Open a School in Virginia

In order to enroll students or confer a degrees or certificates, an entity must obtain certification to operate in Virginia from SCHEV.

Participation in a New School Orientation session is the first step in the Business people in a conference roomapplication process for entities seeking certification to operate a postsecondary school in Virginia. Sessions are scheduled every six weeks.

To register for an orientation session, please visit our Event Registration page. From there, users will be able to register for upcoming events and pay the orientation fee of $150 per participant. This is a nonrefundable fee. 

Certification applications received from persons not attending the New School Orientation will be returned.

NOTE:  A 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.

Who Should Attend New School Orientation?

Any proprietary or non-profit entity maintaining a physical presence in Virginia that provides education or training in exchange for tuition or a fee is required to have one participant attend New School Orientation.

Each attendee, such as the president, school owner, compliance officer or senior administrator, must pay a non-refundable fee to attend a New School Orientation session.

At the school's discretion, an observer may accompany the participant to the session. All observers are also required to pay a non-refundable fee of $150. 

Schedule & General Information for New School Orientation

View the New School Orientation schedule at right. Participants must choose between morning orientation sessions for individuals hoping to open a vocational school, or afternoon sessions designed for those who intend to open a degree-granting institution in the Commonwealth. The school owner or representative MUST attend a New School Orientation session and be certified to operate a school before providing postsecondary instruction in Virginia. 

If you have any questions, contact Jacqueline Noggins at


Participants must register and pay the fee no later than one month in advance of the scheduled in-person sessions. If attending an online session due to COVID-19, attendees must register one week before the scheduled session. Please register as soon as possible; seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Registration Fee

There is a non-refundable fee of $150 per participant and observer to attend the orientation session. You will pay at the time of registration. Credit card payments are accepted.


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 in-person sessions will be held in the SCHEV 9th Floor Conference Room, 101 N. 14th Street, 9th Floor, James Monroe Building, Richmond, VA, 23219.