In order for the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to successfully improve students’ academic planning skills, a restructuring of academic advising is necessary. New students come to NOVA from various entry points: some take advantage of New Student Orientation (NSO) and Student Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR), others visit a campus and talk with student services personnel, and others apply and register online. All of these “first-time-to-NOVA” students need to have a discussion about goal setting, program placement and course selection. It is clear: students who start off on the right path, and have a connection with someone at NOVA, have a better chance at reaching their goals.
After research into best practices and discussions with campus faculty and staff, the QEP Development Committee has proposed a “shared model” for academic advising. Students who are new to NOVA will meet with an “advising specialist” to confirm their program of study. In addition, each student will formulate a goal statement, be aware of the opportunities at NOVA, and select a program of study in line with their stated goals. Students who need specialized guidance will take advantage of the multitude of resources available through counselors. Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor, who will have early contact with the student and will help the student with course selection and reflection on academic performance. Faculty and staff will have access to training, resources and tools to provide quality academic advising.
In order for this happen, the QEP Development Committee is working on improving advising resources for students, faculty and staff. The goal of the QEP is to help students develop the academic planning skills necessary to reach their goals. Students need to understand where they are going and what it takes to get there. The GPS for Success is a plan to help students reach their destination.
For further information on the QEP, and how the restructuring of academic advising affects you, please contact Special Assistant for the QEP Alison Thimblin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.