University description (as per official university website)
Begun in 1964, Northern Virginia Community College offers a quality and convenient educational experience at an affordable price. NOVA is the largest educational institution in Virginia and the second-largest community college in the United States, comprising of more than 78,000 students and 2,600 faculty and staff members. NOVA is also one of the most internationally diverse colleges in the United States, with a student body consisting of individuals from more than 180 countries.
Located near Washington, D.C., the College includes campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge; along with educational centers in Reston and Arlington. NOVA is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers more than 160 degrees at the associate's level and certificate programs. We also offer distance learning programs through our Extended Learning Institute and continuing education courses through Workforce Development.
The history of Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) details the background of an institution dedicated to providing students of all ages, schedules and goals with a solid education at an affordable price.
Northern Virginia Community College was established in 1964 under the name Northern Virginia Technical College. In the fall of 1965, the College opened with 761 students in a single building in Bailey's Crossroads under President Robert W. McKee. To accommodate an ever-growing student body, the college purchased 78 acres in Annandale in 1966 to create the first of six permanent campus sites. That same year, the College was renamed Northern Virginia Community College when the Statewide General Assembly changed the name of the technical college system to the Virginia Community College System (VCCS).
In 1967, NOVA opened the new building on the Annandale campus and continued to expand with the purchase of 100 acres for new campus sites in Sterling, Manassas and Woodbridge, Virginia. This air of growth and change continued with the introduction of Dr. Richard J. Ernst as president in the fall of 1968 and the purchase of an additional campus site in Alexandria in 1969.
Expanding the goal to serve students of all types, NOVA opened the Extended Learning Institute in 1975 to accommodate individuals who wanted an education but could not accommodate a traditional program into their schedule. On the heels of the start of Dr. Belle S. Wheelan as president in 1998, Northern Virginia Community College purchased a site that would become the Medical Campus in 2000 and opened educational centers in Arlington and Reston, Virginia.
Today, under the guidance of Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., NOVA offers more than 160 associate degree and certificate programs to 78,000 students from 150 countries.