spot the dalmatianSPOT, Mt. SAC's Certification for Online Teaching!

SPOT, or Skills and Pedagogy for Online Teaching is the certification process for Mt. SAC faculty who wish to teach courses online. Faculty members develop the skills and pedagogy needed for effective online teaching , and demonstrate their knowledge through the completion of tasks in the certification process.

Why complete SPOT?

SPOT certification is a requirement for all Mt. SAC instructors who wish to teach Distance Learning (online or hybrid) courses.

You may be entitled to a stipend!  Once your name is on the list of SPOT certified faculty, then POD and HR work together to process the stipend.

  • If you are a full-time professor, Tamra Horton will contact you to see if you wish to apply the hours to the PGI stipend or take the SPOT stipend.
  • If you previously earned $250 for the FOMAR stipend, then you are eligible to earn $250 for the SPOT stipend.
  • Processing of SPOT stipends may take 1-2 months after earning SPOT certification. If you do not see the stipend within 2 pay periods, please follow up with Emily Woolery ( 

About SPOT

  • SPOT is an online course that teaches you how to use best practices in teaching distance education courses.
  • SPOT is self-paced. The start date and time to complete the course is up to you. You earn 40 hours of Professional Growth Increment (PGI) when completing SPOT if your position qualifies to earn PGI credit.
  • SPOT training is conducted entirely within Canvas but SPOT does not teach you how to use Canvas. If you first need to learn  how to use Canvas, consider using our resources to help you learn Canvas before you begin SPOT.
  • To begin SPOT, you must have and use a Mt. SAC email account.
To Register for SPOT:SPOT Course Card
  • Fill out the SPOT Registration Form (Please only complete this form once). Note: This form is also available within the SPOT course card in POD Connect.  
  • You should receive getting-started instructions within 72 hours (not counting weekends).  If not, please contact Sandra Weatherilt (
Your enrollment in SPOT will include three elements:
  1. You will be enrolled as a student in the  course "Skills & Pedagogy for Online Teaching (SPOT)"  - where you will read and submit all tasks.
  2. You will be enrolled as an instructor in your own personal Canvas course with "SPOT" in the title. This course shell is where you will create tasks and communicate with your SPOT verifier during the SPOT course.
  3. A SPOT Faculty Verifier will be assigned to you for the duration of the SPOT process.
To Complete the SPOT course:
  • You will create an orientation module and four content modules of a hypothetical online course, using the best practices for online teaching presented in the SPOT course.
  • You will perform a self-check of your SPOT course using the SPOT rubric which is based on the California Virtual Campus (CVC) Course Design Rubric.  The CVC is a leader in creating and assessing online pedagogy in California community colleges.
  • You will make any changes in your course to bring it into compliance with the SPOT rubric, complete the rubric, and submit it, indicating your course is ready for review.
  • Your course will be reviewed by a SPOT Faculty Reviewer using the SPOT rubric.  Course changes may be required in order to bring the course into compliance with the rubric in order to earn SPOT certification.
  • When you have earned your SPOT certification, your division will be notified that you are now able to teach online.  They can verify this online at the distance learning faculty list.
Alternatives to SPOT

Faculty can meet Mt. SAC’s SPOT requirement by completing/earning any one of the following external training certifications/badges: 

Before deciding to complete one of the above @ONE courses/certifications in lieu of SPOT, check to make sure that the course is being offered, that there are seats available in the course, and that it will finish in time for you to be scheduled to teach online in your department.  Check with your department/division for this date. 

For more information, visit the SPOT Equivalency webpage and look for XSPOT Process.

What If I am Certified to Teach Online at Another California Community College?

The SPOT Equivalency (SPEQ) process allows faculty who have completed online training at approved California community colleges to submit their courses for a quick equivalency review.  Faculty are then approved to teach online at Mt. SAC.  For more information, check out the SPOT Equivalency (SPEQ) page

If you have more questions about the SPOT process, the additional requirements to teach an online or hybrid course at Mt. SAC, or other questions related to Distance Learning, feel free to contact the assistant Distance Learning faculty coordinator:

Name Phone Office Email
Catherine McKee   (909) 274-6112  6-262C

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