Plymouth State University & Virtual High School Partner to Offer Graduate Certificate in Online Teaching & Learning

October 9th, 2007 by Adam

October 10, 2007, Plymouth, NH & Maynard, MA – Plymouth State University’s College of Graduate Studies , and Virtual High School Global Consortium, the pioneer of online learning for high school students and online course design for teachers, today announced a strategic partnership. This alliance is aimed at imparting K-12 teachers with 21st century teaching skills, preparing them to create and instruct an online course.

Starting immediately, the two organizations are offering a 5-course graduate certificate program for teachers focused on online teaching and learning. This is the first time Plymouth State University (PSU) is offering an online-focused teaching program. Through the partnership, VHS will instruct and administer the courses online with PSU providing the credit.

“This program is different from others because for more than 10 years, our core focus has been on transforming traditional teachers into online teachers, something that resulted in unmatched expertise,” said Liz Pape, President & CEO of VHS. “In addition, regular sharing of ideas amongst our community of online teachers ensures that both new and veteran teachers remain on the cutting-edge of online learning.”

Ideal for teachers who have limited experience or skills integrating technology into their classroom, the program consists of the following five online courses. Upon completion, the student is awarded 15 credits and a graduate certificate.

  • 21st Century Teaching & Learning – Explores the technology literacy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills needed for effective 21st century teaching and learning.
  • Web-enhanced Classroom – Prepares face-to-face teacher to incorporate online resources into their classroom instruction.
  • Online-extended Teaching – Prepares teachers to promote active independent learning experiences for students by joining the best features of in-class teaching with the best features of online learning.
  • Web 2.0: Collaborative Construction – Prepares teachers to use the tools of Web 2.0 to generate new and exciting learning experiences for students of all abilities and learning styles.
  • Becoming an Online Teacher – Give participants the opportunity to experience online teaching by partnering with a VHS online master teacher in an established middle or high school course.

For teachers who cannot take all five courses, three credits per course can be earned. With the exception of Becoming an Online Teacher, all of the courses began on August 15, 2007 and will be offered again starting on October 24, 2007 and every few months after that.

“Plymouth State University is pleased to continue our longstanding collaboration with VHS,” said Dr. Dennise Maslakowski, Associate Vice President for the College of Graduate Studies. “The development of the graduate certificate program in online teaching and learning demonstrates Plymouth State University’s and Virtual High School’s shared commitment in preparing educators to integrate new technologies into the classroom and the curriculum.”

VHS is a non-profit collaborative consisting of schools, teachers and students. The organization partners with school districts to provide 240 core, Advanced Placement (AP) and elective NetCourses, allowing schools to expand curriculum offerings with courses they otherwise would not be able to offer. Each course is taught by a highly qualified and certified teacher at VHS member schools. These teachers first complete VHS’s rigorous graduate-level online professional development program, which teaches how to transform all of the elements of an face to face course into an online course and engage and foster collaboration between students. They then deliver award-winning online asynchronous VHS courses while continuing to teach at their schools. While the course teacher may be located in a particular state or country, the 25 students in the course can represent many different states and countries. As a result, VHS’s virtual courses help students develop 21st century skills by fostering online collaboration with students from all over the globe.

For more information, visit

About Virtual High School Global Consortium (VHS)
Virtual High School Global Consortium is the pioneer of online course design and instruction for teachers and online education for high school students. VHS partners with schools to provide rigorous, student-centered online courses that help expand vs. replace existing curriculum options. Members of the VHS collaborative include over 9,000 enrolled students per year, 370 active member schools and 235 teachers in 30 states and 23 countries. The recipient of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) 2005 and 2007 awards for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices and the Stockholm Challenge 2001 Award for exemplary use of technology in education, VHS was founded in 1996 and is headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts. For more information, visit or call (978) 897-1900.

VHS Press Contact: Carol Arnold, Arnold Communications,, (877) 718-4604 x2.