News from ELI to you!
ELI Bulletin Board V O L U M E
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Greetings from Dr. Lerner
1.888.4DL.NVCC INSIDE THIS ISSUE: New ELI Programs
Important Date Definitions
Tips for Success in Shorter Length ELI Courses
Student Life News
Common Reader Symposium Recap
What’s Your Next Step?
Career Exploration Tools
Upcoming Career Service Webinars
Job-Hunting Tips from Eileen McCreight
Blackboard Mobile Learn App
Welcome to another fall semester. Whether you‟re a seasoned ELI student or new to us this semester, we are looking forward to working with you this year! Things are buzzing around ELI these days. We have been coming up with lots of new ways to help you do your best academically and have some fun while you‟re at it. We have added student success coaches, a student technology support specialist, a librarian, and a financial aid specialist to our staff to answer any questions you might have as you take your ELI courses. We‟ve launched Smartermeasure, an online “quiz” you can take to help you assess how prepared you are to take an online class and to
help you improve your skills in areas where you aren‟t quite as prepared. (You can take the Smartermeasure quiz free by clicking the “Are You Ready for Distance Learning?” button on the ELI homepage.) We‟re holding more special events than ever before—for example, read about our Common Reader Program and Symposium on page 5, and our Tech Fair on page 4. We‟ve launched our first student club, our virtual book club (see page 4) and are working on several more. We know that no matter how busy you are, you expect resources, support, and opportunities to interact with fellow students as a part of your college experience, and we‟re working
hard to provide you with all you expect and more! I hope you enjoy this issue of the ELI Bulletin Board, which, as always, is packed with helpful information and tips about ELI courses and resources. In this issue, you‟ll also be treated to some great articles to help you think about your future or current career and how to succeed in your next job search. Have a great semester, and hope to see you at the ELI Fall Fest and Family Day (see page 5)! Dr. Lerner Associate Vice President for eLearning
Welcome Debbie Wyne and Carletta Mackey
WRITERS WANTED The ELI Bulletin Board is published by the Extended Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College to keep the ELI community informed and connected. We welcome comments and contributions from students, faculty, and staff. Contact Bridget Downey for details.
Please join us in welcoming Debbie Wyne, ELI‟s new Director of Student Services! Debbie serves as ELI‟s Dean of Students and is responsible for all aspects of our student services operations, including student success coaching and counseling, registration and course specialists, financial aid, and student life. Debbie brings with her a wealth of experience in higher education. Most recently, at Shenandoah University, she served as the university‟s chief FERPA contact, director of academic enrichment and learning services,
ADA compliance officer, taught and supervised study skills courses, coordinated retention and general academic advising programs, and managed the provision of disability accommodations. Debbie also has experience working with community colleges, having worked at both Lord Fairfax and Germanna. Debbie is excited to work at ELI and looks forward to working with students, staff and faculty. ELI also welcomes Carletta Mackey, who joins us as our firstever Financial Aid Special-
ist! Carletta holds an AAS degree in Protective Services (Police Science), as well as a certificate and a career studies certificate, from Germanna Community College. She is currently pursuing her bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Homeland Security Emergency Management. Carletta has worked in student financial aid since 2008, first at Strayer University and then at Everest College, and brings with her a wealth of experience helping students work through the financial aid process.
New ELI Programs We just added even more to our list of degree and certificate programs available through ELI. The newest ones are below. Check our Courses & Degrees page for the full list.
PROGRAMS ADDED FALL 2011:
Associate of Arts degree in Fine Arts
Read the Student Blog, ELIFE
Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Management (International Studies Specialization)
Like NOVA ELIfe on Facebook
Associate of Science degree in Social Sciences (Teacher Education Specialization)
We’re on Twitter too! @NOVAELIfe
Associate of Applied Science degree in Marketing (eCommerce Specialization) International Business Career Studies Certificate Paraprofessional Teacher Assistant Career Studies Certificate Promotion and Public Relations Career Studies Certificate
PLAN AHEAD! Oct. 1—Last day to apply for graduation Oct. 31-Nov. 4—Spring 2012 Academic Advising Week Nov. 8—Spring 2012 priority registration begins Nov. 24-25—Thanksgiving Holiday; College closed. Dec. 23-Jan. 2—Winter break; College closed Jan. 9—Spring 2012 semester begins
Accelerated Business Management Principles Career Studies Certificate Want to get on the fast track to moving into management? ELI offers a two-semester accelerated Career Studies Certificate in Business Management Principles designed to give you all the information and skills you need to assume higher levels of management responsibility. This certificate is the perfect choice for the busy adult who wants to move up in a current job or seek out new and better career opportunities, without having to spend years getting a new degree. Call the ELI Hotline at (703) 323-3347 or e-mail us to be connected to your personal Student Success Coach, who will give you more information and help you assess whether this program is right for you.
