Multi-factor authentication – student use required by March 1, 2022

Dear Students,
Multi-factor authentication (or MFA for short) is a technique used in IT that requires a user to present at least two different factors that proves their identity. One factor we are all familiar with is the use of a username and password. However, having only this layer of security could leave an account vulnerable if the password was stolen. With MFA in place, even if a user’s password is compromised, another form of user verification would be required before account access is granted. This second layer of cyber defense can go a long way in preventing unauthorized access to a user’s account. With this in mind, MFA has become widely adopted by multiple industries including online banking, healthcare, and even the gaming industry where Fortnite users have now secured their Epic accounts with MFA. 
To improve your network and data security, beginning on March 1, 2022 all NOVA students will be required to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) to access Canvas, SIS and other critical MyNOVA tools. To be clear, this requirement is for every student enrolled in a NOVA course regardless of format or location (online, Zoom, face-to-face, dual enrollment*, contract, workforce, non-credit, etc.).
*For all dual enrollment students completing a course through their high school: an exclusive form of MFA for dual enrollment (DE) students was deployed across Virginia on Friday. This unique form of MFA is required by DE students. Early next week, DE students will receive unique directions on how to enroll in MFA from NOVA’s Office of Dual Enrollment or from your local high school administrator. For DE students only, please do NOT use the instructions below.  
For all students other than NOVA’s DE students, Information on MyNOVA MFA can be found at
As you review the information found in the above link, you will notice that both options require use of a cell phone. If you do not have a mobile phone or smart phone that can receive text messages, please contact us at
We care about your security and also about your ability to continue in your courses without disruption, so please enroll in NOVA’s MFA program as soon as possible. This will help you address any challenges related to the activation of MFA before the deadline arrives. As you work through this process, please feel free to contact the IT Help Desk if you have any questions or need support through the process. They can be reached at 703-426-4141 or at
I wish you all the best in your continued studies at NOVA. 
Best regards,
Chad Knights, Ph.D.
Vice President, IET and College Computing
Northern Virginia Community College
Regional Center for Workforce Education and Training (WRC)
2675 College Drive, Suite 111, Woodbridge, VA 22191 
703.323.3020 |