Excellence in Online Teaching Program

Excellence in Online Teaching provides Penn State faculty with a pathway for ongoing professional development. Building on courses in our certificates and utilizing your online teaching experiences, the program creates a step-up approach to continuous learning.

There are three distinct levels: Essential, Exemplary, and Excellent. Completion of the first level steps you up into the second level, and so on. Like our certificate offerings, each step-up indicates a higher level of proficiency. Progression through the steps occurs with collaboration with your faculty adviser.


  • Foundations for Online Teaching Certificate
  • Evidence of effective teaching of two academic online courses
  • Professional Development Plan 1

 Exemplary (completion of Essential plus)

  • Two courses in Instructional Practice
  • Two courses in The Learner and Learning
  • Two courses in Professional Practice
  • Evidence of effective teaching of four academic online courses beyond “Essential” designation (total of six)
  • Professional Development Plan 2

Excellent (completion of Exemplary plus)

  • Three certificates
  • Evidence of effective teaching four academic online courses beyond “Exemplary” designation (total of ten)
  • Formal teaching evaluation
  • Professional Development Plan 3