REMINDER: ELI SESSION CHANGES FOR FALL 2011
Beginning Fall 2011, ELI no longer offers late-starting 16-week courses. While we continue to offer16-week courses the first session of each semester, later sessions will be either 8 weeks or 12 weeks in length. Contact ELI Registration for more information about sessions changes and course lengths: email@example.com, 703-323-3368.
Important Date Definitions Start Date: This is your official start date; all other dates are based on it. 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 addi-
tional tuition, and also the last date to change a course to audit or to credit. 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. 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.) Your course may have other deadlines--make sure to review your course syllabus for more information.
Attendance and Participation Aren’t Just Important, They’re Required! As your courses begin, keep in mind attendance and participation in your ELI courses are very important. In fact your attendance and participation are not just important, they are required. Students who have not attended and completed their first assignments by the Census Date will be administratively withdrawn from the course by their instructor. This has several consequences including: - Reduction in class load and possible change from full time to part time status (both potentially affecting financial aid). - Loss of tuition (yes, an administrative withdrawal will cause you to lose the money paid as tuition for this course).
- No record of the class or letter grade on your transcript. As soon as classes begin, log into Blackboard and explore. Use this opportunity to locate and review the course syllabus. This will give you a chance to see what you will be responsible for throughout the semester. In addition, this will also allow you sufficient time to plan your time appropriately, making certain you will be able to complete your readings, assignments, projects and tests in time for their specified due dates. Again, it is crucial to ensure you have completed and submitted your first assignment prior to the Census Date to avoid being administratively withdrawn from your course.
Logging into Blackboard as soon as the semester begins will also give From the you the opportunity to identify any unexpected issues and provide ELIfe blog ample time to ask any questions you might have. ELI has a comprehensive array of student services to support our distance learners. If you have any questions and aren‟t sure where to start, you can always e-mail the ARE YOU Success Coaching Team or call READING ELIFE? us at (703) 764-5076. We are more than happy to answer More excellent blog posts your questions, as well as refer you may have missed… you to useful resources and services that will support your What’s in your online “Tool online learning experience. Kit”? by Katie Aimone, Student - Laura Tiglao, Student Success Orientation Specialist Coach
Tips for Success in Shorter Length ELI Courses While many of the online courses are completed over a 16-week period, there are as many courses being taught in reduced lengths of 8 or 12 weeks. Make sure you carefully check the schedule to find out the length of the course you are taking. The shorter length courses have the same material to cover and assignments to complete as the 16-week courses, but in less time. Make good use of your limited time. Read, read, read—the sylla-
bus, the overview of assignments, the due dates, the discussion questions, the assignments, etc. The directions are written to help you understand and complete your assignments. Review all the assignments and make note of the due dates. If you are required to complete a science lab or a research paper, get started as soon as it is assigned. If you have questions, get in touch with your instructor or the student support staff at ELI as
Where to begin? Starting an essay in the post-outline age by William Hatheway, adjunct English instructor
Are you in the know about soon as possible. (Check the ELI new financial aid policies? by website for contact details.) If it Carletta Mackey, Financial Aid is in the middle of the night or Specialist on the weekend, you can leave a My experience with caffeinemessage so someone can get fueled procrastination by Anback to you once the office ders Bruce, ELI student reopens. There is no time for procrastination in the shortened versions of the classes, so get started and keep working and enjoy the shortened experience! - Maureen Madden, Instructional Designer
eResources S T U D E N T L I N G O Do you want to maximize your college experience at ELI? Check out Student Lingo. This brand new resource offers students free workshops 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on everything from Academic Exploration to Personal Management. Workshop topics include Exploring Careers & Choosing a Major, Mastering the Interview, and Resume Writing & Cover Letters.
S M A R T H I N K I N G This online tutoring service is available for free to students enrolled in ELI courses. Tutoring is available in a variety of subjects with many available 24/7. Did you know that Smarthinking offers assistance with career writing, too? Log-in and explore all that‟s available to you!
A T O M I C L E A R N I N G This online software training and support suite offers short, easy-to-view tutorials on software used in many online courses. If you need to brush up on your technology skills, you can access Atomic Learning 24/7 from home or work.
