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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What does SCHEV stand for?
    “SCHEV” stands for State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. This State Council grants certificates of operation to institutions of higher education in Virginia. VIU IS STILL CERTIFIED TO OPERATE in Virginia by SCHEV.
  2. What is VIU’s relationship to SCHEV?
    Certain private or out-of-state postsecondary institutions of higher education offering degrees or certificates in the Commonwealth of Virginia are required to be certified to operate by SCHEV.
    More information on SCHEV can be found here: http://www.schev.edu/index/agency-info/agency-overview.
  3. Why did VIU meet with SCHEV on March 18-19, 2019?
    In August 2018, the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) conducted a routine review of VIU, as occurs with other similar institutions in the Commonwealth on a periodic basis. Following new SCHEV procedures, the March 18-19, 2019 meeting discussed the audit report and its findings with the wider Council.
  4. What happened during SCHEV meeting?
    At the March 18-19, 2019, SCHEV met and approved VIU’s audit report completed by SCHEV staff. The approval of the audit findings then initiated a formal process whereby SCHEV will work with VIU to ensure compliance with all state regulations.
  5. How did SCHEV meeting affect VIU?
    At present, there is no formal action pending against VIU. VIU is working with legal counsel to ensure compliance with all state laws and regulations. Prior to the March 18-19 meeting, VIU submitted a response to the findings, and will continue to work with SCHEV to address issues identified in their audit report. THIS PROCESS WILL NOT AFFECT THE ONGOING OPERATIONS OF THE UNIVERSITY.
  6. What is VIU doing to ensure compliance?
    VIU continues to strive to improve its educational offerings and operations. As such, we take the audit findings very seriously and have been working, and will continue to work to address them. Our strategies for addressing the findings are multifaceted and comprehensive, and we recognize that this is a campus effort, and we expect that our entire learning community will be involved in ensuring the quality of our education. At VIU, we take the quality and integrity of our education very seriously. We have already begun our efforts to address the areas for improvement that SCHEV has highlighted; we are confident in our success, and we look forward to the growth and advancement that the process will engender.
  7. What is certification and why does VIU need it?
    SCHEV requires that certain institutions operating in the Commonwealth be certified to operate in accordance with state laws. VIU continues to maintain its certification to operate from SCHEV.
  8. Is VIU accredited?
    YES! VIU is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS).
  9. What is accreditation and why does VIU need it?
    Accreditation is a quality standard that institutions strive to provide to students to ensure that their degree is valuable. VIU needs accreditation in order to be transparent and show that the education that students receive at our university is of a certain caliber. According to the US Department of Education (n.d,  a), accreditation’s goal is to “ensure that education provided by institutions and/or programs of higher education meets acceptable levels of quality. Accrediting agencies, which are private educational associations of regional or national scope, develop evaluation criteria and conduct peer evaluations to assess whether or not those criteria are met. Institutions and/or programs that request an agency’s evaluation and that meet an agency’s criteria are then ‘accredited’ by that agency.” According to the U.S. Department of Education (n.d., b), accreditation in the United States serves to do the following:

    1. Assess the quality of academic programs at institutions of higher education
    2. Create a culture of continuous improvement of academic quality at colleges and universities and stimulate a general raising of standards among educational institutions
    3. Involve faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning
    4. Establish criteria for professional certification and licensure and for upgrading courses offering such preparation

    The US Department of Education includes a useful overview of accreditation and recognized accreditors here: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html?src=more

  10. How does accreditation affect my degree?
    All degrees that have been awarded will continue to be valid and honored. A degree status is based on the recognition of the accrediting agency at the time that the degree was awarded.

References

U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Accreditation in the United States. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg2.html.

U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. Retrieved from https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home

Additional Resources

Recognized Accrediting Agencies: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg5.html#NationallyRecognized

If you still have questions, please send them to qa@viu.edu. In case you would like to send us your comments/suggestions, please fill out the suggestion form.