College of Education

OPI Special Education Endorsement Project

General Information

The OPI Special Education Endorsement Project began in 1987 to address the shortage of special education teachers in Montana.  Acceptance into the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project will be given to those applicants who will be employed by a rural district unable to recruit a fully certified special education teacher.  Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess a current Class 1 or Class 2 Montana Teaching Certificate. Class 5 Alternate licenses are NOT eligible for project participation.

  • A commitment to complete the special education endorsement in three (3) years, as mandated by NCLB and IDEA Regulations.

  • Work with a mentor.

  • Make a commitment to teach special education in Montana for a minimum of two (2) years following completion of the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project.

Successful applicants can qualify for stipend money available to assist them with their college tuition and fees; however, stipends do NOT cover all educational expenses.


Further information about the project is available in thebrochure


Applications can be considered for the project upon submission of the following:

  1. Documentation that the position was advertised for a month on the Jobs for Teachers website:

  2. Completed Application with all required signatures

  3. Completed Participation agreement form with all required signatures.

  4. Copy of the teacher’s Montana Teaching Certificate.

  5. Unofficial copy of the teacher’s transcripts.

  6. A plan of study, developed with a university advisor at the college/university you will attend. The plan of study must accompany this application before it will be reviewed.

Mail completed application to:

OPI Special Ed Endorsement Project
Montana Center on Inclusive Education
Montana State University Billings
1500 University Drive
Billings, MT 59101


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.