Student Life News Earlier this semester, ELI Student Life offered its first-ever “Weeks of Welcome,” from August 14-28, as a campaign to welcome new distance learning students and kick-off the Fall semester. Events and activities were offered both online and in-person and included a Wellness Seminar at Lake Anna State Park, twice -weekly Orientation Webinars, and an online trivia challenge and scavenger hunt. The culminating event was the
ELI Tech Fair, held the evening of August 18th, at Kings Park Library in Burke, VA. The Tech Fair allowed new and returning online students, as well as members of the NOVA community, the opportunity to test out technology used in ELI courses and get information about services available to ELI students. Stations included Blackboard/eNOVA, edTech, eReaders, Mobile apps, ePortfolios and Virtual Student Union. At each station, attendees were given a hands-on tour of
the latest technology tools and gadgets, including iPads, and iPods, the Nook, Kindle and Google eReaders. The Fair was also an opportunity for students to ask questions about ELI‟s online testing and tutoring services, ProctorU and Smarthinking. A special thanks to all who volunteered and attended! Due to the success of this event, we look forward to offering more Tech Fairs in the near future!
Announcing the ELI Virtual Book Club! DID YOU MISS THE TECH FAIR? No problem! Check out our Tech Fair Google site where you can download info sheets and quick tips for the resources featured at the fair: http://bit.ly/TechFairDocs
We are excited to announce the ELI Virtual Book Club, our first official student interest group! The group, led by ELI Librarian, Natalie Clewell, includes a total of nine members and starts this Fall by reading one book per month. The members, who communicate mainly by e-mail, were given a choice of four books available from the public library and online from the VCCS Library. Suzanne Collins‟ Hunger Games won
out as book choice for September (though Tina Fey‟s Bossypants came in close second). The club holds its first virtual meeting September 28th at 7pm using eNOVA when the next book will be chosen.
Soon the club will also have a space in the Virtual Student Union for asynchronous discussions. The ELI Virtual Books Club is open to all students, staff and faculty at NOVA. If you are interested in joining, contact Natalie Clewell, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do you want to start an online student club? Contact Bridget Downey, Student Life Specialist, to get the process started! email@example.com
Blog with Us! We're looking for a few good student writers to join our team of ELIfe bloggers. As a student blogger you would share your ELI experience with fellow NOVA students, tell future students about the benefits and challenges of distance learning and help ELI develop and promote a vibrant Student Life program.
If you enjoy sharing stories, tips, reviews, photos and videos, then you should join our team and share what you know! This is a great opportunity for English, Marketing or Journalism students to practice your skills and establish yourself as an expert in your field and get published!
Interested? Check out the blog and think about how you'd like to contribute. Then, write up a short introduction of yourself explaining your educational goals and why you'd like to be a blogger. Submit your writing for review to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you with more details on how to get started.
Common Reader Symposium Recap On Friday, September 16, 2011, ELI held its first annual Common Reader Symposium in the Ernst Cultural Center Forum at NOVA‟s Annandale campus. Journalist and author Kevin Sites presented an interactive lecture and presentation on his book In the Hot Zone: One Man, One Year, Twenty Wars to ELI students, faculty and staff. Sites showed video footage of his travels to war torn areas of the world and answered audience questions about journalism ethics, armed conflict, and the resulting collateral damage. Students were able to reflect on
with other ELI students, and with NOVA faculty and staff.
what they had read and discuss the ramifications in an open forum. After the lecture, Sites held a reception and book signing event for attendees. This provided students with the opportunity to meet and talk face-to-face with the author,
The Common Reader Symposium capped off the inaugural ELI Common Reader Program with great success. For more information about the program, visit the ELI „In the Hot Zone‟ Common Reader blog. - Dr. Preston Davis, Director of Instructional Services
Join us… ELI FALL FEST & FAMILY DAY! FOOD! FUN! INFORMATION! Sat., November 5th 11am-2pm Bisdorf Cafeteria Alexandria Campus 3001 North Beauregard Street Alexandria, VA 22311
What’s Your Next Step?
