Education Commission of the States • 700 Broadway, Suite 810 • Denver, CO 80203-3442 • 303.299.3600 • Fax: 303.296.8332 •
Virtual High Schools: Must All Teachers in the Virtual Program Receive Appropriate Training for Online Teaching?

Virtual high schools require that instructors teach in an environment that is different from a traditional "brick and mortar" classroom. As such, some states require that the instructors have appropriate training to teach in this new forum.

Why does it matter? Students benefit when teachers understand how to be successful in this very different environment.


  • Twenty-two states require teachers to have completed appropriate training for teaching online.
  • Georgia requires teachers to have a specific online teaching endorsement.
  • Five states do not require training for online teaching.
  • No information was available to answer this question in one state.
  • Alabama requires elementary/secondary teachers to have training for teaching online but allows faculty at postsecondary institutions to teach online without state certification.

    Methodology: This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations, and state education agencies, and will be updated as new policies and programs are enacted.

    Sources for all data points are available through this link.

    Last updated: December 3, 2007

    Research conducted by Melodye Bush and Michael Colasanti. Please contact Melodye Bush (303.299.3631 or with comments or questions about this database.
  • Must all teachers in the virtual program receive appropriate training for online teaching?
    Alabama Yes
    American Samoa
    Arizona Yes
    Arkansas Yes
    California Yes
    Colorado Yes
    District of Columbia
    Florida Yes
    Georgia Yes
    Hawaii Yes
    Idaho Yes
    Illinois Yes
    Iowa Yes. Teachers who have never taught "at a distance" must participate in staff development opportunities provided through the state's Area Education Agencies.
    Kentucky Yes
    Louisiana Yes
    Maryland Yes
    Michigan Yes
    Mississippi Yes
    Missouri Yes
    New Hampshire
    New Jersey
    New Mexico No
    New York
    North Carolina Yes
    North Dakota No information available
    Oregon Yes
    Puerto Rico
    Rhode Island
    South Carolina Yes, all online teachers must receive appropriate pre-service and in-service training pertaining to organization, classroom management, technical aspects, monitoring of student assessment, and other pertinent training from the department of education.
    South Dakota No
    Texas Yes, all teachers must successfully complete a professional development course for online teaching.
    Utah No
    Virgin Islands
    Virginia No
    West Virginia No
    Wisconsin Yes

    © 2013 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education.
    To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please fax a request to the attention of the ECS Communications Department, 303.296.8332 or e-mail
    Helping State Leaders Shape Education Policy