In December 2009, the Board of Directors of the Online Learning Consortium voted to establish the OLC Fellows Program. Recognition as an OLC Fellow is one of unusual professional distinction and is conferred by the OLC Board of Directors upon individuals who have:

  • Outstanding and extraordinary qualifications in the field of online learning.
  • Significant experience in online learning or an allied field.
  • A record of distinguished service to OLC or the field.
  • Extraordinary contributions or leadership in the field of online learning.

Excluding the initial year of Fellow appointments (2010), the number of individuals who can be recognized as a OLC Fellow in any one year shall be limited to a total not greater than one percent of the OLC individual membership. As the OLC membership grows over time, the Board of Directors may decrease this annual percentage (for example, to one-half of one percent of the individual membership).

The 2015 Class of OLC Fellows (September 2015)
The 2014 Class of OLC Fellows (October 2014)
The 2013 Class of OLC Fellows (November 2013)
The 2012 Class of OLC Fellows (October 2012)
The 2011 Class of OLC Fellows (November 2011)
The Inaugural Class of OLC Fellows (November 2010)
Complete List of OLC Fellows


Fellow recognition is conferred by the Board of Directors in recognition of outstanding contributions to online learning or an allied field. Special attention is given to an individual’s contributions in one or more areas represented by the OLC Pillars. Fellow recognition is an honor that an individual cannot seek. Rather, a nomination must be initiated by another OLC Fellow, a OLC individual member, or an individual affiliated with a OLC institution.


A Fellow Selection Committee will be appointed by the President of OLC and will have responsibility for managing the nomination process, for evaluating all nominations submitted, and for recommending a limited number of candidates to the Board of Directors for selection. To assure equitable action on these nominations, strict adherence to prescribed procedures is essential. These guidelines have been prepared to assist in the preparation of nominations in accordance with standard procedures.

The Fellow Selection Committee depends on the nominator to furnish all the basic necessary information requested on the nomination form. References should be widely distributed with no more than two from any one institution or community. No current members of the Board of Directors, the Fellow Selection Committee, the OLC staff, or the nominator shall act as a reference. The information should be complete, specific and unambiguous because the Fellow Selection Committee must determine the candidate’s qualifications from the documentation submitted. A nomination shall consist of a completed Fellow Nomination Form supported by confidential reference forms completed by five referees. The Fellow Selection Committee receives nominations, reviews credentials and recommends candidates for approval by the OLC Board of Directors.

Nominees approved by the OLC Board of Directors for Fellow recognition will be announced at the OLC Annual Conference, at which time Fellow certificates and pins will be presented in an appropriate ceremony. Advance information on Fellow selection shall be made available, as early as possible, to nominees who are selected and to their nominators. Fellows will be appropriately recognized on the OLC website.


  • Access the OLC Awards PlatformThe nomination form and the solicitation of references is completed through the OLC Awards Platform.  Nominators will need to set-up an account in the platform and then proceed to the OLC Fellows Award.  If you have questions, please contact Dr. Jill Buban, Sr. Director of Research & Innovation at OLC.
  • Preparation of the Fellow Nomination Form.  All information provided must be entered on the nomination form in a concise and meaningful manner. The nomination form is located on the OLC Awards Platform.
  • Solicitation of References. The nominator is responsible for soliciting references through the OLC Awards Platform promptly to those named as references as in the fellow nomination form.  The nominator is also responsible for ascertaining that the online reference forms have been submitted  by the deadline date.


Completed reference forms are required from at least five references. The confidential Fellow Reference Forms must be submitted through the OLC Awards Platform prior to August 1, 2016. 

The selection of references is most important. To qualify as a reference, an individual should be personally acquainted with the candidate’s work and be able to comment incisively. Glowing generalities carry little weight and are discouraged. Where exceptional contributions are cited, corresponding references should be selected to support each area of achievement.

References should be as widely distributed as possible with no more than two from any one institution or community. No member of the Fellow Selection Committee or the OLC Staff shall act as a reference for any candidate for Fellow if he or she occupies any of these positions on the date of submission of the reference form. Nominators cannot serve as references for the Fellow nominations they are submitting.


Nomination forms and a minimum of five Fellow reference forms must be submitted electronically to OLC by August 1 of the year in which the recognition is to take place.


In the event that a nominee is not selected as a Fellow, the nomination will automatically be carried over for consideration in the succeeding year, except that a nomination will not be considered for more than three successive selection cycles. In such instances of carry-over, the nominator will be notified and will be invited to update the nomination.


The OLC Fellows Selection Committee may recommend no more than two individuals every year as OLC Fellows, based solely on a written recommendation from a member of the Board of Directors or a member of the Fellows Selection Committee, plus additional due deliberations of the Committee. A clear majority vote plus general consensus of the Committee will be deemed sufficient for approval of such Fellow recommendations, which can, if appropriate, be designated as “a special action of the Fellows Selection Committee”. However, before arriving at a final decision, the Fellows Selection Committee may, at its discretion, request additional documentation, such as letters of recommendation from one or more third parties, and from the nominator.