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POPE New School Information Recertification for schools Students Resources Frequently Asked Questions Publications home POPE Home

The Private and Out-of-State Postsecondary Education (POPE) unit of the Academic Affairs division of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia is responsible for the certification of private and out-of-state postsecondary educational institutions operating in Virginia.  The POPE unit certifies and regulates 82 degree-granting institutions and 108 career-technical schools.  These private universities, colleges, career colleges and vocational schools provide educational instruction to approximately 52,000 citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia on a full-time or part-time basis annually.

Policy on Out-of-State Distance Education Policy on Out of State Distance Education

Guidance for Institutions Providing Instruction Through Distance Education. Institutional Guidance for Distance Learning


To provide the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia access to reliable and valuable alternative higher educational opportunities and vocational training options by ensuring legal operations, ethical practices and quality education in the private postsecondary sector.


POPE School Summit Materials

Institutions certified to operate in Virginia

Closed Institutions

Closed Vocational Institutions

POPE Staff

Sylvia Rosa-Casanova
Director, Private and Out-of-State Postsecondary Education

Richard Cole
Certification Specialist

Joseph Crook
Lead Certification Specialist

Devin Gillespie
Adminstrative Assistant

Sandra Freeman
Office Coordinator

Monica Lewis
Fiscal Specialist

Tosha Robinson
Certification Specialist

Charlotte (Carly) Shields
Compliance Specialist

Alfonso Wells
Compliance Investigator

Susan Yale
Compliance Specialist