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Counseling and Advising Services

Counseling and Advising Services

Academic Advising

Academic advising is a comprehensive program facilitated by counselors, teaching faculty, and student services personnel who share responsibility with advisees for student success. The advising relationship is a continuous developmental process involving open communication in an atmosphere of mutual respect and honesty. It assists students with the transition to college and the evaluation and attainment of their academic, career, and personal goals. By their participation in a range of advising activities, including individual and group advising sessions, classes, and workshops, students gain an understanding of campus and College resources and develop the skills to make informed, independent decisions.

Beginning in the 2014 Fall Semester, all first-time-to-college students ages 17-24 are required to meet with their advisor before registration. Other new students should also work with a counselor or academic advisor to select a program to meet their educational objectives. Once the student has chosen a major, he/she will then be referred to an academic advisor or counselor who will assist in planning the rest of the student’s program for all subsequent terms.

Students should meet with their advisor to discuss progress toward graduation near the midpoint of their program. All students are encouraged to seek information and assistance from academic advisors in career planning in addition to curriculum planning. Even students not enrolled in a specific curricular major may seek assistance from academic advisors and counselors to help select courses during enrollment.

GPS for Success

GPS for Success is a comprehensive advising experience specifically for recent high school graduates who have never been to college. The program aims to help students foster connections with professional advisors and faculty, while teaching students how to plan and evaluate their academic performance.

Academic Planning

Students should use the online Advisement Report to monitor their progress toward their degree or certificate by logging onto NOVAConnect. From the My NOVA tab on the College’s home page, students can enter the VCCS SIS: Student Information System and click on “Self Service.” After clicking on the “Student Center,” the “My Academics” selection offers students a menu option to view their “Advisement Report.”

Virtual Advising

Virtual advising is offered through live chat and rapid response e-mail. Students can log on during specified hours and chat with an advisor. In addition, e-mail sent to AcademicAdvising@nvcc.edu will be answered within 24 hours. Virtual advisors can help current and prospective students declare or change their major, review their degree progress, register for classes, prepare for graduation, determine their eligibility for individual courses or programs, and a host of other activities. See the Advising & Counseling Web page for more information.

Counseling Services

Counselors, located in the Student Services Center, are professionals who are available to assist students in their educational, career, and life planning. They can help students to make effective decisions and to deal with problems they may be facing while in attendance at the College. Interviews with counselors are confidential. Referral information is available for persons requiring professional assistance beyond the scope and training of the counselors.

A counselor can help students explore and develop career goals and plan their education to help meet those goals. Students who want to enroll in a degree or certificate curriculum and did not indicate a choice of curriculum on their Application for Admission should meet with an advisor to select a major. This may mean planning a developmental program to gain the necessary skills in certain areas to meet the entrance requirements for a curriculum. It may mean planning a program to take the right courses for transfer to a four-year college or university when the student leaves NOVA. It may mean selecting the career/technical program best suited to one’s career goals. The counseling service on each campus provides a testing program to help students better understand their abilities, interests, skills, and values. Tests and inventories are administered and interpreted at a nominal charge to students.

During a student’s first semester at NOVA, the counselor may refer him or her to an academic advisor who will assist in planning the student’s second semester and the rest of his or her program.

Counseling services are open to students throughout their enrollment at the College.

Counselors assist with such information as transfer, financial aid, self-assessment inventories, career opportunities, volunteer service placement, and job counseling. Special group programs are also available in career planning, personal exploration, and other skill-building topics.

The Student Services Center on each campus also has information available about national testing programs, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP).

Students requiring special services or accommodations should see the Disability Services section for more information.

Career Development Services

Career Planning Services

Career planning services help students explore, develop, and set goals related to their career and educational needs; make effective career decisions; and obtain employment. Students may assess their interests, skills, preferences, values, and strengths; investigate the world of work through research, internships, cooperative education, and volunteer opportunities; and learn about job search tools and strategies such as writing resumes and interviewing successfully.

A variety of printed materials is available in the Student Services Center and in the Library of each campus. Reference books and college catalogs providing information on colleges and professional schools are available. Other books and pamphlets describe the entrance requirements, working conditions, and compensations of thousands of career and job opportunities. Specialized materials that help students learn more about how to plan for their education and personal development are also available.

Employment Resources

Employment resources refer to those resources that help students find jobs. Available in the Student Services Center on each campus, these resources include printed materials and electronic databases that provide students with community job listings and career information in both the public and private sectors, including salaries and the employment outlook in each occupation. Area employers cooperate with the College to provide part-time and full-time employment for students. Internet resources allow further access to local, state, and national job openings.