What is the Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning?

The Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning (OTL) is for professionals in business, government, education, or other settings who want to develop their knowledge and skills in online teaching and learning.

OTL utilizes technology-based environments to actively engage students in designing formal educational projects that meet professional objectives. The five core courses (3-credits each) are sequences to provide an intense immersion in a dynamic online environment and culminates in an online teaching practicum.

Prime candidates for the OTL program are individuals with a need to explore online teaching and learning techniques and the willingness to engage in collaborative learning projects.

OTL courses can be taken as electives by students who do not wish to complete the certificate program.

Current NMSU graduate students can take the OTLGC program. However, the decision about if and how OTL courses factor into a degree plan, or not, is decided by the department issuing the graduate degree. It’s highly recommended you meet with your graduate advisor before you start the OTL program. You will either have to complete the OTLGC before or during the same semester you complete your graduate degree. If you start the OTLGC during your graduate degree program you cannot complete the OTLGC after completing your graduate degree. If you start the OTL program after completing your graduate degree, there isn’t a conflict.

Quality Matters

Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally-recognized peer review process that certifies the quality of online and blended course design. Seven of the OTL course have gone through the QM peer review process and are recognized as meeting QM standards. The five OTL core courses EDLT 560, 575, 580*, 590, & 592, as well as EDLT 581* and EDLT 579, are all Quality Matters Recognized Courses.

*EDLT 581 can be substituted for EDLT 580.

What benefits does the OTL program offer?

Benefits from earning a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning include:

  • Proficiency in fostering online learning communities,
  • Skill in online teaching,
  • Knowledge of successful assessment and evaluation strategies,
  • Associations from a network of committed professionals,
  • Keeping current with emerging technologies and OTL strategies,
  • A foundation of theoretical and practical information, and
  • Expanded career opportunities.
  • Gainful Employment Information


This program is now also being offered as an emphasis in the College of Education’s Master of Arts in Education. See Master of Arts in Education with a Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching and Learning for more information.

What is required to complete the OTL program*?

Once admitted into the program, you must:

  • Complete all five courses with a B or higher.
  • Maintain a 3.0 GPA.

*If you are in a graduate program, all OTLGC courses must be taken during your program of study.

Financial Aid and Gainful Employment

The Online Teaching and Learning Graduate Certificate Program is a Title IV eligible program since it can lead to gainful employment. Students in the program qualify for financial aid.


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