State Council of Higher Education for Virginia

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New School Certification

A person, firm, association, postsecondary school, trust, or other entity must obtain a Certificate to Operate from SCHEV in order to offer or confer degrees, diplomas, and certificates, enroll students or to use the term “college” or “university” in connection with its academic affairs or business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. To apply for a Certificate to Operate, one must:

  1. Attend a New School Orientation Session
  2. Submit a complete certification application package with all required documents.
  3. Submit all required fees.
  4. Undergo a site visit at the Virginia location from which instruction will be offered or the administrative functions of the school will take place.

The school owner or representative MUST attend a New School Orientation session before submitting an application for certification. One session is scheduled each month (see sidebar for session dates). Please complete the New School Orientation form below and return it with a nonrefundable fee of $150 per participant. Certification applications received from persons not attending the New School Orientation will be returned.

Upon the receipt and examination of the certification application and the completion of a successful site visit, SCHEV staff will submit the school’s application to Council, at its next scheduled meeting, for consideration. A representative from the school is invited to attend the Council meeting to discuss any concerns that may arise. The school will be notified of Council’s action in writing. If the application is accepted, a Certificate to Operate will be generated.

NOTE:  The school may not advertise, recruit students, accept any fees or tuition monies, or hold classes until it has received its Certificate to Operate from SCHEV.

Schedule & General Information for New School Orientation

Scroll up to the top right side for the New School Orientation Schedule. Participation in an orientation session is the first step and an important part of the application process for entities seeking certification to operate a postsecondary institution in Virginia. Each institution is required to have one participant (preferably a compliance officer or the person responsible for preparing the certification application) attend the orientation. At the institution’s discretion, an observer may accompany the participant to the orientation. Please note that the observers will not be able to actively participate in discussions nor the question and answer segment of the training. However, all observers are required to pay a non-refundable fee of $150 to attend.  All sessions will be held at 101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm.  If you have any questions, contact Sandra Freeman at 804-225-3862.

Registration Form

The non-refundable fee and registration form are due no later than two (2) weeks in advance of the scheduled session. Please submit your registration as soon as possible, seating is limited and done on a first-come, first-served basis. Meeting the two week submission deadline will not always guarantee a spot at the orientation session, should that be the case, you will be notified accordingly and your registration will be rescheduled. 

Registration Fee

There is a non-refundable fee of $150 per participant and observer (CASH AND PERSONAL CHECKS NOT ACCEPTED) to attend the orientation session. Your fee must accompany your registration form.

Email Confirmation & Parking Information

A courtesy reminder email will be sent out ten days prior to the scheduled session. You will not receive any other notices upon receipt of your registration form. If you provided your vehicle identification information to us, a parking permit will be mailed to you a week in advance of the scheduled session.


In the event of an emergency, you may cancel your registration or another school representative may attend in your place. You must notify us three (3) business days prior to the scheduled session.

All sessions will be held in the SCHEV 9th Floor Conference Room, 101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA. If you have any questions, contact Sandra Freeman at 804-225-3862.

Forms for new school certification.

Orientation Schedule

All sessions will be held in the SCHEV 9th floor conference room starting at 1:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please contact Sandra Freeman at 804-225-3862.

2018 Schedule
Tues. January 23   
Tues. March 6   
Tues. April 17   
Tues. May 29   
Tues. July 10   
Tues. August 21   
Tues. October 2   
Tues. November 13   
Tues. December 18   

2018 Orientation Schedule Memo 2018 Orientation Schedule Memo

Orientation Form PDF formatOrientation Registration Form

© 2017 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
101 N. 14th Street, 10th Floor  |  James Monroe Building   |  Richmond, VA 23219

If you wish to receive this content in an accessible format per Section 508 of the federal Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. ? 794 (d), please call 804-225-2600.