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Faculty Services

Frequently Asked Questions By Prospective Faculty

NOVA Online at Northern Virginia Community Colleges offers robust, interactive online courses in more than 50 academic disciplines. Students can complete entire degrees and certificates through NOVA Online, or may choose to complete their academic work through a combination of online and on-campus classes. Some faculty teach courses they have designed themselves with instructional design assistance from NOVA Online staff, while others teach sections of already-developed courses.

Our needs at NOVA Online are always changing. We often have need for faculty to teach common general education courses such as English composition, basic math, and introductory economics or other social science courses. However, we also often have need for faculty to teach more specialized courses. The best way to find out what we need at a given time is simply to contact us. If we do not need faculty in your area at that time, we will keep your contact information on file for future consideration as our needs change.
NOVA Online courses are designed to give students an interactive learning experience. Every course is different in the technology tools employed and the types of assignments used to engage students. Some courses are self-paced, allowing students to complete assignments on a schedule most convenient for them, while others require students to meet regular (often weekly or bi-weekly) deadlines. When you are assigned a course to teach, a fellow faculty member or an instructional designer will review the whole course with you to be sure you are comfortable with its structure and content. In order to maintain course integrity, we require that you teach the course as currently designed, making no changes to course content, structure, or assignments without permission from NOVA Online.
Your role as a teacher in an online course is to support, guide, and provide feedback to students as they move through the material. This includes sending students regular reminders about making progress and meeting course deadlines; participating in class discussion forums; answering student questions and doing one-on-one tutoring or advising by email/chat/phone/audio conferencing; and grading and providing helpful feedback on student assignments.
To teach at NOVA Online, you must hold a Master’s Degree and have successfully completed 18 graduate credit hours in the discipline you will teach. Faculty who have community college teaching experience, and/or experience teaching online, are preferred.

Northern Virginia Community College, as a member of the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements, has reciprocal agreements with most states to allow students living in those states to take online courses through NOVA Online. Additional information can be found at the following links:

NOVA Online faculty are paid at the same rates as other college faculty. Adjunct faculty pay is determined by Human Resources based on degrees held and past teaching experience. The Academic Dean interviewing you can give you an estimate of the pay you might receive. (See below for more on the hiring process.) Pay for NOVA Online courses, however, is pro-rated based on enrollments (if you have low enrollment, your pay will be reduced accordingly). We can discuss our workload policies and formulas further with you as you explore teaching for NOVA Online.
NOVA Online courses are delivered using Canvas Learning Management System. NOVA Online faculty are expected to complete training in Canvas in order to be competent using its range of features, including discussion boards, posting documents, using the assignment feature, using the gradebook, and creating and deploying exams. Canvas training is offered on all six NOVA campuses. Faculty who live out of the area but need Canvas training may be able to self-train using online training materials, or find training in their area.
In addition to the ability to use the range of features in Canvas, as mentioned above, NOVA Online faculty are expected to participate in a half-day new-faculty orientation session to learn about administrative policies and procedures and best practices in online teaching. (For faculty who live out of the Northern Virginia region, arrangements can be made to participate from a distance.) And, since NOVA Online courses are taught online, we expect our faculty to be competent and comfortable with email and the basic office software necessary for record-keeping and communicating with students and NOVA Online staff.
NOVA Online has a full staff available to support our faculty in their work. You can call the NOVA Online Hotline, email our instructional design help team, contact our Canvas administration team, or chat with our Faculty Liaison or Coordinator of Faculty and Student support if you are having any kinds of problems, from technical problems to student problems. Depending on the course you are teaching, you may also have a Course Coordinator (an experienced NOVA Online instructor who teaches the same course) or a faculty mentor who can help support you in your teaching.

If you are qualified to teach online and are interested in teaching for us, please fill our Faculty Readiness Assessment Form. As part of your submission you will be expected to upload a copy of your current CV/Resume and transcripts that indicate the required 18 credit hours in the discipline for which you are applying.

We will review your experience and credentials, contact you for further information if necessary, and examine how your background might fit with our current staffing needs. If your experience does fit our current needs, NOVA Online will put you in contact with an Academic Dean on one of the NOVA campuses, who would interview you and complete the actual hiring process.

NOVA Online’s intellectual property policy is governed by the statewide policy described in the VCCS Policy Manual here.
To comply with accreditation requirements and best practices in distance learning, all NOVA Online courses must verify the identity of the student earning the grade in the online course. In the vast majority of NOVA Online courses, we accomplish this through proctored exams, which students take online using Respondus Lock-down Browser, an online proctoring service. In a few cases, instructors verify student identity instead through an in-person learning activity such as a lab, public speech, or internship work. In either case, courses must be structured such that a student cannot pass the course without passing the proctored exam/activity.