- What is “accreditation”?
Accreditation provides a set of quality standards that institutions strive to meet to ensure that the degrees granted by the institution are of high quality and valid. 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:
- Assess the quality of academic programs at institutions of higher education
- Create a culture of continuous improvement of academic quality at colleges and universities and stimulate a general raising of standards among educational institutions
- Involve faculty and staff comprehensively in institutional evaluation and planning
- 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
There are two types of accreditation: institutional and programmatic accreditation. Institutional accreditation covers the scope of the entire institution and all of its programs, while programmatic accreditation governs a single program or programs, usually in specific content area domains (English language programs, business programs, etc.). FXUA’s institutional accreditor is ACICS.
- Is FXUA accredited?
YES! FXUA has been accredited through the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS) since 2008 (https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/institution-profile/192378).
- What is SCHEV?
In addition to institutional accreditation, FXUA is required to have recognition by a relevant state regulatory body. In Virginia, this organization is “SCHEV,” which stands for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. This State Council grants certificates of operation to institutions of higher education in Virginia.
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. Fairfax University of America is certified to operate in Virginia by SCHEV.
More information on SCHEV can be found here: http://www.schev.edu/index/agency-info/agency-overview.
- What does accreditation mean for me?
In addition to representing quality standards, accreditation also allows FXUA to be recognized by the United States Department of Education.
- How does accreditation affect my student visa status and/or OPT status?
FXUA is currently certified to operate in Virginia by SCHEV, is accredited by ACICS, and is recognized by the US Department of Education. As such, FXUA is actively able to issue I-20s, and current students or students on OPT are able to maintain their status provided that they continue to meet the eligibility requirements (see the International Student Services Office for details: https://www.fxua.edu/student-life/iss-office/).
All questions regarding international students statuses (for example: OPT, I-20s, etc.) will need to be directed to the ISS Office (firstname.lastname@example.org), as they are the only individuals who are qualified and able to answer questions about specific situations.
- Has the university’s name changed?
Our institution has undergone significant positive transformations and maturation since 2018. In many ways, we are in a new and exciting phase in the university’s history. While we want to preserve the legacy of our past, it was equally as important to continue to develop it into something new.
The Board of Trustees decided that on January 1, 2020, we would change the university’s name to Fairfax University of America (FXUA). Our new identity had to satisfy the existing expectations of what our original mark stood for, while simultaneously moving the university forward to acknowledge the maturity, accessibility, and excellence reflected in our mission. More information on the name change can be found here.
Regardless of when a student completed their program, when requesting a duplicate of a diploma or for new transcripts to be produced, the university’s new name is reflected. All degrees/transcripts awarded under the legacy name are honored as graduates/former students of FXUA.
- I want to find “Fairfax University of America” on the relevant regulatory agencies, and I am not sure what to look for.
Our institution has formally changed its name to “Fairfax University of America”. As a result, most relevant regulatory agencies already reflect the new name on their pages.
- If you are searching for our institution on the ACICS website, you will find us under “Fairfax University of America.” Our institutional identification with ACICS is 00023099.
- If you search for our institution on the Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs, you will find us under “Fairfax University of America.” Our institutional identification with the Department of Education is 04144000.
- The State Council of Higher Education of Virginia lists the university as “Fairfax University of America” on the Virginia Institutions under the Private and Out of State (POPE) institutions.
- What can I do if I need proof of FXUA’s accreditation status?
In addition to finding the content on official venues above, you can also provide a copy of this letter: https://www.fxua.edu/docs/academic/FXUA_accreditation_092020.pdf.
- Who are the members of the Board of Trustees?
The Board of Trustees acts as an active policy-making body for the institution and is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the institution are adequate to provide a sound educational program. The Board of Trustees appoints executive officers who serve the university, carrying out the business and financial operations of the institution.
More information on the Board of Trustees can be found here: https://www.fxua.edu/our-university/about-fxua/board-of-trustees/.
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
- State Council of Higher Education of Virginia: http://www.schev.edu/
- Accreditation in the United States: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/index.html?src=more
- Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs: https://ope.ed.gov/dapip/#/home
- Recognized Accrediting Agencies: https://www2.ed.gov/admins/finaid/accred/accreditation_pg5.html#NationallyRecognized