Pathway to the Baccalaureate is a consortium of ten educational institutions in Northern Virginia — K-12 public school systems, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and George Mason University – who have joined forces to provide a seamless web of support to selected students as they pursue a four-year college degree, beginning with the transition from high school, through NOVA, to Mason or other universities.

If accepted into the program during his or her senior year of high school, a Pathway student will be supported by counselors based in the high schools initially and at then at the NOVA campuses upon graduation from high school. These counselors provide information pertaining to academic advising and course registration, financial aid, and transferring to four-year institutions. There is one advisor based at Mason to assist students who intend to transfer to Mason with the application process and getting acclimated to the university.

There are roughly 800 students at Mason who are involved in the Pathway program.

For additional information about the Pathway to the Baccalaureate program, visit the main website and student blog.

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 Differences Between Pathway at NOVA and Pathway at Mason

There are a number of differences between how the Pathway program functions at Mason compared to the experience at NOVA. With at least two years of college completed by the time students transfer to Mason, we expect students to be more independent and take greater ownership of their education. Examples of some of the differences are listed below.

Pathway at NOVA
Pathway at Mason
  • Pathway advisors are the primary resource for academic advising, course registration, financial aid information, and any other issues.
  • You have multiple advisors at Mason. Your academic advisor will be specific to your major and can assist with specific questions pertaining to your program and future plans. Your financial aid counselor is the only person who has access to your financial aid information. The Pathway advisor can assist you with the transfer process and connect you to other resources at Mason.
  • Pathway students are required to meet with a Pathway advisor each semester.
  • You are not required to meet with any advisor; however, we highly recommend that you meet with your academic advisor in your major once a semester to ensure correct course registration and support in planning for your future.
  • Pathway students are required to submit Mid-Semester Progress Reports.
  • There are no Mid-Semester Progress Reports due, but there is still value in meeting with your professors to talk about your performance prior to the selective withdrawal deadline.
  • Pathway students are required to complete community service hours.
  • Community service is not required, but we encourage you to get involved on campus