Certified Online Learning Administrator (COLA)

The COLA program was a comprehensive professional development program that ran from 2011 through Summer 2018. It trained faculty, staff, and administrators who achieved a measurable level of knowledge related to online program support and administration.

The new certificate for leaders in online learning is the Master Online Leader and Administrator certificate.

Benefits of the Program

As colleges and universities build online learning programs, they often depend on staff members and academic professionals whose expertise and experience has not included significant distance learning roles. Individuals who complete the certificate program will understand the whole spectrum of factors that are involved in online learning program success.

Certificate Requirements

In order to earn the Certified Online Learning Administrator, a participant must successfully complete four core courses, one elective course, and the online learning administrator practicum. All core courses and the elective should be taken before beginning the Online Administration practicum

The core courses are:

  • AS – Administration Seminar (4 weeks)
  • QA – Quality Assurance and Accountability (8 weeks)
  • IS – Issues and Strategies in Faculty Training (8 weeks)
  • SS – Supporting Online Students (and supporting students online) (8 weeks)
  • The capstone course is:
  • AP – Online Administration Practicum (8 weeks)

Elective courses available at the present time include:

  • AO – Administration of Online Programs
  • AB – Advanced Blended/Hybrid Learning Design and Practice
  • BL – Blended –Hybrid Learning Design and Instruction
  • CR – Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues for Online Course Development
  • ID –  Instructional Design for Online Learning
  • SA – Student Assessment
  • GE – Global eLearning

The four core courses and the elective may be completed in any order, though we recommend taking the seminar early in your pursuit of the COLA. All five should be completed before beginning the Online Administration Practicum.

To earn the certificate, participants complete the required course work and demonstrate knowledge in the following areas related to online program administration:

  • Roles of faculty in online courses
  • Roles of students in online courses
  • Roles of institutional support professionals in online program success
  • Available technologies for delivering online courses
  • Faculty training models and processes
  • Evaluation of online courses and processes related to documentation of quality assurance processes

The Online Administration Practicum

The Practicum is the final course in the certificate program. Practicum participants continue exploring topics and domains of administration that are vital to the success of an online learning program.