Personal Information

Advisement Assistance

Professor Lechelt is available for advisement meetings.  To schedule an appointment, contact him at jlechelt@nvcc.edu. Prior to meeting with Professor Lechelt, students MUST fill out a Program Advisement Sheet and print out a copy of their Degree Progress Report or Unofficial Transcript.  See below for more information, under "Meeting the Requirements of Your Major."
Please note that Professor Lechelt cannot meet for advisement during the LAST WEEK OF CLASSES and during EXAM WEEK and is available for only a few very brief advisement meetings during the week prior to the last week of classes; lots of grading and administrative work to complete during that point of the semester.  


A Career in Political Science

The American Political Science Association (APSA) has a number of resources for those interested in pursuing careers with political science degrees. Check out their website HERE.

There are a variety of career sectors for political science graduates:
  • Business.
  • Public Administration, Public Affairs, and International Affairs.
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).
  • Academic Research and Training.
  • Journalism.
Careers in political science are out there!  In fact, the opportunities for a career in political science are improving.  Furthermore, the skills a student acquires with a strong political science knowledge base are useful outside of politics.  
Consider the "job outlook" for political science as described in the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook:
Employment of political scientists is projected to grow faster than average, reflecting the growing importance of public policy and research. Demand for political science research is growing because of increasing interest in politics, foreign affairs, and public policy, including social and environmental policy issues, healthcare, and immigration. Political scientists will use their knowledge of political institutions to further the interests of nonprofit, political lobbying, and social and civic organizations. Job growth also may be driven by the budget constraints of public resources. As a growing population exerts excess demand on certain public services, political scientists will be needed to analyze the effects and efficiencies of those services, as well as to offer solutions.
Here is more information on political science career prospects from the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook.
And here is information on political science from the US Department of Labor's O-Net System.

Meeting the Requirements of Your Major

It's important to make sure the classes you take help you meet the requirements of your major.  If the classes you are taking are not meeting degree requirements, then consider a different major.  It's never too late to get the college degree you want.  

Program Advisement Sheets are particularly useful tools for students to help them keep track of their progress and to make sure that potential course selections help a student work towards graduating.  It's a great tool to have on hand when registering for courses.  Here is the website where students can find all Program Advisement Sheets for all NOVA degrees.  The sheets are listed alphabetically.  
(Political Science [PLS] is under "P," which can more directly be accessed HERE.)
Students MUST print and complete a Program Advisement Sheet before meeting with me.
As an adviser, I am usually assigned students who are seeking the following three degrees, and the links below connect you to the specific Program Advising Sheets for those degrees:
Check out the sheets to see what requirements are expected of students seeking those degrees.  Important differences regarding languages and math are listed. 

More information on the above mentioned curriculum programs of study can be found in the College Catalog HERE.  

Unofficial Transcript: This is the unofficial record of your progress at NOVA.  How are credits applied to your degree requirements?  How have transfer credits been applied?  What do you need to graduate?  All the answers are here!  Students must view and print their unofficial transcript prior to meeting with me for advisement.  Here's the How-To on accessing your Unofficial Transcript. 

Political Science Courses.  Here's a list of all the Political Science (PLS) courses that NOVA offers (also posted on the right side of this page).  Each listing has a detailed description of what the course covers.  Other unique courses can be offered and usually have the "PLS 295" categorization. 
To see which courses are offered during any particular semester, go to the Schedule of Classes search engine.

CLEP Tests: A useful way to knock out some credits at a lower cost is to "CLEP out" of classes.  CLEP tests are 90 minute exams that costs less than $100.  The credits go toward your degree.  This route should only be considered if you have a strong understanding of the topic and study thoroughly before the exam.  If you take the exam and do not pass, then you still need to take the course, and you threw away almost $100.  It is most important to keep in mind that some universities do not accept CLEP credit, like UVA; in those situations, the CLEP credit will help you get your NOVA degree, but that credit will not help you with your four year college.  Be sure to investigate if the college you hope to transfer to takes CLEP credit.
Here is additional information on taking a CLEP test at NOVA-AL: Click HERE.
Here is information from the organization that runs CLEP tests: Click HERE.

Transferring to Four Year Colleges and Universities

NOVA has a helpful transfer resource website: NOVA Transfer Site.  The site has a step-by-step checklist to ensure a smooth transfer process.
Here's a list of Transfer Guides provided by many of the colleges NOVA students want to transfer to.
Please let me stress this point: the Transfer Guides site by NOVA is a FANTASTIC place to get an overview of what each college in the area is looking for from students transferring from NOVA.  
Most NOVA students transfer to George Mason University.  Here is their transfer information.

