NORTHERN VIRGINIA CAREER PATHWAYS FOR REFUGEES

Virginia Career Works – Northern Region’s five (5) Career Centers offer employment and training assistance that can benefit immigrant newcomers to start professional careers in Northern Virginia.

All visa statuses welcome, including asylum-seekers, asylees, Special Immigrant Visa, and humanitarian parole.

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Apply to these Quick-Hire-Survival-Jobs open to newcomers and English Language Learners

  • Leesburg VA – Loudoun Workforce Resource Center offers beginner computer classes on How to Use a Computer, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel
  • Arlington VA – Resource Center for a Better Life offers Computer Literacy classes
  • Virtually and Alexandria VA – Computer CORE offers online and in-person classes on Microsoft Office 365 (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook), Google Docs, Computer Basics, Buying a Computer, Email Ettiquette, and Intro IT Classes.

A degree evaluation is a review of your degree, school, and/or transcript by an Accredited company to assess whether your high school or university degree is the equivalent to the same degree in the United States.

Notice: Degree evaluation is NOT always helpful or necessary. Not all degrees need to be evaluated. Degree evaluation costs a fee, and it is not always worth your money. If you plan only to list the degree evaluation on your resume, it may not be necessary. Many companies will not be compelled to hire or not hire based on a degree evaluation.

We recommend pursuing degree evaluation in any of the following circumstances: 

  • If a company requires a validated or evaluated degree in order to hire you. For example, Fairfax County Public Schools requires a degree evaluation of a High School Diploma to ensure you meet the minimum requirements of jobs in that organization.
  • If you are receiving questions or confusion from companies about what your degree qualifies you to do, or if they have never heard of your type of program.
  • If your degree is in a specialist field. In the United States, specialist fields such as medicine and law require additional specialized degrees. If you have a partially or fully completed degree in medicine, law, or accounting, receiving a “course-by-course” or “transcript level” degree evaluation at the will ensure companies understand how much of the specialized tranining you have completed in comparison to the United States training. A good way to know if your field is a specialized field is: Do people in the United States need a special license to do the job?
  • If you are entering a degree program in the United States. To apply for admission or assess if your prior courses can be applied to a degree in the United States, “course by course” or “course level” transcript evaluation can be used. If the credits match the types of classes required for your U.S. degree, you do not need to take that class in the United States.Colleges have a limit to the number of credits you can transfer, but some schools allow you to transfer up to 2/3 of your courses, if they are equivalent to the courses in the US degree.  Universities may require the degree evaluation as part of the admission process, but if they do not, you will want to specifically request one in order to transfer courses to save you time. Please note: Colleges require degree evaluations to be sent directly to their school from the degree evaluation company, so you will need to provide the school information to the degree evaluation company at the time of the request.
  • If you are seeking licensure in the United States. If you are pursuing professional license to practice a particular occupation in the United States, such as Certified Public Accountant or Society for Human Resources Professionals (SHRM) it is helpful to submit a degree or transcript evaluation directly to the licensing Board to demonstrate your qualifications. You can research the “State Board” for your profession to learn more about licensure.

ARE YOU ALREADY ENROLLED IN A VIRGINIA CAREER WORKS OR DEPT OF SOCIAL SERVICES PROGRAM?

Candidates already enrolled in Case Management programs through Virginia Career Works Northern and the Department of Social Services may be able to receive degree evaluation free. Please contact the following people:

  • WIOA Participants: Contact your case manager to connect with Asmaa Abida
  • SNAP Participants: Contact your SNAP benefits worker to enroll in SNAPET, and ask for a degree evaluation from Lucy Alias
  • SNAPET Participants: Contact your case manager to connect with Lucy Alias
  • VIEW Participants: Contact your case manager to connect with Karina Kiswani
  • ESLA, Talent Up, ELEVATE, or SCSEP Participants: Contact your program to connect to Eliza Chappell

HOW TO RECEIVE A DEGREE EVALUATION ON YOUR OWN:

If you are not in a case management program, you can pursue a company and pay the fee yourself.

OPTION 1: IF YOU CAN CONTACT YOUR UNIVERSITY:
Typical degree evaluations require the evaluation company to receive the degree or transcript directly from the University. You can find reputable degree evaluation companies through the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

OPTION 2: IF YOU CANNOT CONTACT YOUR UNIVERSITY.
For individuals from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela it may not be possible to communicate with the University due to political circumstances or war. These programs may be able to help you:

Free Degree Evaluation: 

Pay Yourself: Refugee-Friendly Degree Evaluation Organizations
The following companies may accept originals from you directly or may accept a photocopy of your degree and/or transcript. Please contact the organizations directly to confirm their process if you only have copies:

CASE MANAGEMENT SERVICES

Do you need an Employment Case Manager to assist you with finding employment or training certification classes? The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Employment and Training Programs assist eligible candidates with certification training, career counseling, internships, and supports.

Man and woman posing for memory photograph in Old Town of Bratislava

WIOA Employment Case Management:

  • Career assessment and advice on career pathways that are recommended
  • Funding for certification training for professional careers
  • Employment plan including Virginia Career Works job search classes
  • Monthly check-ins with a Case Manager

Participants must enroll in the WIOA Programs to receive case management – See steps below to apply. 

A WIOA Information Session is available online every Friday at 10:00am and 2:00pm

Does this sound like you?

  • You are ready to work immediately, or within the next 2 months
  • You speak English sufficiently to understand training lectures and communicate with companies without an interpreter
  • You are willing to complete an application and submit documents about your work authorization and income
  • You are willing to complete a career assessment
  • You are willing to communicate with an employment case manager at least monthly, and follow up for a year after you get a job
  • You see job descriptions you are applying for that are asking for certifications you do not have, even though you have experience

If you have questions about if WIOA is right for you:

Contact Eliza Chappell
Northern Virginia Career Pathways for Refugees
eliza.chappell@vcwnorthern.com
(703) 689 – 1717

Didn’t Find Your Answer?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you find the answers to your questions!