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NOVA and GMU Awarded for ADVANCE Partnership


NOVA and George Mason University (GMU) received the 2019 John N. Gardner Institutional Excellence for Students in Transition Award for their cutting-edge ADVANCE partnership.

The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition chose ADVANCE based on cross-institutional initiatives that aim to enhance the student transition experience at the undergraduate level.

ADVANCE won the prestigious honor in only its second year of existence, with almost 700 students making the journey from NOVA to GMU through the program. Admissions, defined curricular pathways, success coaching, and wraparound support have made it easier and more affordable for students with one year or less of completed coursework toward their intended curricular pathway to earn degrees.

“ADVANCE is receiving tremendous recognition because of its potential to transform the way higher ed institutions collaborate for student success,” said Ashlie Prioleau, executive director of ADVANCE. “Not only is it breaking down transfer barriers for students, but it is also creating more streamlined internal processes across NOVA and Mason that ultimately benefit the student. [GMU] and NOVA are honored to be receiving this award. In many ways, ADVANCE is a culmination of our efforts to support transfer students and ease some of the transitional barriers they experience. Together we are building what we believe is a national model for dramatically expanding educational access and helping students succeed throughout their academic journey and beyond.”

The award is named after John N. Gardner, who pioneered the National Resource Center at the University of South Carolina.

“John's work has always been focused on assisting institutions in making changes to support their first-year and other students in transition,” said Jennifer Keup, director of the National Resource Center. “Countless students have persisted at colleges and universities because of the influence and impact of the courses and programs that he created, championed, and inspired through personal interactions and Center-sponsored events and resources.”

“We are incredibly excited that ADVANCE is being recognized by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition,” said Jennifer Nelson, chief transfer officer at NOVA. “This award highlights the collaborative efforts between NOVA and [GMU] to improve the overall transfer experience. Both institutions are committed to continuing to streamline the transfer process for students and look forward to further cultivating this partnership.”



Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.