Distance learning coordinators work for colleges, universities, and other academic institutions that offer online education programs. They may also work in the education departments of large corporations and professional associations, where coordinators are needed to help develop and manage the company's distance learning programs and training sites. There are about 181,600 instructional coordinators, including distance learning coordinators, employed in the United States.
Aspiring distance learning coordinators can find jobs by reviewing listings posted on the Web sites of colleges, universities, and other academic institutions. Participation in professional associations for distance learning coordinators provides opportunities for networking with others in the field and learning more about career opportunities. The United States Distance Learning Association, for example, hosts chapter events and national conferences and forums for distance learning professionals.
Distance learning coordinators with four or more years of experience may advance to become senior coordinators. They will have increasingly demanding responsibilities, such as managing a larger staff and handling a greater number of projects. With years of management experience, they can move up to become head of the distance learning department, where they may be more involved in developing new distance education programs and overseeing more staff to implement these plans. Those who work full time for schools may leave their positions to start their own consultancies. Those who only have a bachelor's degree advance by furthering their education and getting a graduate degree.
Read publications about distance learning to keep up with news and developments in the field. You can find publications on professional associations' Web sites, such as http://www.aaace.org/page/ScholarlyJournals and https://learningforward.org/publications.
Get an internship or a part-time job in the distance learning department of a school or a corporation to learn more about the daily tasks involved in DL coordination.
Distance learning coordinators are well versed in various computer systems, so be sure to take computer classes in the software programs that are used in this field.
Conduct an information interview with a distance learning coordinator to find out the pros and cons of this type of work. Ask your school's career services office for help in finding a coordinator and setting up the interview.