Equipping students for today’s economy

Northern Virginia is one of the most economically-vibrant and highly-educated regions in the nation. It reflects great energy and rich cultural diversity with people from all over the world calling it home. NOVA – the college – reflects this as well, not only in its student body but in the range and depth of its academic and career technical programs.

NOVA ranks second in associate degree graduates among the nation’s community colleges. Students can choose courses in more than 90 subject areas that lead to 68 associate degree programs, 14 certificate programs and 43 career studies certificates. Each of NOVA’s comprehensive campuses has a full range of general education courses and transfer-oriented degree programs, while some career-technical programs are concentrated on particular campuses due to state-of-the-art laboratories, heavy instructional equipment, or to meet the specific needs of the campus community.

Continue reading to find out more about some of NOVA’s programs. See the College’s website, www.nvcc.edu for the full suite of offerings. If you are interested in supporting our broad range of programs, please click here or contact us at foundation@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3023.

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As of December 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that there are a record 7.3 million job openings across the country – essentially equal to the number of Americans seeking employment. Yet, nearly half of American employers say they cannot find people with the skills they need, and even more, perceive a lack of preparation even for entry-level jobs. Here in Northern Virginia, the situation is equally as challenging but more unique. Our region is home to the third-highest concentration of technology job openings and the largest number of cyber job postings in the nation – and the unemployment rate is only 2.5%. The region projects it will have 112,000 IT jobs over the next decade.

NOVA Workforce is focused on prioritizing its efforts and aligning student development programs to the region’s employment needs, with a goal to reduce trained employee shortages. While IT job training needs are the most critical for our region, the healthcare and dental fields, hospitality and culinary arts, and teaching and education are also in need of trained workers from entry-level to experienced professionals. NOVA is leading the nation in delivering cutting-edge education and training to prepare our region for a broad range of careers and create a sustainable talent pipeline. By aligning our educational assets with industry and the community, NOVA will continue to be a key driver of regional and economic growth.

Through the NOVA Foundation, your gift can support continued program development to help train and prepare NOVA students to fill our area’s critical workforce needs. The impact of gifts to NOVA is seen in more than dollars. Gifts become textbooks, computers, tools, paid internships, and more creating a pathway to employment. For many students, your gift makes a college degree or technical certificate possible. Continue reading for some examples of our current workforce programs. If you are ready to make a difference, please click here or contact us at foundation@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3023.

  • Amazon Web Services Apprenticeship program

    In November 2017, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced a new innovative apprenticeship program designed to train students in Northern Virginia. The announcement marks the launch of the first-ever apprenticeship programs for AWS on the East Coast. The student cohort entered training at NOVA for 16 weeks and will continue with on-the-job training at the AWS Herndon headquarters. Throughout the course of their program, apprentices will earn a series of highly-technical industry certifications that are in-demand by the technology sector, including: CompTIA Network+, Linux+, and the AWS Solutions Architect. This apprenticeship program is an example of how business and education can creatively and successfully collaborate to address unique workforce challenges.

  • United Summer Associates (USA) Internship Program:

    Working closely with the Metro Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and United Airlines, NOVA created a paid internship opportunity at Dulles International Airport providing students with quality experiential learning opportunities across a wide variety of facets of the airline industry. Students are able to collaborate and network with other employees in the organization. Additionally, the program supplies students with mentors in the field.

  • Lockheed Martin Software Associate Degree Program (SWAP)

    Lockheed Martin selected NOVA for their first-ever partnership with a community college. The three-year SWAP experience involves exposure to technologies and the development of current industry IT and engineering skillsets relevant to today’s job market. Students selected for the program have the opportunity to gain experience, receive tuition assistance, and be placed into the pipeline for a security clearance. The program is open to NOVA students who have successfully completed their freshman year IT program courses.

