College of Education

OPI Special Education Endorsement Project

Frequently Asked Questions


How long will it take before I know if I have been accepted into the project?

The time for acceptance depends on your ability to get all of the required paperwork together in a timely fashion and the reviewer’s ability to respond quickly.  Obstacles occur at both ends that may impede a rapid acceptance but we try to be as efficient as possible.


How long will it take to obtain my special education endorsement?

The length of time it will take to obtain your endorsement depends on the number of credits you need and the frequency that you take courses. You must complete all courses for your special education endorsement, including student teaching within 3 years as mandated by NCLB and OPI regulations.


Do I have to do the Student Teaching component of my Plan of Study?

We realize that some teachers approved for the project may already have teaching experience. However, it is required that all participants in the endorsement project enroll for student teaching. One of the benefits of this project is that your job serves as your placement for student teaching; there is no need for other placement requirements.


Can I take courses at colleges other than where I have filed my Plan of Study?

Coursework can be done through other colleges both in-state and online.  It is important that you check with the college advisor who signed your plan of study to make sure the course you would like to take is an approved substitution. However, you must get your special education endorsement from one college with the majority of your coursework taken from the college where you have filed your Plan of Study.


Can I get my Master’s along with the special education endorsement?

If you think you may be interested in obtaining your Masters degree along with the special education endorsement, please indicate that when you talk with the university advisor who is developing your course plan of study. The endorsement project does not reimburse for additional courses required for the masters degree.  All graduate students must enroll with the Graduate Studies Office located on the campus of the school they are attending. 


How do I register for online courses?

Registration - Please refer to the Registrar’s Office at your school for online enrollment instructions.

Admissions –  you will need to fill out the Admissions paperwork if you plan to take courses at a university you have not previously attended.


Special Education Program – you may need to complete an application for the university’s special education program. This is not the same as applying for the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project; they are two different programs.


Summer Session - Special education courses fill up very quickly, so you should register for classes as soon as possible.


When will I receive my stipend money?

Stipend requests are processed after the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project office receives a copy of your transcript showing your final grade and credits earned per semester. This must be done after every semester you attend class.  It takes approximately 2-3 weeks for you to receive your money once the request has been submitted.


Other Questions? Call 406- 657-2097.


Participating Institutions

The following college/universities participate in the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project:


Carroll College
Dr. Lynette Zuroff


University of Great Falls
Angel Turoski


Montana State University Billings
Dr. Susan Gregory


University of Montana
Dr. Trent Atkins

Dr. Morgen Alwell


Univ. of Montana Western
Dr. Vikki Howard


*Always contact the school's Admissions Office regarding admission and registration requirements.