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Faculty Development Requirements for Online Teaching

The following options for faculty development for online teaching have been approved by the Distance and Extended Learning Steering Committee. These options are designed to meet SACSCOC and THECB requirements that faculty who teach distance education courses have appropriate training, as described in PPS 02.03.20: Maintenance and Improvement of Quality in Teaching.

Download the Texas State University Faculty Development Requirements for Online Teaching document for a complete explanation of all options.

TRACS Basic, which is available face-to-face or online through Instructional Technologies Support (ITS), is required for all Texas State faculty members who wish to teach online. In addition, any faculty member wishing to teach an online or hybrid course is required to complete at least one of the training options listed below before teaching an online or hybrid course at Texas State University. Course options that meet the necessary requirements are offered on campus through ITS, and additional options include courses offered through Quality Matters (QM) and the Online Learning Consortium (OLC; formerly Sloan-C). 

Note: If you already have an OLC teaching certificate, you are exempt from completing any of the training options listed, with the exception of TRACS Basic.

Faculty Development Options through ITS

The Office of Distance and Extended Learning and ITS jointly develop and implement a professional development program on the Texas State campus that is designed to meet the SACSCOC and THECB requirements. The following ITS courses are approved for online faculty at Texas State:

Names of professional development courses, prerequisites required for attendance, and duration of the course.

Course Prerequisite Duration
ITS Foundations of Online Course Design and Development (Instructors design and develop one online lesson and the course components required for that lesson) TRACS Basic 2-5 weeks (depending on semester)
ITS Advanced Online Course Design and Development (Instructors design and develop a fully online course, including all course components. Participation requires the department chair’s approval, including support for a course release funded by the Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs) TRACS Basic One semester—Fall or Spring

Additional Approved Options for Faculty Training

Names of professional development courses, prerequisites required for attendance, and duration of the course.

Course Prerequisite Duration
QM Designing Your Online Course* None 2 weeks
QM Designing Your Blended Course* None 2 weeks
QM Improving Your Online Course* An online course to improve 2 weeks
OLC Online Teaching Certificate Online teaching experience 10 weeks for foundation course plus 3 electives
OLC Advanced Teaching Certificate 3+ years teaching experience or OLC teaching certificate and 1-yr experience 3 week foundation course plus 4 live synchronous sessions

* As an alternative to the online course, Texas State may invite QM to provide a face-to-face session for 4 hours for up to 20 participants. There are no prerequisite requirements, and participant materials are provided by QM.

Self-Documentation Alternative

Instructors with prior training, extensive experience teaching online, and other qualifications may seek an alternative approach to meeting the professional development requirement by completing the Alternative Documentation of Faculty Development for Online Instruction.

Mac users: If you are using Safari, hold down the Option key as you click the above link to ensure that you are downloading the file to your computer rather than just viewing it on the Web. You will find the document in your Downloads folder.

To complete and submit this form, open it using a current version of Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Once you complete and sign the form, you may e-mail it, along with supporting documentation, to the Office of Distance and Extended Learning at For assistance digitally signing, please view the How to Digitally Sign PDFs video.

If you have any difficulty completing the Alternative Documentation form, contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning (512.245.2322) for assistance.

This process will take several hours to complete, and this documentation and attachments will then be evaluated by an instructional designer and distance learning administrator. Once the review process is complete, the instructor may be provided with a waiver of Texas State's requirement for a professional development program.