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ACE Credentials IT EXAM Voucher Program

The Achieve Career Excellence (ACE) program is a NOVA initiative designed to help students earn professional credentials so they can work in their desired field while they remain in school. Information and Engineering Technologies (IET) pathway students can receive a free test voucher to take the industry-certification exam after successful course completion.

This initiative is part of the Taskforce on Higher Education and Opportunity.

This is a merit-based program for students who completed one of the following NOVA IT courses and earned a grade of A or B within the last 3 years.

If You Completed This Course with a Final Grade of A or B

You Are Eligible for This Exam - Substitutions are NOT AVAILABLE

ITN 106 and ITN 107

CompTIA A+ Core 1 and Core 2

ITN 101

CompTIA Network+

ITN 170

Comp TIA Linux+

ITN 260

CompTIA Security+

ITN 262


ITN 156

Cisco CCNA

ITN 257

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner

What are Industry Certification Credentials?

  • Industry Certification Credentials are issued by a certification body such as a trade, industry, or professional association.
  • AWS, CISCO, and CompTIA are examples of these types of associations.
  • Earning an Industry Certification Credential indicates mastery and or competency in specific knowledge, skills, and abilities accepted as industry standards.
  • Certifications expire and must be renewed.

What is the value of the IT Credentials?

NOVA recognizes the demand for IT industry-recognized certification credentials has greatly increased over the past decade and that the cost of sitting for required exams can be a barrier for students. Therefore, NOVA has committed funding to purchase select IT industry certification exam vouchers and created a program for eligible students to apply for an exam voucher at no cost to students.

Certification Name

Retail Value of Certification Exam

AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner


Cisco CCNA


CompTIA A+ (Core 1 & Core 2) *


CompTIA Network+


CompTIA Security+


CompTIA Linux+




*This certification requires students to pass two separate exams in order to earn the credential.

Program Purpose and Expectations

This program provides select IT certification exam vouchers at no cost to eligible students. Students are expected to sit for the exam within 30 days of receiving the exam voucher and upload the score report to the ACE Score Reporting File within two days of completing the exam. 

Program Scope

Awards are granted once per semester by invitation from the NOVA Information and Engineering Technologies (IET) department. 

Program Limitations

  • Eligible students may only apply for an exam voucher for ONE (1) IT certification exam per semester.
  • Students may not apply for an exam voucher for the same exam in a future application period.

ACE Program Overview

  • An invitation to apply will be emailed once per semester to eligible students after grades are posted for all terms from the current semester.
  • Students must apply by the application deadline listed in the invitation; no late applications will be accepted.
  • Students whose application has been approved will receive an invitation to join the ACE Credentials CANVAS course. 
  • Approved students are expected to read through all CANVAS modules. 
    • CANVAS modules include detailed information about the ACE program policies, industry credentials, exam details, study tips, how to claim your exam voucher, how to schedule your appointment with Pearson Vue, testing deadlines, score reporting information, and more.

While there is no financial obligation to students, students are asked to acknowledge that the retail value of the select exam vouchers and retake exam vouchers range between $100 - $392 each depending on the specific exam.

  • Students are expected to submit an assignment in the CANVAS course to acknowledge and agree to honor the financial benefit and program costs by:
    • using the exam voucher to schedule an appointment
    • completing the exam by the testing deadline per semester
    • reporting the results by uploading a PDF copy of the score report to the ACE Score Reporting File (link to be provided.)
    • Notice of Potential Risk of Ineligibility: Students that do not use the exam voucher and students that schedule an appointment which results in a “No Show” status may risk forfeiting eligibility in receiving an exam voucher award in future application periods.
  • Students are expected to submit an assignment in the CANVAS course to claim the voucher for the specific exam they have requested and been approved.
  • Vouchers will be issued once per application period per semester according to the schedule listed in CANVAS.

Students are expected to:

  • Begin preparing for their exam as soon as they decide to earn an IT certification credential!
  • Contact Pearson Vue directly to schedule an appointment to complete their exam upon receipt of the exam voucher
  • Complete their exam according to the schedule in Canvas; students have 30 days to complete their exam 
  • Report their results within two calendar days from the testing deadline


Contact us at ACEcredentials@nvcc.edu