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NOVA Online Policies and Procedures

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NOVA Online has specific policies and procedures concerning exams, graduation, incomplete grades, and submission of work.


Academic Dishonesty

When College officials award credit, degrees, and certificates, they must assume the absolute integrity of the work students have done; therefore, it is important that students maintain the highest standard of honor in their scholastic work.

The College does not tolerate academic dishonesty. Students who are not honest in their academic work will face disciplinary action along with any grade penalty the instructor imposes. Procedures for disciplinary measures and appeals are outlined in the Student Handbook. In extreme cases, academic dishonesty may result in dismissal from the College. Academic dishonesty, as a general rule, involves one of the following acts:

  • cheating on an examination or quiz, including giving, receiving, or soliciting information and the unauthorized use of notes or other materials during the examination or quiz;
  • buying, selling, stealing, or soliciting any material purported to be the unreleased contents of a forthcoming examination, or the use of such material;
  • substituting for another person during an examination or allowing another person to take the student’s place;
  • plagiarizing, which means taking credit for another person’s work or ideas. This includes copying another person’s work either word-for-word or in substance without acknowledging the source;
  • accepting help from or giving help to another person to complete an assignment, unless the instructor has approved such collaboration in advance;
  • knowingly furnishing false information to the College;
  • forgery and alteration or use of College documents or instruments of identification with the intent to defraud.

    Campus Learning Resource Services and Bookstores


    Address: 5000 Dawes Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22311-5097

    Library: (703) 845-6231

    Testing Center: (703) 845-6035

    Computer Lab: (703) 845-6041

    Bookstore : (703) 671-0043, (703) 845-6221, (888) SHIP-TEXT

    TDD: (703) 845-6016

    view more Alexandria campus information


    Address: 8333 Little River Turnpike, Annandale, VA 22003-3796

    Library: (703) 323-3128

    Testing Center: (703) 323-3149, (703) 323-3833

    Computer Lab: (703) 450-2521

    Bookstore: (703) 430-9639, (703) 450-2589

    TDD: (703) 323-3744

    view more Annandale campus information


    Address: 21200 Campus Drive, Sterling, VA 20164-8699

    Library: (703) 450-2567

    Testing Center: (703) 450-2508

    Computer Lab: (703) 323-3298

    Bookstore: (703) 425-2558, (703) 323-3185

    TDD: (703) 450-2548

    view more Loudoun campus information


    Address: 6901 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA 20109-2305

    Library: (703) 257-6640

    Testing Center: (703) 257-6645

    Computer Lab: (703) 257-6639

    Bookstore: (703) 368-8554, (703) 257-6667

    TDD: (703) 368-3748

    view more Manassas campus information

    Medical Education (MEC)

    Address: 6699 Springfield Center Drive, Springfield  VA 22150-1913

    Library: (703) 822-6684

    Testing Center: (703) 822-6654

    Computer Lab: (703) 822-6671

    Bookstore: (703) 822-6605

    TDD: (703) 822-6510

    view more Medical Education campus information


    Address: 2645 College Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191

    Library: (703) 878-5733

    Testing Center: (703) 878-5616

    Computer Lab: (703) 878-5713

    Bookstore: (703) 670-0050, (703) 878-5774

    TDD: (703) 878-5790

    view more Woodbridge campus information


    Course Progress

    Online learning courses through NOVA Online may be 16, 12, 10, 8 or 6 weeks in length; each course has specific startrefundfirst assignment due datewithdrawal, and end dates you should be aware of when you select a particular course. All courses are based on the full 16 week course material, requirements, and learning outcomes. Sessions shorter in length run at an accelerated pace and will require more hours of work each week to complete the requirements.

    Typically students do not need to be online at specific times each week, although some courses require specific in-person or online meeting times for labs, lectures, or class discussions.

    Online courses through NOVA Online are deadline driven requiring students to meet frequent deadlines. Regular submission of assignments and discussion board posts are required. NOVA Online courses require students to submit minimum required assignments as specified by the instructor to avoid being administratively withdrawn from the course. Students should be sure to read all course information carefully when the course begins to understand the deadlines that apply in each course they are taking through NOVA Online.

