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The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI), Office of Special Education, receives federal funds from the US Department of Education on an annual basis for personnel preparation. These funds support the Traineeship scholarship. The purpose of these scholarships is to increase and retain the number of personnel in North Dakota who provide educational services to students with disabilities.

Each year the Office of Special Education awards a limited number of Traineeships in priority areas of disabilities to ND teachers who wish to pursue graduate level retraining in the field of special education. Scholarship amounts are based on the credit hours of coursework taken during a semester. Information is sent to every building principal, superintendent and special education director before each application period. Applications are accepted until the identified deadline. The Traineeship Scholarship Committee will review the application packets and rate according to a pre-identified rubric system.

Determination of recipients is contingent upon such factors as:

  • Completion of the application process by submission deadline;
  • Unit need;
  • Letters of recommendation;
  • Transcripts;
  • ND teaching license; and
  • Acceptance into a graduate program.


  • Summer workshops or conferences are not considered coursework under this program;
  • Applicants receiving other sources of financial aid or grants for coursework will not receive priority;
  • Late, faxed or incomplete application packets will not be accepted; and
  • Failure to complete coursework or program requirements will result in disqualification of future award

The final number of Traineeship recipients will vary each semester, depending upon available funding. Recipients are notified by mail as soon as possible to plan for upcoming semester. DPI encourages repeat applicants.

After an applicant has been accepted for the Traineeship scholarship, the applicant may be funded for a maximum of three (3) years or until they complete their endorsement (whichever comes first). Each semester, the applicant's responsibilities include sending transcripts; class schedule and a signed Program of Study (only, if revised) to DPI, along with a letter of intent to teach in the subject area in North Dakota.

For more information contact:

Northern Plains Special Education Director at

Office of Special Education at (701) 328-2277.