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Orientation: Getting Started with Online Learning

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What Do I Need To Know About Other Resources?

Admissions and Registration

There is a wealth of information available to help you work through the application and registration process. Here’s how to apply for admission to the college and register for courses:

Advising and Counseling
  • You can contact the ELI counseling office by phone at (703) 323-2425 or by email at elicounselors@nvcc.edu.
  • You can also contact the counseling office on any campus.
  • You can find information about Career Development on the Career Services page.
  • You can find information about Transfer Planning on the Transfer Resources page.
  • NOVA does not provide personal counseling, but you can find many resources to support your personal needs on NOVA Cares Resources page.
Disability Support Services

All students are entitled to the same accommodations for disabilities throughout the college. For more information about receiving accommodations visit Disability Support Services.


Financial Aid

If you think you may be eligible for financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid for guidance.

Library Resources

You may use all college library facilities.

As a online learner, you can also benefit especially from:

  • Remote access for off-campus access to library databases.
  • Individualized help called “Ask a Librarian” to either request help by email or to chat live with a librarian online.
Testing Centers

Check the testing center hours to make sure it is open when you want to take an exam. You may use a testing center on any campus. Testing Center hours sometimes vary, so double check the hours before you go to campus.

Be sure you allow enough time to take the exam. All exams are collected 15 minutes before the testing center closes.

Be sure to bring a government issued photo ID or NOVA Card and your exam pass. You can find exam passes the syllabus section of your Blackboard course site. These are course and exam specific. Make sure you print out the correct exam pass for the exam you are taking.

Veterans and Military Services

To ask about veterans or military benefits, contact the Military and Veterans Services office.

IT Help Desk

The IT Help Desk is operational 24/7 including nights, weekends and holidays (service is limited on nights and weekends).

Tutoring and Academic Resources

Smarthinking is an online tutoring service that Northern Virginia Community College offers for free to its students enrolled in courses offered through the Extended Learning Institute. Smarthinking provides tutoring in a variety of subjects, many of which are available 24/7.

Online Student Success Strategies are available through StudentLingo.

Complete the SmarterMeasure Assessment to gauge your readiness for online learning. Contact ELI Counselors if you are interested in more information and a username and password to complete the assessment.

Post Test

Take this post-test to see how much you know about resources online learning.

1. Which of the following services may ELI students use on any NOVA campus?

    The library

    Computer labs

    Financial aid

    All of the above

2. Contact a counselor at ELI or on any campus if you want more information about:

    what you should buy for your biology lab kit.

    what courses you should take first.

    how to obtain financial aid.

    what hours the library is open.

3. When you are ready to take your first exam, you should:

    ask your professor to send you the exam.

    check the testing center hours online to make sure it is open when you want to come in.

    make an appointment to take the exam at ELI.

    tell your advisor you are ready to take the exam.

4. If you need library resources but you can't possibly come to campus, you should:

    withdraw from the course because finding library resources is impossible for you to do as a distance learning student.

    call the ELI office and tell the staff that you can't come to campus.

    get on the Internet and check out the remote library access and the ASK THE LIBRARIAN services.

    ask for an extension because you can't get enough information.