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. Fairfax University of America IS STILL CERTIFIED TO OPERATE in Virginia by SCHEV.
  2. What is FXUA’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:
  3. Why did the university meet with SCHEV on March 18-19, 2019?
    In August 2018, the State Council of Higher Education (SCHEV) conducted a routine review of the university’s operations, 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.At the March 18-19, 2019, SCHEV met and approved the university’s audit report completed by SCHEV staff. The university actively worked with legal counsel to ensure compliance with all state laws and regulations. Prior to the March 18-19 meeting, the university submitted a response to the findings, and continued to work to address issues identified in their audit report. FXUA officials met with SCHEV staff in May 2019 in an informal fact-finding process (more details below!).
  4. What happened during the May 29th meeting with SCHEV staff?
    On Wednesday May 29th, FXUA representatives met with SCHEV officials in Richmond for the informal fact-finding meeting, following up on the earlier spring Council meeting. In this meeting, SCHEV officials, the university’s legal counsel, and FXUA officials discussed the overall findings and a path forward (more on that below)!Following the informal fact-finding meeting in May, SCHEV Staff and university Officials came to an agreement that was favorable for FXUA. This agreement recognizes the incredible work that our entire learning community put forth to address the findings in the audit, as well as to continue to elevate the quality of our education. The following summarizes the major portions of the agreement with SCHEV:

    1. The university will continue to ensure compliance with all SCHEV requirements;
    2. The university will hold its classes in a strictly face-to-face modality for a minimum of three years;
    3. SCHEV will conduct a follow-up audit of the university operations, with specific attention to those areas highlighted in the original audit report.

    Furthermore, SCHEV indicated a continued willingness to work with FXUA in the future to ensure compliance.

    We welcomed the decision continue our efforts and commitment to compliance with all accreditation, state, and federal guidelines.

  5. What happens now?
    FXUA had an on-site audit by SCHEV staff in January 2020. University officials are committed to working with SCHEV to demonstrate continuous improvement, and commit to providing transparency in the process as more information becomes available.
  6. What happened to the online programs?
    FXUA worked to assist its students who were studying in an online modality to transition to an on-campus option OR to transfer to another institution. As of December 2019, all distance education operations ceased.
  7. What is the university doing to ensure compliance?
    The university continues to improve its educational offerings and operations. As such, we took the August 2018 audit findings very seriously and have been working, and will continue to work to address them. Our strategies for addressing the findings have been multifaceted and comprehensive, and we recognize that this is a campus effort. We expect that our entire learning community will be involved in ensuring the quality of our education.We take the quality and integrity of our education very seriously. We continue 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.
  8. What is certification and why does the university need it?
    SCHEV requires that certain institutions operating in the Commonwealth be certified to operate in accordance with state laws. FXUA continues to maintain its certification to operate from SCHEV.
  9. Is FXUA accredited?
    YES! FXUA has been accredited through the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges & Schools (ACICS) since 2008 (
  10. What is accreditation and why does FXUA need it?
    Accreditation is a quality standard that institutions strive to provide to students to ensure that their degree is valuable. FXUA 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:

  11. How does the status with SCHEV affect my student visa status and/or OPT status?
    FXUA is currently certified to operate in Virginia by SCHEV, and is accredited by ACICS. As such, FXUA is actively issuing I-20s, and current students/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: questions regarding international students statuses (for example: OPT, I-20s, etc.) will need to be directed to the ISS Office (, as they are the only individuals who are qualified and able to answer your questions about your specific situations.
  12. Has the university’s name changed?
    Our institution has undergone significant positive transformations and maturation since 2018. In many ways, we are emerging into 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 grow it into something new.The Board of Trustees decided that on January 1, 2020, we will be changing the university’s name to Fairfax University of America (FXUA). Our new identity had to satisfy all of 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.
  13. I tried 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 Virginialists the university as “Fairfax University of America” on the Virginia Institutions under the Private and Out of State (POPE) institutions.
  14. I tried to find “Virginia International University” 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 will already reflect the new name on their pages. (See the preceding question for what to look for).
  15. 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. The current members of the board of Trustees are: Hisham Altalib, Ph.D. (CHAIR), Ahmed Alwani, Ph.D. (PRESIDENT OF FXUA), S. Al-Shaikh-Ali Anas, Ph.D. (TRUSTEE), Mohamed Bedi Ould Ahmed, Ph.D. (TRUSTEE), Gary Carlson, Ed.D. (TRUSTEE). More information on the Board of Trustees can be found here: 


U.S. Department of Education (n.d.). Accreditation in the United States. Retrieved from Department of Education (n.d.). Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs. Retrieved from 

Additional Resources

Recognized Accrediting Agencies: