Dr. Michael E. Cottam has been leading, designing, and teaching in the online learning space for more than two decades. He began his career in higher education as Spanish faculty and curriculum author in 1999 just as online learning was emerging in the university environment. Since then, Dr. Cottam has focused his work on using online technologies and interactive multimedia to enhance student engagement, student learning, and student success in the virtual university classroom.
Prior to joining APUS, Dr. Cottam was Dean of Military Campuses and Online Education at Webster University. While there, he led the expansion of online undergraduate and graduate programs, serving several thousand students worldwide. He also established and scaled up live online classes using video conferencing technologies, serving students enrolled at more than 50 extended campus locations across the U.S. and internationally.
Previously, Dr. Cottam served as the founding Dean of Instruction for MyCollege Foundation, and Portmont College at Mount St. Mary's, Los Angeles (now MSMU Online). The MyCollege Foundation was a Bill and Melinda Gates funded initiative to extend access to high quality learning experiences to students who previously did not have access or success in college. Dr. Cottam led the design, development, and delivery of new programs of study in a customized LMS built to support at-risk students.
Dr. Cottam previously served as Associate Dean of Instruction, leading curriculum and program development, as Director of Instructional Design, and as Spanish Faculty at Rio Salado College, the largest public, online two-year community college in the United States.
Dr. Cottam earned a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, a Master of Arts in Spanish Applied Linguistics, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Technology, all from Arizona State University.