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Distance Learning and Online Classes

The Extended Learning Institute (ELI) of Northern Virginia Community College is nationally recognized as a leader in distance learning, with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

Each semester, ELI offers more than 300 courses, with many new classes starting each month. You can combine distance learning with traditional classroom studies, take a class or two, or earn a degree or certificate completely online. Ten degrees/specializations and seven certificates are offered through all-distance learning courses. See the ELI pages in this schedule, or visit http://eli.nvcc.edu for a complete listing.

Advantages of Distance Learning

  • Begin your studies or complete your degree — with more flexibility for work or family responsibilities.
  • Accelerate your academic progress by taking distance learning classes with regular classes.
  • Reduce the amount of time spent commuting to campus.
  • Same quality instruction, range of choices and service as NOVA’s on-campus programs.
  • Flexible, convenient and affordable course selections.
  • Complete most assignments anytime — day or night — from any location.
  • Expert faculty skilled in distance learning.
  • Financial aid and payment plans available.

How Does Distance Learning Work?
Most courses can be completed at home or from your place of work by following directions on the ELI Web site at http://eli.nvcc.edu. Many assignments involve participating in discussion forums or e-mailing your instructor.  Some courses include online class meetings using a microphone and headset. Depending on the subject, some courses may also use television, audiotape, voicemail, or computer disks. (If you do not have Internet access, workstations are available at all campuses and public libraries.)

NOVA faculty and ELI staff are available to support you. NOVA faculty members provide valuable assistance by telephone, e-mail, office visits or through the mail. Student services are provided through ELI and NOVA’s campuses. Exams are usually taken at a NOVA campus Testing Center, although in special situations an approved proctor may administer exams. Textbooks can be ordered online (http://eli.nvcc.edu/books/) or by fax, mail, or in person at the Alexandria Campus Bookstore.

Who Can Benefit from Distance Learning?
Distance learning requires as much or more time and effort than campus-based classes. Good reading and writing skills, initiative, self-discipline, and the ability to use Internet technologies are important for success. A self-quiz on the ELI Web site may help you decide if distance learning is a good option for you: http://eli.nvcc.edu/eliforme/eliforme.asp.

How to Enroll
You register for ELI distance learning courses the same way you enroll in on-campus courses, including NovaConnect online and telephone registration. When course capacity limits are reached, ELI sections are closed to further enrollment. ELI courses are designated with the letter “E” before the course section number, for example, E86H, E87A, E90N, E88L, E93M, E95W…

How to Begin
Once registered, you may go to http://eli.nvcc.edu/courses.htm to review your course material. You will receive course confirmation in the mail. ELI courses require you to start working according to the start date in the course information you receive in the mail to avoid administrative withdrawal.

Other Information

  • eNOVA courses: While most distance course work is completed independently, some courses require weekly scheduled online sessions at predesignated times using eNOVA (powered by Centra) virtual classroom. For more information and minimum technology requirements visit the Frequently Asked Questions on ELI’s Web site at http://eli.nvcc.edu.
  • VCCS Distance Learning: Distance learning courses are also offered at other colleges in the Virginia Community College System. Visit the VCCS Web site at http://www.vccs.edu/vccsonline.

For advice and help in choosing a class, contact ELI to speak with a counselor at 703-323-2425, or contact your academic advisor or call ELI’s hotline at 703-323-3347.