OPI Special Education Endorsement Project

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I complete an endorsement while I am teaching?

There are two routes to allow you to be responsible for the programs for students with special needs while taking courses to meet the endorsement in special education.

  1. OPI Internship Program, does not provide stipend support.  Complete the Teaching Internship Application which is available online. This must be signed by the school district and sent to the university where the endorsement is going to be taken.
  2. OPI Special Education Endorsement Project  provides stipend support and all criteria   must be met for acceptance.  For more information, contact: Rene’ Rosell Yarbrough at 406-657-2097, https://www.msubillings.edu/coe/OPI

The following information pertains to the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project only.

Plan of Study

A Plan of Study must be on file with the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project office from one of the five participating colleges the teacher plans to attend:  Carroll College, University of Great Falls, Montana State University Billings, University of Montana, or University of Montana Western.


Refer to the Registrar’s Office at your school for online enrollment instructions.

Timeframe to complete the OPI Special Education Endorsement 

Completion of the OPI Special Education Endorsement depends on the number of credits needed per plan of study.  All courses for the OPI Special Education Endorsement, including Student Teaching, are to be completed within 3 years as mandated by OPI.

Stipend Information

  • Stipends are available to offset the cost of tuition and fees and are dispersed based on the number of credits completed during a semester.
  • Stipend requests are processed after the OPI Special Education Endorsement Project office receives a copy of the unofficial transcript with completed course and credits earned per semester. This must be submitted after every semester and takes approximately 2-3 weeks to process the reimbursement.

Other Questions? Call 406- 657-2097.

Participating Institutions

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

Carroll College
Ms. Kathleen Gilboy


Montana State University Billings
Dr. Susan Gregory


University of Montana
Dr. Trent Atkins


Dr. Morgen Alwell


The University of Montana Western
Ms. Kathy Shipman
Office: 406-496-4852  /  Cell: 406-925-0225

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