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Message from the President's Office (March 27)

Dear NOVA Nighthawk Students,

It’s been a little over a week since NOVA went to remote learning. I want to thank you personally for your patience and flexibility during these challenging days. You’re doing amazing work at a difficult time, and we are grateful for your dedication and commitment to your classes.  We know that many of you have begun to look to the end of this unprecedented semester and have started thinking about your grades.  I write to share that yesterday the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) released its formal policy informing how the grading system across all 23 Virginia community colleges would be modified for the spring 2020 semester in light of the difficult issues related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As VCCS considered how to approach grading for the spring 2020 semester, I heard from many of you.  Some wanted to have the option for a “pass/fail” grading system; others wanted the opportunity to still earn a letter grade.  Please know that your voices were heard, and the new VCCS policy balances these two perspectives. 

The main points of the new policy are outlined below and your important new responsibility for making a choice on the grading options to be used in your courses is highlighted:

  • All course grading for Spring 2020 will default to Pass/no Pass unless action is taken by the student.
  • Students have the right to request a Withdrawal by May 10 for 16-, 14-, and 12-week terms. Keep in mind that if you are receiving financial aid or if you are utilizing veteran’s benefits, withdrawing from a class may leave you with a requirement to repay those funds. You should consult a financial aid or veteran’s student advisor before making your final decision.
  • Students now have the option of receiving their earned letter grade(e.g. A, B, C, D). However, they must specifically request this, and it is not reversible.
  • Students who wish to receive letter grades must initiate this request for each class separately. NOVA is working on this process and will publish it in the coming days.
  • Once a student requests a letter grade, this request is final and cannot be changed or revoked. NOVA is required by VCCS to document and maintain each student’s request.
  • NOVA students must make their irrevocable request for a letter grade no later than the day before the last day of classes for their specific spring term. For example, NOVA students in 16-, 14-, and 12-week terms must make a request for a letter grade by May 4.
  • Students can still request and faculty can still award an “I” (Incomplete) grade and make a plan to complete course requirements next semester. 

NOVA is developing the procedures to implement this new VCCS policy and will be sending out more information in the next few weeks. Please check your VCCS email regularly—your VCCS email is NOVA’s official route for all communications to students. We will also be posting updated information at www.nvcc.edu for easy reference.

As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to your faculty members and/or advisor.

Remember, #YouMattertoNOVA, and we are doing all we can to work with you during this uncertain time. If you are feeling anxious or nervous, NOVA has resources to help: to learn more, click here.  And, if you have questions that have not been addressed or answered, please feel free to reach out me at presidentsoffice@nvcc.edu.

Thank you so much for sticking with your courses and with NOVA during this challenging semester. We are so proud of you and all that you are achieving!