    Secret to Success: Establish a routine! Time management is key to your success in online courses. Create a weekly schedule to help you stay on track, complete assignments on time, and stay active in the course.

    If you do not submit your first assignment by the deadline, you may be administratively withdrawn from your course without a tuition refund. Log into your course on the course start date, and stick with your schedule.

    Once you begin this course, it is your responsibility to withdraw if you do not intend to finish it. If you do not withdraw and do not finish your course assignments, you will receive a grade based upon the work you have submitted.

    Visit NOVA Online’s Student Blog for more tips throughout the semester.


    Course Withdrawal

    You may withdraw from an NOVA Online course without grade penalty by the Last Withdrawal Date without F . For your specific course dates, refer to the Quick Start Syllabus mailed to you by NOVA Online. For additional information, see Enrollment Dates and Withdrawal Policy. Use NovaConnect tutorials to withdraw before the Last Withdrawal Date. If you withdraw from a course after your Last Withdrawal Date, you will receive an "F" for a grade.

    Important Notes:

    • Students who do not submit a required assignment before the date specified by faculty (see Critical Course Deadlines) will be administratively withdrawn without a refund. Also consult the course syllabus for this information.
    • Instructors have the option of withdrawing (without refund) students who are not meeting course progress requirements by the Last Withdrawal Date without F . However, students who expect a W are responsible for withdrawing themselves in NovaConnect before the last withdrawal date.

    If you are past your Last Withdrawal date without F but have mitigating circumstances that prevent you from finishing the course, your instructor may agree to assign a W grade. To request a W, complete a Withdrawal Initiated by Student form and submit it to your instructor with supporting documentation that justifies your request.


    NOVA Online Office and Mailing Addresses

    The NOVA Online offices are located at 3922 Pender Drive in Fairfax, Virginia, 22030-0967. It is conveniently located just off of I-66, at the Route 50 Exit, Number 57A. This information is provided for students needing to drive to the offices to meet with an instructor, to register, or to drop off a paper.

    Please note that the mailing address is not the same as the office address. Be sure to mail everything to:

    NOVA Online
    Northern Virginia Community College
    8333 Little River Turnpike
    Annandale, VA 22003-3796



    Proctored exams are a critical part of online courses. NOVA Online is required by The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) and our accrediting body, The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), to verify the identities of every online student through secure logins and proctored examinations. Due to these strict guidelines, students who do not pass their proctored exams may fail their course regardless of their performance on homework and projects. For details about your course requirements, review your syllabus under “Grading, Withdrawals, and Incompletes.”

    Northern Virginia/Washington DC metropolitan area residents: All NOVA Online courses require proctored exams. You are required to take your exams at a NOVA testing center or to use our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course. You can take your exam at any one of NOVA’s six campus testing centers (Manassas, Woodbridge, Springfield, Annandale, Alexandria and Loudon). NOVA campus Testing Centers

    Other Virginia residents: You may take your NOVA Online exams at any Virginia Community College testing center, via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course, or at the testing center of another Virginia college/university at which you are a student (you submit a Proctor Request Form for approval - NOVA Online Proctor Request Form). Use the College Locator feature on the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) website to find a college near you. http://www.vccs.edu/.

    Students in other states: You may take your online class exams at a college/university testing center near you (you must submit a Proctor Request Form for approval - NOVA Online Proctor Request Form), or via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course.

    Active duty and deployed service members may request proctoring through a military education or test control officer.

    Proctor Request Instructions and Proctor Request Form NOVA Online Proctor Request Form

    Students are expected to meet course specific due dates and deadlines outlined in the course syllabus. Review each folder of your course syllabus in detail and reach out to your instructor with any questions.


