The Educator Pathway Program consists of five courses that would enable school districts to recruit potential teacher candidates while still in high school. The Educator Pathway Program provides high school students interested in entering the teaching field the opportunity to take dual credit while still in high school, which will count towards both graduation requirements and college credit. The NDDPI Office of Specially Designed Services will provide payment for college application fees, dual credit fees, and books/materials for any student taking the dual credit coursework through the Educator Pathway Program. The university system will turn in an expense claim for the coursework to the NDDPI Office of Specially Designed Services which will then provide payment for the student’s coursework. If a local school district is interested in including these courses as part of their high school curriculum, they can either have a teacher in their system teach the coursework themselves or reach out to universities for assistance. Students interested in accessing this coursework should contact their school administrator or counselor to share their interests.
Universities that are currently a part of the Educator Pathway Program:
- Valley City State University
- Mayville State University
- Minot State University
- Dickinson State University
- University of Jamestown
For more information, visit TEACHING ND - Education Pathway Project
The Para to Teacher Program seeks to attract special education paraprofessionals by transitioning them into licensed special education teachers. Ideal candidates need to: be currently working as a special education para with at least one year of experience, have an associate degree or some college completed, and have the support of their school administrators and special education teacher. Candidates will continue working in their para-professional position while completing the program through accessible distance technology.
Letters of support are required from 1) your building administrator (principal), 2) your special education unit coordinator or director, and 3) the special education teacher under whom you work (cooperating teacher). Letter of Support Form
For more information, contact Holly Pederson at Minot State University or visit MSU’s Para to Teacher website at MSU - Paraprofessional to Teacher Pathway (PTP) (minotstateu.edu)
The Special Education Resident Teacher Program through UND consists of a one-year experience in which a resident, a first-year teacher in the school district, has full responsibility for a caseload, is mentored by a master-level teacher, and is enrolled in seven to nine graduate credits a semester at UND. As part of this partnership, the school district pays the salary of the mentor teachers and the stipend of the resident teachers and may include a contract that requires the recipient to work for the district/special education unit for a certain number of years.
For more information on ideal candidates, cost and implementation requirements, and resident mentors and incentives, visit the Resident Teacher Program
The NDDPI Office of Specially Designed Services helps fund scholarships for individuals in the SLPP program at Lake Region State College. Annually the NDDPI issues ten scholarships given by Lake Region State College in North Dakota to cover tuition and fees in the areas of communication disorders and special education for recommended students working toward an Associate in Applied Science in Speech-Language Pathology Paraprofessional. Students will be responsible for tuition and fees for the general education courses required for the program. Scholarship dollars will be used only for students who have been accepted into the program. Paraprofessionals must be recommended by their special education unit.
For information about this program, contact Andy Wakeford, SLPP Program Coordinator, or visit Lake Region’s website at Speech Language Pathology Paraprofessional | Lake Region State College (lrsc.edu).
In 2021, the NDDPI was granted authority to administer certificates for Special Education Technicians in North Dakota. Special Education Technicians are allowed to conduct academic and behavioral screenings, document student progress, assist with regulatory paperwork, participate in multidisciplinary team meetings, prepare materials, and assist with scheduling and maintaining space and equipment under the supervision of a special education teacher. For more information on coursework completion, contact: Minot State University (701-858-3050) or Certification Central (701-322-4429)
Once a Special Education Technician has completed forty semester hours of college education in the area of special education and has a two-credit transcribable minimum of one hundred clock hours of fieldwork experience, submit a completed application form and transcripts to the Office of Specially Designed Services at NDDPI.
Application: APPLICATION FOR THE SPECIAL EDUCATION TECHNICIAN (nd.gov)
SLP Loan Forgiveness recruits Speech-Language Pathologists to North Dakota public schools by offering ten loan forgiveness award agreements to graduate-level (first and second-year) speech-language pathology students. For each year the student accepts the loan forgiveness award, the student receives $10,000 once the student completes a contract with a North Dakota public school district or a special education unit.
For more information about the SLP Loan Forgiveness Program, contact:
Lake Region State College offers an associate in applied science in speech-language pathology paraprofessional. For information about this program, contact Andy Wakeford, SLPP Program Coordinator, or visit Lake Region’s website at Speech Language Pathology Paraprofessional | Lake Region State College (lrsc.edu)
The North Dakota Educational Employment System is a website consisting of all current job openings in North Dakota, along with information on NDDPI Certification, Teacher Licensure, Funding Opportunities, Professional Development, and the Educator Pathway Project.
For more information, visit TEACHING ND
The Traineeship Scholarship increases graduate-level endorsed special educators by offering a scholarship for coursework to retrain current educators in special education endorsement areas. The scholarship is need-driven and requires each applicant to receive a recommendation from a special education unit which includes a description of the need for the scholarship along with benefits that would be received by the special education unit if the scholarship is awarded. Scholarship amounts are based on the credit hours of coursework taken during a semester ($1000 Part-Time, four credits or less, and $2000 Full-Time, five credits or more). The Traineeship Scholarship Committee will review the application packets and rate them according to a pre-identified rubric system. 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). Applications are accepted three times a year.
For more information on the Traineeship Scholarship and application, data, and deadlines, go to Traineeship Scholarship Program (nd.gov)