instruction are often concurrently enrolled in college level courses in a variety of disciplines.

The ACLI is housed in the Office of Workforce Development. It offers non-credit classes to residents of Northern Virginia and other visitors in its Core Skills ESL and Specialty Courses programs, and to international F-1 visa students in its Intensive English Program. ACLI courses range from introductory to intermediate-level ESL. They also prepare for entry or advancement in the workforce.  ACLI courses are fee-based. Many ACLI students go on to take classes in College ESL and academic disciplines.

Students take a placement test to assess their English 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 into 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 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 on any NOVA campus.

Adult Career Pathways
NOVA’s Adult Career Pathways program is for unemployed or underemployed workers, low-wage workers, work-eligible immigrants comfortable with reading and writing English, and young career starters with a high school diploma or GED.  The program connects participants with NOVA career counselors who assist them in developing an education or training plan to earn a certification or credential.  ACP counselors introduce students to programs and opportunities available to them and help students navigate the procedures necessary to attend NOVA classes and apply for financial assistance.  For further information and upcoming College Access Workshop dates, please contact acp@nvcc.edu or 703–425–5245.

Community-Based Organizations
NOVA partners with several community-based organizations (CBOs) to offer its credit courses at the CBO sites. These partnerships provide education and training at non-profit organizations that will create gateways of opportunity to higher education, better jobs and increased earnings to students who are pursuing the American dream. Students receive NOVA college credit and job training at the CBO site in administrative technologies, administration of justice, business management, finance, entrepreneurship, information technologies and early childhood development fields.  Students in this program will receive a NOVA transcript that shows credits and grades earned at the College. CBO students pay NOVA tuition; they are provided orientation, financial aid workshops, and assistance with application and registration by NOVA staff members. Students who wish to take a CBO class should contact one of the CBO partners or the CBO Office at the Alexandria Campus, www.nvcc.edu/depts/alexandria/cbo or 703–933–1844.