Online Students

Start Strong at NOVA Online

Northern Virginia Community College welcomes all students to new opportunities through online learning. If you are a first-time college student, ages 17-24 (including high school/homeschool/GED graduates) or you are an experienced student advancing your career through NOVA Online, get off on the right track with Online Orientation.

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First-time Student Checklist

  1. Take the English and Math placement tests before registering for classes. For information about taking your placement exams at an alternate site, view the Testing Information section of NOVA Online’s Website.
  2. Register for classes by attending the required online Student Orientation to gain information about NOVA Online and register for classes.
  3. Enroll in the required one-credit College Success Skills course (SDV 100 or 101) during your first year, preferably during your first semester.
  4. If you tested into developmental courses, register for them during your first semester.
  5. Activate your free email account.
    To protect your privacy, instructors may only use a student's official NOVA email address.

    You will receive updates on course changes and other pertinent information through your NOVA email account.

Important Notice: Students cannot activate their VCCS student email until they have registered for classes. All fees must be paid before students can access their email.

Older and Returning Student Checklist

For students over the age of 25, or who have taken college courses before, once you are registered for your courses, visit the NOVA Online Orientation page to learn more about getting started with a NOVA Online Orientation Webinar.

  1. Check your NOVA email account regularly, especially the night before your scheduled orientation session.
  2. Think of questions you want to ask and write them down so you don’t forget.
  3. Be open to developing and clarifying your goals.

Learn About the Online Student Orientation