San Mateo County Community College District Launches Massive Professional Development Program to Prepare Professors for Online InstructionMore than 1,000 professors, counselors and staff to be trained this summer

The San Mateo County Community College District is providing summer professional development to 1,000 instructors, counselors, and student support staff at Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. The 25-hour training program involves technical training, mentoring and peer support to enhance online education across the community college district.   

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing most Bay Area colleges to remain in online, distance education, or hybrid formats, the training will help to enhance the quality of the learning experience this fall.

The scope of the training program is massive, providing professional development for 650 college faculty and hundreds of counselors, staff, and administrators. The training program is supported by more than $1.4 million in Federal CARES Act Funding, as well as District funds.

“This is a sweeping program to support our faculty in providing the very best online education possible,” said Michael Claire, Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District. “I am so proud of the way our faculty, staff, and students made the sudden adjustment to online learning when the virus struck this winter. We are committed to working with our faculty to offer best-practice online courses and keep our students on track throughout this pandemic.”   

The new training program, called Quality Online Teaching & Learning (QOTL), provides foundational instruction in five key areas:

  1. Use of technology for teaching online
  2. Digital literacy
  3. Best practices for online communication
  4. Educational equity in online courses
  5. Student readiness through support resources

The 25-hour training program is led by highly experienced online teachers from the District’s own rank of faculty. These facilitators guide class cohorts through a set of standards that have been established by the state Online Education Initiative and a rubric for online courses developed by the Peralta Community College District.

The District is also involved in a large professional development program for San Mateo County schoolteachers. SMCCCD’s Community, Continuing, and Corporate Education division partnered with the San Mateo County Office of Education to design a summer series of two-week workshops designed to help teachers teach online. The program will prepare about 350 teachers this summer. See more at the Office of Education website.