Female student working on laptop

Office of Distance Education

The Office of Distance Education provides a wealth of support for St. John’s faculty. Through workshops, consultations, and online resources, faculty members are offered a variety of ways to improve their online and hybrid courses, teaching skills, and pedagogical approach

Preparation to Teach Online Course Design Services Student Resources

Services and Resources

Student Typing on Laptop

Student Resources

St. John's offers the same services to our online students that are available to our on-campus students. Our services can be delivered via a variety of methods (email, phone, Skype, etc.) so you never have to come to campus.

Female faculty member with female student

Preparation to Teach Online

Faculty members need to be certified to teach hybrid and fully online asynchronous courses at St. John’s University. Hybrid courses substitute any classroom-based teaching with online learning activities.

Female Faculty member teaching in room with screen

Professional Development Opportunities

Structured faculty development opportunities include Online Teaching Essentials, a course designed to introduce online teaching; Advanced Online Teaching Strategies, which focuses on more complex course designs and pedagogies; and workshops for learning and improving specific skills. 

Male Faculty Member in front of white board

Course Design Services

The Office of Distance Education instructional design team meets with individual faculty or departments to help design effective and engaging online and hybrid courses. The instructional design team assists with course design, technology integration, and pedagogy, as well as provides tips and tricks for both experienced instructors and those new to teaching online. 

Female Professor teaching in front of whiteboard

Faculty Resources and Support

In order to support their teaching, St. John’s University and the Office of Distance Education have created and collected an array of resources faculty may use to enhance the design and improve the quality of their online course(s).

St. Augustine Hall

About ODE

The Office of Distance Education provides a wealth of support for St. John’s faculty. Through workshops, consultations, and online resources, faculty members are offered a variety of ways to improve their online and hybrid courses, teaching skills, and pedagogical approach.

Policies and Regulations


Distance learning includes any instruction that substitutes out-of-classroom teaching and learning for state mandated face-to-face teaching and learning.

Responsibility for Quality

The Provost is responsible for assuring the quality of all distance learning across the institution with assistance from the Interim Executive Director of Distance Education and the Vice and Associate Provosts. The Deans and department chairs are responsible for the quality of distance learning programs within their respective schools, colleges and departments.

Adequate Administrative Support

The Provost ensures that knowledgeable personnel administer distance-learning programs, with adequate time and resources to accomplish the task. This will be accomplished primarily through the Office of Distance Education and the offices of the Deans of schools and colleges and the chairs of departments.

Technology Plan

The institution will maintain a comprehensive, viable technology plan for distance learning. It will ensure that distance learning programs and related support services have appropriate technical support.

Faculty Qualifications and Development

The same faculty qualifications will be applied to distance education programs as to all other academic programs, but as in the past faculty members may not teach distance-learning courses unless approved by the Provost as appropriately prepared in distance learning pedagogy on advice of a faculty committee. The committee will develop, implement and maintain this process for preparing and approving faculty members to teach distance-learning courses and to sustain faculty professional development in online learning. The process will recognize that teaching in the distance learning environment requires student-centered pedagogical and communication strategies to function effectively, and that the faculty member and the institution share responsibility for assuring effectiveness.

Ownership of Course Materials

The institution will maintain a clear policy on ownership of course materials developed for its distance education courses; this policy will be shared with all faculty and staff involved in distance education at the institution. The current policy is that faculty members own course materials that they develop without substantial use of University resources. The University owns course materials developed with substantial use of University resources, and faculty members are entitled to royalties from University-owned courses on the same terms as patents. Faculty members may negotiate other terms with the University prior to developing course materials. A copy of this policy will be sent to each faculty member assigned to teach a distance-learning course and each staff member involved in developing distance learning materials.

Class Size

Class size is limited to 25 per taught by an unassisted faculty member to permit appropriate interactions between students and faculty members. A lower limit may be appropriate for some courses or programs. This policy will be reviewed annually for continued appropriateness as the University has more experience and technology and techniques improve.

