The Academic Programs Office is one of the major support offices of the CODL. It is primarily responsible for the design of distance learning curricula, in addition to the preparation, editing, and revision of distance learning Modules. Moreover, it oversees the organization and coordination of tutorial sessions, and for the preparation, administration and correction of assignments, project works and term-end examinations. It is the primary concern of this office to ensure that the distance learning curricula are designed or revised in line with the requirements set by the Ministry of Education and the criteria for quality distance learning modules: self-instructional, learner centered, interactive and communicative.

Besides, the office is responsible to conduct, promote and coordinate laboratory training, practical attachment and internship programs and render academic counseling services to students. Practical training programs associated with cooperative in-company training, practicum and information technology courses are also conducted by this office through the collaborative effort of different bodies and the tri-partnership agreement of SMU-CODL, trainees and training institutions. In this regard, a lot has been done and significant experience has been achieved.

Overall, the Academic Programs Office has the following duties & responsibilities:

  • Prepare the DE curriculum on the basis of the national curriculum and in collaboration with the DE editor-tutor-assessors;
  • Train distance education material writers;
  • Prepare guidelines for material preparation and to assist in the preparation of the same;
  • Select course writers with the required experience and training, and recommend them for employment;
  • Follow up tasks assigned to course writers and report the same to the CODL Vice President;
  • Edit prepared manuscripts on the basis of the in-house style of the University;
  • Render term-based tutorial services to students;
  • Upgrade assessment mechanisms through automation with the support of state-of-the art technologies;
  • Administer term-end examinations with the required sense of responsibility and level of professional ethics;
  • Provide improved Academic Counseling and Support Services to distance learners;
  • Provide focused service deliveries at different levels;
  • Organize on-the-job training to the professional and support staff of the office;
  • Produce qualified manpower in different vocations;
  • Equip distance learners with practical knowledge and skills required to engage themselves in the education and capacity building of citizens;
  • Enable trainees to adapt themselves with the world of work, the professional ethics and discipline of their future career; and
  • Excuse other tasks assigned by the CODL, Vice President of the CODL and the CODL Council.

    The internal organization of the office consists of the following departments, units and fields of studies


    Department’s/Unit’s Name

    Field of Studies or Responsibilities Under it


    Material Development and

    Tutorial Unit

    • Preparation of DE Curricula
    • Preparation of Self-instructional materials
    • Rendering tutorial services

    Academic Counseling and Support Service

    • Conduct, Promote and coordinate Academic Counseling, Cooperative Training, Practical Attachment, Internship, Laboratory, IT and Practicum Training

    Exam Administration and Control Unit

    • Preparation and administration of term-end examinations and assessment of exams, assignments and project works

    Business and Economics Department

    • Accounting, Management, Marketing Management, Finance and Development Economics, Purchasing and Supplies Management, Marketing/Salesmanship, Economics etc.

    Social Science and Humanities Department

    • Geography, History, Library Science, Educational Planning and Management, Civic and Ethical Education, Sociology

    Agriculture & Development Studies Department

    • Cooperatives, Rural Development, Agricultural Extension, Agribusiness Management, Agricultural Economics

    The Office comprises employees of the University, who are distance education experts, editors, tutors, assessors, typesetters and external advisors on distance education.

    The efforts of the office, other concerned units, departments and the course module writers (well qualified and experienced subject specialists drawn from renowned universities and colleges) have resulted in the production of modules whose quality has been praised by students and instructors at higher learning institutions in Ethiopia.