Check out highlights and resources available from NOVA’s Career Services website from faculty member and ELI Counselor, Christy Jensen
“Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.” ~Mary Kay Ash
Are you thinking about pursuing a degree at NOVA, but are unsure as to what degree and program to select? Are you considering transferring to a four-year institution to continue your studies, but are unsure what major to pursue? Are you trying to decide about a career to pursue, but are unsure where to begin your exploration? Are you trying to find a job or gain practical experience, but are unsure where to begin your search? If you answered yes to at least one of the questions above, then look no further than NOVA‟s Career Services website to help you get started finding answers. When visiting the website for the first time, select “For Students” or “Students”. In this section of the website you will be introduced to a four step career development process that will help you with the following: 1) understanding self, 2) exploring careers, 3) making decisions, and 4) finding employment. Below is information about each step. Step 1: Understanding Self When was the last time you
thought about what you like? What do you really enjoy doing? What are your strengths? What is important to you? During this step you will focus on gaining a better understanding of yourself by identifying your interests, personality, skills, and values through career assessments. The results of the assessments will identify potential career options for you to consider and explore. A list of free assessments and resources can be found on the website. Resources to Try: eDISCOVER: This computerized career guidance system helps individuals learn more about themselves and explore occupations. Three comprehensive inventories are included on the system that focus on interests, abilities, and values. The results of the assessments link you to potential career options. This assessment is free for
NOVA students, but a token is required. Contact Christy Jensen, ELI Counselor, to request a token: email@example.com. Virginia Education Wizard: This free, online resource developed by Virginia‟s Community Colleges includes assessments focusing on one‟s interest, and values. The results of the assessments will identify career options that align with your interests and values. Step 2: Exploring Careers Have you ever wondered what you would really do on a daily basis if you pursued a particular career? You can explore careers by utilizing resources that include information on academic majors, job salaries, job outlook, required skills, educational requirements, and typical (continued on page 7)
More Career Exploration Tools (from your friendly librarian) FERGUSON’S CAREER G U I D A N C E C E N T E R (Log in using your MyNOVA username & password.) This great resource provides profiles on jobs, including descriptions, pay scales and employment prospects. Ferguson‟s also includes tutorials on improving your resume and job-hunting skills, as well as various career skills once you have landed the job.
LEARNING EXPRESS LIBRARY (Log in using your MyNOVA username & password.) Learning Express offers many skillbuilding tutorials, but some of the ones that may help you in exploring careers are the Job Search & Workplace Skills and Jobs & Careers tutorials. Learn about topics such as resume-writing and interviewing, and also about specific careers, such as teaching or nursing.
CAREER ONE STOP CareerOneStop is a great informational website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. This website offers information on career exploration, salary and benefits, education and training, as well as information on job searching.
(continued from page 6) work duties. Numerous resources exist, in various formats (including print, online, and video), to provide you with information on just about any career you can think of. Resource to Try: Occupational Outlook Handbook: This publication published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and revised every two years, includes information on training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job, and working conditions. Step 3: Making Decisions Have you thought about a program of study, major, or career and wondered: Is this really right for me? Once you have taken the time to focus on yourself and do some research, it‟s time to evaluate your academic and career options to develop a personalized plan. Resource to Try NOVA’s Career Services Website: Under “For Students”, take a look at “Step 3: Making Decisions” to view a step-by-step process you can follow to reflect upon what you have learned, make
a decision, set a goal (or two), and create an action plan. Step 4: Finding Employment (also Gaining Practical Experience) You can find employment opportunities by searching for jobs through various print and online resources as well as networking. You can prepare for jobs by creating a strong resume and strengthening your interviewing skills. You can also explore websites and other resources to identify internship or volunteer opportunities to gain valuable experience to assist you with your education. This experience can also help you to be better prepared for your first or next job. Resources to Try: Career Builder: A career network on the Web that employers can utilize to post jobs and job seekers can utilize to search many Internet career sites for employment opportunities. In addition to identifying employment opportunities, job seekers can find timely articles on various issues pertaining to the job search.
mySkills myFuture: This website helps laid-off workers and other career changers find new occupations to explore based on transferable skills they‟ve gained in past jobs. Through this website individuals can obtain a list of potential occupations that are related to a current or previous experience by O*Net (Occupational Information Network) skill, knowledge, and ability attributes. Worker ReEmployment section of CareerOneStop: This is a one-stop site for employment, training, and financial help. This site provides information about unemployment benefits, job search tips, as well as benefits and assistance in the areas of health care, housing, food, family support, energy assistance, financial counseling, tax filing help, dealing with stress, and includes a special section for Veterans.
“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” ~Confucius
A Final Word In addition to the resources provided on the website counselors are available to assist you with each step of the process discussed. See the Career Services website to connect with a career counselor.
