Jun 16, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalogue 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalogue Archived Catalogue

Online Teaching and Learning, Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

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Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Daisyane Barreto

This Graduate Certificate program in Online Teaching and Learning (OT&L) will meet the needs of K-12 educators, higher education faculty, instructional design specialists, chief learning officers and other professionals and individuals who wish to design, develop, implement, manage and evaluate online learning environments. The certificate program serves individuals who do not wish to earn a Master or Science degree, but wish to expand their knowledge and skills in teaching online courses and managing online learning environments. The certificate program incorporates the conceptual framework which is common to all teacher education programs at UNCW: The Watson College of Education develops highly competent professionals to serve in educational leadership roles. This certificate program in offered in both face to face and synchronously online delivery methods. 

Certificate Program Objectives

The certificate program in Online Teaching and Learning seeks to develop creative professionals who have:

  1. Developed knowledge and skills of designing, developing, implementing, managing and evaluating online learning environments.
  2. Developed conceptual and practical understanding of principles of instructional design and effective online teaching.
  3. Demonstrated application of research-based, pedagogically effective learning strategies, appropriate organization of content, level of student engagement, differentiated learning, higher order thinking skills, and appropriate instructor-student and student-student interaction in the design of online learning environments.
  4. Demonstrated skills in integrating instructional design principles and procedures with multimedia technologies and course management tools to develop highly engaging and interactive online learning environments.
  5. Developed skills of planning, designing and incorporating strategies to encourage active learning, interaction, participation and collaboration in the online environment.
  6. Developed knowledge of legal, ethical, safe and healthy behavior related to technology use.
  7. Developed knowledge and skills of designing, developing, delivering and evaluating online learning environments that are accessible for individuals with disabilities and are responsive to learners’ diversity and cultural differences.
  8. Demonstrated competencies in creating and implementing assessments in online learning environments in ways that assure validity and reliability of instruments and procedures.
  9. Demonstrated competencies in using data and findings from assessments and otter data sources to modify instructional methods and content and to guide student learning in online learning environments.
  10. Demonstrated administrative skills in planning, launching, maintaining and coordinating distance education programs.


Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the graduate certificate in online teaching must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university in this country, or its equivalent in a foreign institution based on a four-year program, and have a strong overall academic record with a “B” average or better in the basic courses required in the area of the proposed certificate program.

To apply for admission to the graduate Certificate in Online Teaching program you must submit the following:

  1. An application for admission to the graduate school;
  2. Official transcripts of all prior university or college coursework (undergraduate and graduate);
  3. Three recommendations by individuals in professionally relevant fields; and
  4. A professional resume and personal statement describing reasons for pursuing the Certificate in Online Teaching.
  5. International students: TOEFL minimum scores of 79 on the Internet-based exam or 550 on the paper-based exam. TOEFL scores are good for two years from the date the test is administered.
  6. Application and supplemental documents must be submitted by the published deadline.

Applicants who will apply for Special Endorsement in Online Teaching and Learning must currently have (or be eligible for) a NC teaching license. Students may transfer up to 10 semester hours as a non-degree student at UNCW toward this certificate program. Individuals who fall below one of these criteria may be admitted if other factors indicate potential for success. The courses in this certificate program are all project-based with individual and team collaboration. There is close mentoring from faculty in the hands on design of online courses. These factors help in the successful completion of the program.


Students entering the certificate program must demonstrate basic technology skills. Students entering the program with very little or no computing experience will be required to take EDN 303 or pass the performance competencies test for basic technology skills.

Policies Governing Certificate Admission Criteria and Subsequent Admission to Graduate Degree Programs

The certificate admission criteria and policies governing the relation of certificates to graduate degree programs include the following:

  1. Non-degree UNCW graduate students who wish to pursue the certificate program must apply for admission to the program before 10 approved credit hours are completed.
  2. No transfer credit from another institution will be counted toward the completion of the certificate program with the exception of courses offered as part of an agreement between the certificate program and regionally accredited institutions.
  3. A certificate graduate student may register on either a part-time or a full-time basis.

Important Information

The intention for establishing this proposed graduate certificate program has been discussed with North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), Division of Instructional Technology. Although an official endorsement has not been established for the K-12 educators yet, NCDPI has expressed its interest and support for the program and for considering Online Teaching and Learning endorsement for K-12 educators who will take the challenge of teaching online courses in their schools.

Until NCDPI officially establishes special endorsement for K-12 teachers who complete the certificate program, the licensed teachers who fulfill requirements of the program will receive an Online Teaching and Learning professional certificate similar to other candidates from higher education, health and other government agencies and business industries. By completing this certificate program, the licensed teachers and other candidates have required competencies for teaching online courses and managing online programs. 

Certificate Requirements (18 credit hours)

The program leading to the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in online teaching and learning provides professional training for individuals who wish to develop or expand their knowledge and skills in teaching online courses and managing online learning environments. 

Core Courses (6 credit hours required)

Focus Area Courses (6 credit hours required)

Approved Focus Area Courses (Choose two from the following- 6 credit hours required)

Important Note

Please note that credits for courses taken in the Certificate program are part of the approved coursework of the Master in Science of Instructional Technology (MIT) program. Individuals who wish to enter into the M.S. in Instructional Technology graduate program must apply to the Graduate School as degree-seeking students before the completion of 10 credit hours.

MIT courses are offered both on campus and online, allowing professionals to earn their degrees and/or certificates by taking MIT on-campus courses, or MIT online courses, or a combination of both types.

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