Program Approval and Evaluation

The Provost will maintain a process for approving programs and monitoring and evaluating them on an annual basis. They will only be approved if they are of high quality and satisfy the following requirements. They will be evaluated annually to ensure that they continue to do so:

  1. The institution has committed sufficient resources to distance learning programs and related services to ensure their effectiveness.
  2. Distance learning courses and programs were developed and offered by the same academic units that offer face-to-face programs.
  3. The same academic standards and requirements apply to programs offered on campus and through distance learning and the same procedures also apply, except where specifically determined otherwise.
  4. Faculty members are responsible for the initial and ongoing development and delivery of instruction.
  5. Programs show evidence of careful planning, including identification of the need, the nature and size of the intended audiences, provisions for serving the audiences, and a plan for adding resources (financial and human, including instructional staffing and support functions) to accommodate future program growth ("scalability").
  6. Programs are coherent, complete, and offered in a sequence or configuration that allows timely completion of requirements.
  7. Programs have clear definitions of course and program outcomes. They produce the same learning outcomes as comparable classroom-based programs. These learning outcomes are clearly identified -- in terms of knowledge, skills, or credentials -- in course and program materials. All aspects of the program are consistent with and shaped to achieve the demonstrable learning outcomes. Distance learning programs result in learning outcomes appropriate to the rigor and breadth of the college degree or certificate awarded.
  8. Program design is informed by knowledge of content, instructional methods, outcomes, and technologies.
  9. The means chosen for assessing student learning are appropriate to the content, learning design, technologies, and characteristics of the learners.
  10. The technologies selected are appropriate for the intended learning outcomes, content, relevant characteristics of the learning and the learner, and student cost.
  11. Programs provide for appropriate and flexible interaction between faculty and students and among students.
  12. Programs include adequate verification of learners’ work.
  13. Program and course enrollment is appropriate for the content and learning activities, the nature of the learners, the technologies used, and the support available to faculty.
  14. The program provides students with detailed information on admissions and graduation requirements.
  15. Published materials clearly and accurately represent the program, including the nature of the learning experience, program and faculty responsibilities, and the nature of faculty-student, student-faculty, and student-student interaction opportunities, techniques, and requirements. They define any specific student background, knowledge, or technical skills needed to undertake and successfully complete the distance program, and describe in layman’s terms any technical equipment and software required or recommended. Programs provide clear statements of learner responsibilities and expectations of student participation and learning.
  16. Students receive adequate academic support, including academic advisement, technical support, and other student support services normally available on campus. Program materials clearly define how students obtain these support services.
  17. The program provides adequate library and information resources, services, and support for academic programs, including training in information literacy. These resources and services are accessible at a distance on a timely basis.
  18. Administrative processes such as admissions and registration are readily accessible to distance students, and program materials clearly describe how access is obtained.
  19. The program provides orientation opportunities and resources for distance learners that are appropriate to the technologies used, the content, and the learners.
  20. Evaluation results are being used for continuous program improvement.
  21. Student demand remains strong.

Approved by the Provost’s Council November 7, 2002.

St. John’s course ownership policy stipulates that faculty members own course materials unless St. John’s University provides substantial use of University resources for their creation; the faculty member is then entitled to any royalties resulting from licensing the course for use. St. John’s notifies a faculty member when the assistance that they request will be at this level.

Accredited Online Degrees

Since 1870, St. John’s University has educated over 140,000 students from all walks of life for rewarding personal and professional lives through our outstanding undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and registered with the New York State Education Department, St. John’s online degree and certificate programs enable adult learners to get a high-quality education in a flexible and convenient format.

For a complete listing of program-specific accreditations, please see below.

State Authorization

Federal regulations require that colleges and universities that participate in Title IV funding and offer degree programs through distance or online education to students in other states must seek approval from those states to offer such programs. St. John’s University is approved by The State of New York to participate in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA). NC-SARA is a voluntary, regional approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. As a participant in NC-SARA, St. John’s University is authorized to offer its online degree programs to residents of all other states that participate in NC-SARA. For additional information on NC-SARA and the list of states that participate, please visit their website at www.nc-sara.org.



As a provider of distance or online education, St. John’s University is also required by the United States Department of Education to provide all prospective and current out-of-state students with contact information for the appropriate agency in their home state that handles complaints against institutions offering distance learning within that state. Students are expected to first attempt to resolve any complaints directly with St. John's University through the established Student Complaint Process. The process also includes guidelines for appeal if a resolution to a complaint is not satisfactory. 


Regional Accreditation

Middle States Commission on Higher Education
3624 Market Street, 2nd Floor West, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Telephone: (267) 284–5000
E-mail: [email protected] Spanish: españ[email protected]

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York
Certified by the NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
Accredited by the AAALAC – Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International

Specialized Accreditation by School/College

St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Science

  • ALA—American Library Association
    M.S. Library and Information Science

The School of Education

  • TEAC—Teacher Education Accreditation Council
    All Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Preparation Programs

The Peter J. Tobin College of Business

  • AACSB International—Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business:
    Undergraduate & Graduate Programs
    Department of Accounting & Taxation (Separate Accreditation)

Chartered by the Regents of the University of the State of New York
Certified by the NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association
Accredited by the AAALAC – Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International