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NOVA Online - Online Students

If you are a first-time-to-college student, age 17-24 (including high school/homeschool/GED graduates), and you plan on taking all your classes online through NOVA Online, you need to Start Strong at NOVA.

Start Strong at NOVA

For more information about getting started in NOVA Online courses, visit the Orientation section of NOVA Online's website.

Steps to Get Started

  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. Attend a 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 enrolled for classes. All fees must be paid before students can access their email.  

Students Age 25 and OLDER or have taken college courses before:

Once you are registered for your courses, visit the NOVA Online Orientation page to learn more about getting started and to sign up for a NOVA Online Orientation Webinar.

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

Learn about the Online Student Orientation

Your First-Year Advisor will:

  • Help you identify and refine your academic goal.
  • Help you choose the appropriate program and courses for that program.
  • Help you connect with the appropriate resources.
  • Assign you to a faculty advisor who can best help you prepare for your transition.

Your Faculty Advisor will:

  • Require you to make an appointment.
  • Help you to navigate the academic requirements.
  • Expect you to ask questions.
  • Be available during office hours.
  • Help you prepare for graduation.