Meet The Team

SCHEV's Private Postsecondary Education (PPE) unit is responsible for designing measures to ensure that all certified postsecondary schools meet minimum academic and administrative standards, and the rights of all students attending those schools are protected. PPE staff work to foster and improve the educational programs and services of these schools, while protecting the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia from fraudulent or substandard operations.

Sandra Freeman

PPE Director

Sandra joined SCHEV in 2006 and served in various roles in the office of Private Postsecondary Education (PPE), which protects students and consumers through the oversight of Virginia’s private postsecondary educational institutions.

She accepted her current position as PPE’s Director in 2021. In this role, her responsibilities include state authorization for more than 300 private degree-granting and vocational schools, planning and coordinating the operational functions of the PPE unit, and developing policies, practices and regulations relating to private postsecondary education.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Leadership from Bluefield College and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Tech.

Richard Cole

Compliance Specialist

Rich came to SCHEV in 2016 with more than 25 years of service in higher education administration dedicated to student services and policy evaluation, development and compliance.  At SCHEV he certified new schools and academic programs before overseeing the student complaint process for postsecondary institutions in Virginia. Rich earned his Master of Science in Education at the University of Miami (FL).

Ryan Hannifin

Associate for Academic Quality and Student Protections

Ryan came to SCHEV in 2024 from the Tandem Friends School, where he served as the Assistant Director of College Counseling. For 10 years, he held various positions at Virginia Commonwealth University, including admissions counselor, transfer counselor, and undergraduate recruitment manager. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications and a Master of Public Administration, both from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Beth Ann Howard

Associate for Academic Quality and Student Protections

Beth Ann came to SCHEV in 2024 from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she worked as Education Coordinator. Her duties in that position included providing administrative academic support to students and teaching faculty. Beth Ann previously worked at the University of Richmond, School of Professional and Continuing Studies as a Program Manager and Interim Graduate Advisor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies and a Master of Liberal Arts, both from the University of Richmond.

Kathleen Kincheloe

Certification Specialist

Kathleen first joined SCHEV in 2005 as the Assistant Director of Communications. In her current role as part of the PPE team, Kathleen’s responsibilities include overseeing the annual recertification process for the more than 200 certified schools in Virginia, coordinating the closure of certified institutions and managing special projects. Kathleen has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from College of Charleston and a Master of Education from the College of William and Mary.

Monica Lewis

Fiscal Specialist

The longest-serving member of the PPE team, Monica came to SCHEV in 2005 as a Budget Analyst. In her current role as Fiscal Specialist, she is the team’s go-to person for any fiscal needs from budgeting to sureties to financial statements for school recertification. Monica is also responsible for religious exemptions and the Student Tuition Guaranty Fund. She holds a master's degree in Accounting and Business Administration.

Stephanie Shelton

Administrative Assistant

Stephanie joined the PPE team in 2021 after more than 20 years working at Capital One. Her many responsibilities include processing transcripts for closed schools, issuing agent permits to representatives of out-of-state institution, and assisting with new school orientation. Stephanie also responds to PPE’s numerous constituent inquiries. She studied Business Administration at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.

Alfonso Wells

Compliance Investigator

Art began his work as a PPE compliance investigator in 2015, bringing nearly 30 years of law enforcement experience with him. As a former senior law enforcement investigator and manager, he applies his skills as a decision maker, interviewer, and fact-finder, as well as his experience as an administrator and behavior analyst, to his work conducting audits of SCHEV certified schools.