Healthcare and Medical Technology

Known as the first specialized community college campus in the Commonwealth of Virginia, NOVA’s Medical Education Campus meets the needs of college students interested in the health care profession and offers courses to high school students and current health care providers seeking to expand their knowledge. The Medical Education Campus (MEC) is a technologically sophisticated specialized campus dedicated to the education and preparation of Nursing and Health Science professionals with a strong commitment to workforce development and continuing education.

Today, the Medical Education Campus offers 10 health-related programs and features state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories, dental clinics and a clinical practice site for nursing and allied health students. Led by credentialed, highly qualified faculty who are experts in their specific health care field, students gain knowledge through curricula that is current and evidenced-based. Additionally, they receive hands-on experience and develop critical thinking through use of advanced applied technology in laboratory simulations, clinical experiences, field work, and/or preceptorships. Our educational facilities and industry partners in health care allow our students to learn with the latest technology while working collaboratively with leaders in the health care field. If you are ready to help grow our region’s healthcare workforce, please click here or contact us at foundation@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3023.

  • Clinical Medical Assistant Certification Program

    Medical Assistants are in high demand in the Northern Virginia area with an annual growth rate more than twice the national average. This program prepares students to become valuable members of a healthcare professional team, assisting physicians responding to a rapidly changing healthcare environment. As assistants in the clinical setting, students will learn to perform duties such as vital signs, exam room preparation, patient data collection, simple dressing changes, lab tests, phlebotomy, medication administration, and EKGs. The NOVA Workforce Clinical Medical Assistant (CMA) certification program ranks among the highest in the nation for credentials earned and pass rates and nearly 100% of students find employment at the conclusion of the program.


FastForward is a short-term workforce credential program to train Virginians for top, in-demand jobs across the Commonwealth. This tuition and certification assistance program is funded by the Virginia General Assembly to encourage the attainment of high-demand workforce credentials by underwriting the cost of approved credential preparation programs for Virginia residents by up to 66%.

Nighthawk Fund for Athletics

Athletics and leadership at NOVA foster a sense of community among students, provide a social support network, and help students feel connected. College athletics is also an important tool for recruiting and retaining students. Sports also help students build important life skills, including leadership, teamwork, and perseverance – all critical skills for their success in the workforce. Student athletics and leadership programs often make NOVA not just the more affordable choice for post-secondary education, but a more attractive choice.

Recently, NOVA achieved yet another ‘first’ – by becoming the first public institution in Virginia to recognize ‘esports’ as a varsity-level sport in its athletic program. While the first in Virginia, NOVA joins more than 100 colleges and universities in the United States in this emerging area of student engagement. Being a leader in technology-focused programs is right in NOVA’s wheelhouse. Esports and other technology-focused teams provide a platform where our students can showcase their talents and compete with other college students regionally and nationally. 

This program allows the Department to award student funding in the area of greatest need, giving our student-athletes the best possible experience in the classroom, in competition, and in the community. Our intercollegiate teams include soccer, basketball, and lacrosse for men and volleyball, cross country, basketball and softball for women. To help support our student-athletes, please click here or contact us at foundation@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3023.


NOVAarts offers rigorous and relevant programs in the visual, performing, and media arts, including fine arts, graphic design, interior design, photography & media, music, music recording technology, cinema, and theatre. The creative and immersive degree and certificate programs emphasize portfolio development and audition preparation to help students prepare for transfer or employment. In addition, NOVAarts is a premier cultural arts destination in the Northern Virginia region, providing performances in music, film, theatre, and dance, along with numerous gallery exhibitions and artist lectures to the communities we serve. To help grow the arts in our region, please click here or contact us at foundation@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3023.

Your gifts provide resources necessary to keep our student programs sustainable and competitive in today’s economy while also shaping the future of NOVA. Providing aid to our wide range of programs across many disciplines helps NOVA attract, retain, and graduate students ready to contribute our region’s workforce. Many NOVA students juggle academics, work, and family obligations, so your support for our programs helps encourage all of our students to stay in school and be prepared for success.


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