Certification of Faculty to Teach Distance Education Courses

Resolution Number
Assigned to
Online Education Committee
Professional Standards
Status Report

The task force submitted a survey to the field in fall 2013 to determine what the colleges are doing to prepare their faculty to teach in the online environment.  The survey results were reviewed and reported to the body as part of the “Hot Topics in Distance Education” breakout session at the Spring 2014 Plenary Session.  Best practices in faculty preparation to teach online courses as identified in the literature were also reviewed by the task force and reported to the body as part of the same breakout.  The article Preparing Faculty to Teach Online was published in the February 2015 Rostrum.

Whereas, Federal and state regulations, as well as accreditation standards, require that colleges ensure that distance education (DE) course offerings meet the same standards of instructional quality as on-site courses;

Whereas, Distance education pedagogical methods differ significantly from on-site instructional pedagogy, and as a result, effective, quality DE instruction requires faculty with relevant skills and training in distance education delivery and pedagogy to promote student success in this modality;

Whereas, In its paper Ensuring the Appropriate Use of Educational Technology: An Update for Local Academic Senates (Spring 2008), the Academic Senate states that colleges could “consider possible use of board-approved local minimum qualifications” that include technology skills but does not address the possible inclusion in local minimum qualifications of certification in DE pedagogical methods; and

Whereas, Title 5 §55208(a) requires that faculty assigned to distance education sections meet the same discipline minimum qualifications as on-site faculty, in accordance with Title 5 §53410, but is silent on qualifications beyond the required preparation to teach in a given discipline, such as qualifications to teach in the distance education modality;

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges survey colleges to determine what local requirements exist for certification of faculty to teach in the distance education modality and communicate those results to the body by Spring 2014.