I high-school senior, I enrolled in two American history courses
at NOVA over the school year. I therefore have limited
experience with the academics of NOVA. The courses I took
were essentially just high-school classes, maybe even simplified a little
bit. My professor, Dr. Alford, is an amazing teacher in
addition to being a stand-up comic. While Dr. Alford does
a great job teaching his material, he obviously has to
tailor his classes to the school demographic. If you are
attending NOVA only to save money or because you are
a high-achieving international student, you should consider the honors option.
The Annandale campus is ugly to an extreme. It reminds
me of an industrial park. The buildings are bare and
old, with cinder-block architecture being a common interior accent. At
the same time, perhaps the college funnels its resources into
the academic programs.
People generally just show up to class
and leave or hang out with their friends. There isn't
really a very friendly or open social atmosphere here. The
college does have a few clubs, which I have not
looked into. Things may be better if you join a
club or sport. A significant portion of the students smoke
all across the campus.
The library is kind of
confusing, with some numbers seeming to just suddenly vanish from
the rows of shelves. The college does not do a
good job maintaining its facilities. All of the public computers
on campus are obsolete or plagued with probems. The computers
in the computer lab take 10 minutes to start up.
The scanners make a horrible screeching sound as they move
across the glass plate, which makes you feel kind of
awkward in a room full of people. Many of the
computers break down and are never fixed. In the mad
scramble for spots at a computer station after class, you
need to learn which ones work and which ones do
not. I would guess that maybe 1 out of every
10 computers on campus is broken, and has been broken
for the whole year. Furthermore, these computers are never removed
or identified as being broken, so the system is very
In most of the guy's bathrooms,the doors to the
stalls are installed backwards. This means that the only way
you can use the stall is to squeeze in between
the wall and the toilet and swing the door shut.
The only positive aspect of this is that these stalls
are not used as often, so they tend to be
cleaner if you are willing to squeeze in there.
line: From my experience, NOVA provides high-school level classes with
few opportunities for students. If you have to attend this
school to save money, try the honors option to make
the best of it. If you are an international student,
this college may meet your needs. NOVA is cheap, which
is a bonus since not all American universities offer financial
aid to international students. If English is your second language,
NOVA can provide an easier setting to adapt to learning
in American English. If you have to attend NOVA because
of grades, you can make the best of it and
transfer eventually. I would not recommend attending here in order
to save money if you have the financial means and
grades to attend somewhere else.