    Exam Proctors

    NOVA Online requires that students use a college or university testing center for all exams. Students should contact the intended testing facility to discuss proctoring requirements and costs. It is your responsibility to secure a proctor and to pay any fees charged by the proctor. Requests for proctored exams taken outside of a college or university testing center are only granted for documented mitigating circumstances. Individual proctors will not be approved based on student preference. Requests for proctored exams and proctors must be approved by NOVA Online.

    NOVA Online reserves the right to reject requests for proctors for any reason.

    To request a proctor, complete the NOVA Online Proctor Request Form and submit it with your proctor's statement on letterhead to NOVA Online (see the Proctor Request Form for details.)
    Request your exams early so you can successfully meet any required deadlines in your course. Please allow at least 5 business days for processing your request.  All students will receive an email confirmation when the exams have been sent to the proctor.


    Getting Help

    Course specific questions should be directed to your course instructor. You can find contact information on your Quick Start Syllabus or the Faculty Information section in your Canvas course site.

    Canvas course sites open on the scheduled course start date.

    The NOVA Online Hotline at 703-323-3347 or 1-888-4DL-NOVA (1-888-435-6822). NOVA Online staff members are available between 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 – 5pm on Friday, and some Saturdays (hours vary by semester). If you are hearing impaired, call the V/TDD number, 703-323-3717, and leave a message. View the Contact Us page for more details.



    If you will have completed your degree requirements and plan to graduate in the current semester, you must apply for graduation by the deadline. Check the NOVA Schedule of Classes and run your advising report to make sure you are meeting the degree requirements. Consult an advisor or counselor with any questions.


    Important Dates

    The one page Quick Start Syllabus you received by mail has your course specific critical course deadlines.

    Start Date: This is your official start date; all other dates are based on it. Your enrollment does not necessarily correspond to campus enrollment dates. You are expected to meet a schedule for submission of your work, so you need to buy your course materials and start on time.

    Refund Date: This is the last date on which you can drop your course and receive a full refund of your tuition, drop your course and add another course without paying additional tuition, and also the last date to change a course to audit or to credit. To drop your course, use the NovaConnect online or telephone registration system.

    First Assignment Due Date: You must submit a required assignment before the date specified by Critical Course Deadlines or you will be administratively deleted without a refund.

    Last Withdrawal Date without F: This is the last date on which you can withdraw from this course without grade penalty. Use the NovaConnect online or telephone registration system to drop the course. You will receive a grade of "W." However, students who expect a W are responsible for withdrawing themselves in NovaConnect before the last withdrawal date. Withdrawal after this date will result in a grade of F, except under documented mitigating circumstances.

    End Date: All assignments and examinations should be completed by this date. (Also see Incomplete Grades.)

    The majority of NOVA Online courses have weekly or even mid-weekly deadlines. Make sure you follow your course syllabus for course specific deadlines.


    Incomplete Grades

    The incomplete grade is used for verifiable unavoidable reasons. If you have made significant progress in your course, your end date is near, and you have reasons that can be documented as unavoidable, you may request a grade of Incomplete. To request a grade of Incomplete for this course, you must:

    • Have satisfactorily completed 60% of the course work (specified in the course by your instructor). 
    • Explain your extenuating circumstances in writing.
    • Provide a plan for completing the remaining assignments in writing. All work must be completed by the end of the subsequent semester.
    • The time you have to complete the course must be agreed upon with your instructor, but will be no more than one additional semester.

      Limited Services during Holidays

      Many campus offices, as well as the Learning Resource Centers, are closed or have limited hours during holiday and semester breaks. Be sure to call first before you arrive on campus to use these facilities. Faculty also may not have regular office hours during those times, which may delay the return of your assignments.


      NOVA ID Cards

      You may obtain a NOVA ID card at any campus. An NOVA ID is required to use the materials in the library or learning labs. Students must present a NOVA ID in order to return textbooks at any VCCS bookstore.


      Parking on Campus

      For visits to campus (to buy books, use the library, take an exam, etc.), you may park at a meter, park in a visitor lot, or purchase a parking sticker for the semester from the campus security office. Visit the College's Parking Services for details.