About Us

With over 15 years of providing nationally recognized, outstanding distance learning opportunities to both students and teachers, the Center for Distance and Online Learning (CDOL), a unit within the Division of Curriculum and Instructional Services (CIS) at the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), created TeachStar Online Academy (TOA). The Academy delivers media rich, interactive online professional development courses for K-12 teachers.

These online courses provide teachers with:

  • Access to mentor teachers through interactive, moderated courses
  • Anytime, anywhere instruction and learning
  • Access to a wide range of resources
  • Multimedia enhanced content
  • Opportunity to earn Graduate and CEU credits, and professional development hours

The Academy’s courses take place in a multimedia online environment combining text, video, animated instructional activities, links to resources, and peer interaction in a community of learners.

The Academy

Innovative Courses

Courses guide teachers through sustained professional development content anytime, anywhere. Led by certified teachers (TeachStar 500 Series), courses build understanding of research-based theory and effective teaching strategies. Throughout each course week, teachers discuss course concepts and online resources with peers, encouraging collegial sharing in learning communities.

Academic Integrity and Relevance

Skilled K-12 educators in mathematics, language arts and reading create the Academy’s curriculum. Faculty hold Master’s or Doctoral degrees and have taught in Los Angeles County classrooms.


The instructor-led online courses feature multimedia lessons, standards-based professional development, extensive Web-based instructional resources, lessons delivered online, an orientation module, weekly lessons and activities and instructional materials for the classroom. Instructors are content experts, trained and certified by the Center for Distance and Online Learning.


Most courses include video, audio, animated instructional activities, Web links and online discussions.

Help Desk

A technology Help Desk staff assists teachers when technical questions arise.

Salary Points or Graduate Units Available

All TeachStar Online Academy courses offer optional university graduate credits, graduate education units, professional development credit or LAUSD salary point credits.


Teachers benefit from these courses by:

  • attending class at times and places that fit their schedule.
  • collaborating with peers in a learning community.
  • personalized moderated research-based instruction.
  • improving critical thinking abilities.
  • meeting standards-based evaluation needs.
  • attaining proficiency requirements in subject areas.
  • utilizing innovative technologies.
  • mastering techniques that support effective classroom practices.
  • connecting concepts to the real world.