Alumna Damian Jenkins founds NOVA, an online academy for middle and high schoolers

Monday, February 1, 2021
screencap NOVA website homepage

Damian Jenkins (Education, Ph.D., ’10) has founded the National Online Virtual Academy (NOVA). NOVA is an online academy currently serving middle-school-aged students with an interactive and community-focused curriculum. The school addresses the needs of students individually and uses teaching models that mimic everyday life. At present, NOVA only offers classes for middle schoolers, but in the future, high school classes will be offered as well as summer classes.

Online schools have existed for years, but in recent months the struggles of teaching and learning from home have become all too apparent in the US and around the world. NOVA is offering a new approach. “My team and I used the learning model derived from my dissertation model,” Jenkins said.  That dissertation was an ethnographic study of how one doctoral student learned to think and act as an empirical social science researcher of multi-lingual classrooms in the context of a public graduate school of education.

“We also have an ongoing research group that works to build on and contribute to the research base that I started at UCSB with Dr. Judith Green and the Santa Barbara Classroom Discourse Group.” She plans to continue her relationship with UCSB in the future and to support ongoing research at the GGSE, which was integral to NOVA’s development. “I was supported by Dr. Judith Green, Dr. Carol Dixon, Dr. Richard Durán, Dr. Jason Raley, and Dr. Charles Bazerman,” Jenkins said.

Damian Jenkins currently is also an assistant professor of education at Pepperdine University. She is available for interviews and encourages any inquiries () about her research and NOVA.