Celebrate National Career Development Month! Did you know that November is National Career Development Month? To help celebrate this event the National Career Development Association is holding the 46th annual poetry and poster contest. This year‟s theme is “My Career Dreams”. There are various division areas for the contest including “Adult student” (18 and
older enrolled in school) and “Open Adult” (18 and older not enrolled in school). For more information about the contest, contact Christy Jensen, ELI Counselor, at firstname.lastname@example.org and watch for details on Facebook and ELIfe, ELI‟s student blog.
CAREER SERVICE WEBINARS During the months of October and November, we’re offering a series of free webinars focusing on elements of the job search. Topics include interviewing, resume writing, and follow-up after you’ve landed a job. For more information and to register, visit the ELI Webinar Schedule.
Job-Hunting Tips from Eileen McCreight Faculty member and career exploration expert, Eileen McCreight, shares some sage advice for the modern-day job-hunt. With the nation facing 9% unemployment and no great job news on the horizon, people need to be more creative in the job process. I recommend reading Richard Bolles‟ What Color is Your Parachute? 2012 for great suggestions. Bolles‟ website, JobHuntersBible.com, is also a great resource. Bottom line is still the NETWORK as being the best source of finding jobs. Let everyone you know (and I mean everyone you know) that you are looking to get into „xyz‟ job field. Case in point: While mowing his yard one day, our neighbor just happened to mention to Hubby that he was laid off as a pilot and hadn‟t had a job in a year. Hubby just happened to have a nephew working with the FAA [Federal Aviation Administration] in airport safety. There just happened to be a job opening…And again, the “bottom line”--our neighbor isn‟t mowing his own yard anymore! But if you are lucky enough to get an interview, be prepared for a new line of questioning. “Tell me your weakness” has taken the back-seat to more behavioral based questions. Michelle Crouch, an HR expert, reports in the April 2011 Reader‟s Digest that some of the types of questions being asked now are: “Tell me about a time you had to work with someone you did not personally like.” “Describe your Outlook calendar on a typical day.” “How much do you know about our company?” “Tell me a time when your integrity was challenged. What was the situation, and what did you do?” I‟ll include three stories about the importance of both being yourself and realizing that your interview begins when you leave your home:
#1 -- When I taught Human Relations at the Alexandria campus, I used I-95 to get there. I am not a fast driver and one impatient man passed me in a big hurry one morning and extended a finger in a gesture of, shall we say, „unhappiness‟? We both realized at the same time that he was a student in my class. Once extended, a finger…a word…cannot be taken back. (What a great class I had that day! What a lesson he learned, I hope!) Moral: Be careful with everyone you meet. You just never know… #2 -- One of my former students wanted to make a good impression on an interview, so he borrowed a leather briefcase to carry his resume and letters of recommendation. At the conclusion of the interview, he snapped the case closed and stood up to shake hands. When he picked up the briefcase off the floor, the leg of his pants became lodged in the case. And he rose up with the briefcase attached to his pants! Moral: Be yourself at an interview. Be comfortable in the skin you are in! #3 -- Many years ago, I was in a room with 20 other candidates for the same job. A receptionist checked in each of us, and was with us in the room while we waited for over 30 minutes. Finally, the door opened and each candidate went in one by one. It was interesting to observe that the people who had been obviously nervous in the waiting room (pacing, nervously talking to others, silly giggling) came and went very quickly in the 'inner office'. Those who maintained decorum (while nervous on the inside) had a long interview inside those doors. I found out later, after landing the job, (YEAH!) that the receptionist was pre -screening people as they waited. Moral: Your interview starts when you leave your home! The person you cut off in traffic may be your interviewer!
Blackboard Mobile Learn App Get to know the new Blackboard Mobile app with this visual tutorial from Natahsa Spokish, Student Technology Specialist.
The Blackboard Mobile Learn app is the perfect companion for the NOVA student. You can check your class announcements, submit an assignment, and post a reply to the discussion board on the go! This app is available for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Android phones, Blackberry phones, and Palm webOS phones. Check out the screenshot below, taken from an iPad.
HOW TO ACCESS THE APP:
1. 2. 3. 4.
Download the app from your device‟s App Store and search for “Northern Virginia Community College.” Then, sign in with your account (the same account you would use to log into the MyNOVA tab on NOVA‟s webpage). Select your class. Then, navigate your course! Here you can view and submit assignments, check the syllabus, even post threads to the discussion board forums.
MORE MUST-HAVE APPS G F L A S H , a flashcard and trivia app available for iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch, Blackberry and Android phones.
S A B A C E N T R A , an app that lets you attend all of your eNOVA sessions from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch!
E V E R N O T E , an app that syncs all your notes across all of your mobile devices and computers!