“Begin with the end in mind” is a motto frequently shared with students at the beginning of their educational journey at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA). This motto reflects the importance of thinking through one’s educational and career goals in order to ensure a student pursues the most appropriate degree and selects the courses necessary to prepare them for their future endeavors. Many students who attend NOVA do so with the intent of transferring to a four-year college or university. While NOVA students transfer to a number of four-year schools, over 3,000 students per year choose to attend George Mason University (Mason).
To achieve these goals, dedicated leaders from both institutions set out to reimagine and transform the transfer experience. Through their work, the NOVA/Mason ADVANCE program was developed.
Officially launched at the beginning of the 2018-2019 academic year, NOVA/Mason ADVANCE challenges the traditional transfer framework in several ways. The program offers students:
- A streamlined admission process
- Access to a myriad of resources at both institutions, such as student health insurance and career services
- A clearly defined curricular pathway
- A dedicated Success Coach
- Potential scholarships and internships
Provided students meet the eligibility criteria (above a 2.0 and less than 30 credits) they are accepted and considered both a NOVA and Mason student. ADVANCE students must then meet certain progression milestones in order to successfully transition to Mason. As a result, students do not need to submit a transfer application or pay an application fee during their final semester.
While a great deal of work has been done to develop and implement ADVANCE, the innovation continues. During the next phase of the program, ADVANCE will aim to help students with their career exploration by launching the Career Accelerator Toolkit. The Toolkit clearly defines what skills students are earning from each course they take along their journey. It also provides a searchable connection between their pathway and career opportunities.
For more information regarding NOVA/Mason ADVANCE please visit: https://www.nvcc.edu/advance/