International Association for K-12 Online Learning

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International Association for K-12 Online Learning
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Basic facts
Location:Vienna, Virginia
Top official:Susan Patrick
Website:Official website
The International Association for K-12 Online Learning, or iNACOL, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit online learning advocacy group. INACOL was founded in 2003 in response to the desire of virtual education leaders to organize and exchange ideas about online learning.[1] The organization is headed by Susan Patrick and based in Vienna, Virginia.[2]


The mission of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) is to ensure all students have access to a world-class education and quality blended and online learning opportunities that prepare them for a lifetime of success. [3]

—International Association for K-12 Online Learning's website, (2014)[4]

In order to accomplish its mission, iNACOL’s strategy is composed of three core components:

  • Center for Policy Advocacy
  • Quality Assurance Project
  • New Learning Models[5]

Center for Policy Advocacy

iNACOL serves mainly as an advocate for education policy reform. The Center for Policy Advocacy provides policymakers with recommendations for legislation and works with them to develop policy frameworks that increase access to and quality of online education. The center has advised the Department of Education as well as other national education policy groups.[6]

Quality Assurance Project

INACOL's Quality Assurance Project works to standardize online education in order to "ensure high-quality learning opportunities are available and in demand."[7] The first set of standards were released in 2007; iNACOL updated these standards in 2011. There are 52 standards total.

Institutions that have adopted the standards include Texas Virtual School Network and University of California (UC). UC further highlights 15 standards they consider to be "power standards" that each online course must meet.[8]

New Learning Models

New Learning Models is the research component of iNACOL. The organization performs market research to learn about the progress of online education in the field and makes recommendations for further areas of study to other researchers and reformers. This work is directly connected to the Center for Policy Advocacy in their efforts to secure funding and political support for research and development of online and blended learning models.[9]


INACOL hosts a network of over 4,400 members that receive updates and benefits from the organization. Membership falls into five categories:

  • Educator (3,500+ members)
  • Individual (350+ members)
  • Associate (75+ members)
  • Institutional (170+ members)
  • Corporate (20+ members)

Institutional Members

Many school districts and state departments across the country are Institutional Members of iNACOL, including Chesterfield County Public Schools in Virginia, Michigan Department of Education and Putnam County School System in Tennessee.[10]

Associate Members

Associate Members of iNACOL are mostly nonprofit organizations and think tanks that partner with the organization. NCAA is a member, as well as AdvancED and Jobs for the Future.[11]

Corporate Members

Corporate Members of iNACOL are divided into three levels: Silver Members, Gold Members and Platinum Members. Corporate Members include Pearson and Intel, both Silver Members, and Blackboard, a Platinum Member.[12]

Recent news

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