NOVA has "articulation agreements" with many colleges that NOVA students are often interested in transferring to.  Some colleges may allow for automatic acceptance if students graduate with their associate's degrees, with certain qualifications (like an appropriate GPA, for example):  Here's a list of all the "guaranteed admissions agreements" NOVA has with other colleges, and what those agreements entail.  

US News and World Report ranks colleges and universities based on a wide array of measures.  

Some information regarding local colleges and universities

Note on abbreviations:
GAA = Guaranteed Admission Agreement; an agreement between NOVA and the College that guarantees NOVA students admission if they meet certain requirements.
VCCS = Virginia Community College System (NOVA is one of almost 2 dozen of the state's community colleges in the System).
PLS = Political Science.
                

George Mason University
, Fairfax, VA.
George Mason University has a great website that lists how every NOVA course counts towards GMU credit: The GMU Transfer Credit Search Engine.
For more information on transferring to George Mason University, contact the GMU Transfer Center; Phone: 703-993-9152.
A few important points from the GMU Guaranteed Admission Agreement with NOVA:
The minimum cumulative NOVA GPA increases to 2.85 effective fall 2012 and to a 3.0 effective fall 2013. 
Students are strongly encouraged to apply for fall admission to Mason; students who apply for spring admission will be considered on a space available basis.
Also, only A, B, and C grades transfer; NOT D and F grades.
Please read the Guaranteed Admission Agreement HERE, as there are other details you need to be aware of prior to applying.  In particular, note the comment about electronically submitting a "Letter of Intent."
Transfer application due dates are:
Spring - full time Oct 1 / part time Dec 1
Fall - Mar 1
Two majors of interest:
BA in Government and International Politics.
BS in Public Administration.
Global Affairs Program

Humanities and Social Sciences (which includes political science, international affairs, justice studies, public policy and administration, etc.).
You can find other program NOVA-JMU Equivalents here.
Transferring from VCCS colleges (NOVA is a VCCS college).
The JMU Student Checklist for earning a guaranteed admission through the JMU-NOVA GAA:
Sign a Letter of Intent with a community college counselor in the semester during which you will complete the associate degree.
Maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA and adhere to specific requirements as outlined in the GAA.
Earn an approved associate degree (click here for a list) from one of the community colleges with which JMU has a GAA.
Apply to JMU - you must complete the on line application to complete the process.
Be sure to go to the JMU site and follow application guidelines precisely. 

University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA.
Department of Political Science and International Affairs.
Political Science Major information from the UMW Catalog.
General Transfer Application Information.
Transfer Credit Guide for NOVA Political Science Courses (How Political Science credits taken at NOVA apply at UMW).
Transfer Credit Guide for ALL courses.
Guaranteed Admission Agreement b/w UMW and the VCCS:
To be guaranteed admission to UMW, students must complete the requirements to become GAA students (graduation from a transfer-oriented degree program at a Virginia community college with a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 or higher on a four-point scale with intent to transfer to Mary Washington) and submit an official transcript showing completion of the associate degree to UMW Admissions Office. In addition, GAA students must have earned a grade of “C” or higher in each community college course applicable to the transfer-oriented associate degree program.
See website for more on the GAA.

Marymount University, Arlington, VA.
Department of History and Politics.
Politics BA and Minor program.
Transfer information.
Articulation Agreement between Marymount and NOVA.

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA.
Department of Political Science and Geography.
International Studies Program.
Transfer information for VCCS transfer students: See Political Science and International Studies Program Sheets.

Guaranteed Admission Agreement between NOVA (and all VCCS colleges) and VCU states that all NOVA graduates with 2.5 GPAs are guaranteed admission into VCU.  See agreement for more details HERE.

Guaranteed Admission Agreement between NOVA and UVA: 3.4 or better GPA (and other important qualifications - so it's REALLY important to read the NOVA-UVA GAA form HERE).

"Each year, the admissions committee evaluates approximately 1700 applications for transfer. Typically, a cumulative B+ average or higher is recommended for consideration for admission."
Undergraduate Admissions
202-885-6000
Fax: 202-885-1025
admissions@american.edu
Transfer Credit Guidelines.
Comments