Recruit and Retain: The Future of Education

States with Online Teaching Endorsements

Virtual education has been in K-12 settings for a lot of years, and some states have endorsements that teacher can add to their licenses. These credentials are voluntary; the purpose is to demonstrate a high level of competency. Teachers can teach virtual courses on the strength of their base credential.

Teachers typically earn their online endorsement by completing certification programs. States may set standards for endorsement programs and then defer to state-approved programs to ensure that candidates have met their standards. Some states have a practicum requirement. Some allow for endorsement through alternative pathways.

Online Teaching Endorsement Georgia

Georgia has offered an online teaching endorsement since 2006. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission approves programs that meet standards set in state rule. Programs may be included in initial teacher preparation programs or offered to individuals who have already met requirements. Some Georgia programs are offered outside traditional academic institutions. They may, for example, be offered through a state's Regional Educational Service Agency (RESAs). Endorsements are added to an existing base credential.

Online Teaching Endorsement Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania offers an online instruction endorsement for grades K – 12. The credential is not mandatory for working in online settings. The state wrote standards for online endorsement programs in 2014 and revisited them recently. Standards are based on the standards of International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).

Competencies fall into four general categories:

  • Design and Development
  • Delivery
  • Assessment
  • Professional Responsibilities and Emerging Trends

All Pennsylvania programs are offered at the post-baccalaureate level; a student must hold a bachelor’s degree or a Pennsylvania instructional certificate at at least Level I at the time of program entrance. Programs must be three courses/ 12 credits and include a capstone experience. Advisors and students together secure the fieldwork placement. The experience could be tailored to the professional’s own goals.

Pennsylvania schools submit recommendations for endorsement to the Department of Education. Candidates must also submit applications.

Online Teaching Endorsement South Carolina

South Carolina offers an online teaching endorsement that can be added to an existing certification ( It is valid in the area of the base certification (for example, elementary teaching). The endorsement is normally granted on the basis of completion of an educational program that meets specific curricular requirements. However, waivers can be granted to teachers who have taught three online courses through accredited institutions or professional development programs within the prior three years.

South Carolina educational programs are 12 units. Teachers must have courses in two required content areas: effective online teaching and utilization of online learning management systems. The other courses are drawn from a list of approved electives. Students must earn grades of at least C.

Online Teaching Endorsement Idaho

Idaho offers an online teacher endorsement. Endorsement holders take 20 semester hours of coursework or demonstrate competency equivalent to 20 semester hours; the state allows candidates to demonstrate equivalency through submitted artifacts. Students must earn at least a 3.0 in required courses. Additionally, they must have experience as online learners.

Online teachers demonstrate proficiency in ten standards:

  • Knowledge of online learning
  • Human development and learning
  • Classroom management and motivation
  • Instructional planning
  • Instructional strategies
  • Modifying for individual learners
  • Assessment
  • Communication skills, community building, and networking
  • Partnerships
  • Professional responsibility

Most proficiencies include several performance standards that are tailored to an online setting. Among the performance competencies for human development and learning is creating learning challenges (group and individual, synchronous and asynchronous, digital communities). Among the performance standards for knowledge of online learning is demonstrating application of communication technologies; examples include learning management systems and desktop conferencing.

The individual will need to take an eight-week practicum unless he or she has a year of recent experience teaching in an online school; qualifying experience is at the PreK-12 level.

Online Teaching Endorsement Vermont

Vermont has an online teaching specialist endorsement. The endorsement can be added to a PK-12 certificate; the base credential must be at least Level 1. The content area and grade level will depend on the teacher’s preparation. In order to earn the endorsement, the candidate must meet state-identified knowledge and content standards. He or she must also complete a practicum in online teaching. The individual will have the equivalent of at least half a minor in online instruction. (According to Vermont licensing rules, the teacher will need the equivalent of a minor. However, up to half the courses may be in the applicable content area.)

Knowledge standards include principles of online learning, assessment design, and accommodation for special needs, among other concepts.

The following are among the performance standards:

  • Using the content management system for personalized learning
  • Adapting curriculum to meet needs of diverse online learners
  • Organizing materials and instruction for both standards-based and individualized learning
  • Modeling safe and ethical online behaviors
  • Creating and implementing varied assessments to demonstrate learning

Vermont schools provide recommendations for endorsement.

The Future of Endorsement Programs

The educational community may see more states offering online teaching endorsements in the future. There may also be changes to existing ones. Pennsylvania’s program standards were revised in 2020.

Georgia’s online teaching program standards were the subject of a case study review (