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Instructor Certification 

As with all instruction at College of the Desert, we are striving to ensure that our distance education courses meet that same quality standard. In order to assist in this process, and in keeping with current state requirements, a formal certification process was approved by the Board of Trustees in February 2015. In the future, this training process will also allow us the opportunity to participate in the Online Education Initiative's course exchange. For more information, visit the OEI (Links to an external site.).  

The required certification process is outlined below in the Board of Trustee's Administrative Policy 4105.  

FACULTY TRAINING PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS 

New, or Continuing, Distance Education Instructors1  

Distance Education (D.E.) faculty must be certified to teach distance learning prior to being assigned a distance education course. New faculty hires may be scheduled with a one semester waiver but must complete the D.E. Instructor Certification within their first Fall or Spring term of employment. Certification is granted by satisfactorily completing an online certification program approved by the Academic Senate and offered through our Distance Education Senate sub-committee; online certification DE courses include the following topics:  

  1. Online Instruction & Course Design,  

  2. Accessibility,  

  3. D.E. at COD which includes a capstone course shell review assignment. 

Certification Waivers 

Faculty who have taken an equivalent course in Online Instruction and/or Accessibility within the past 5 years may be eligible to waive these course requirements. The D.E. at COD course cannot be waived. Faculty applying for a waiver must submit the following documents to the Distance Education and Instructional Design Coordinator: evidence of the completion of the coursework (certificate, transcript, etc.) and course descriptions including hours/units of coursework. Upon waiver approval, faculty should then complete the D.E. at COD course. 

Maintaining Certification 

In order to maintain DE certification, the faculty member shall demonstrate continued professional growth through the completion of 40 hours of DE requirements every five years. The faculty applying for re-certification will submit to the Distance Education and Instructional Design Coordinator a description with attached documentation of the completion of re-certification requirements on or before the 5th year following the initial certification date: 

  • Review and alignment of a current distance education course shell consistent with COD’s D.E. quality standards outlined by the Senate and implemented by the Distance Education sub-committee.

  • Additional hours can be satisfied by participating in activities such as, but not limited to, attendance at online teaching Flex presentations, workshops, professional meetings and seminars, conferences, and Distance Education Subcommittee membership.  

Failure to submit re-certification documentation before the 5-year deadline will result in decertification until the recertification has been completed. 

For additional information on Distance Education Instructor Certification, Waivers, or Recertification refer to College of the Desert’s Distance Education Sub-committee website and contact the Distance Educational and Instructional Design Coordinator or Educational Technology and Distance Education Senate Chair.  


  1. As of August 2017, over 60 COD instructors completed the DE Certification process. During the 2017-18 school year, the DE certification course will be offered at least once each semester. Faculty interesting in taking this course should contact the Distance Education and Instructional Design Coordinator. 

  2. The Orientation to Distance Education at COD is a self-paced course and faculty may enroll at any time by contacting the Distance Education and Instructional Design Coordinator. 


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