Applicants must meet qualifications at the time the application is approved. The applicant must:

  1. Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;
  2. Hold at least a baccalaureate degree;
  3. Hold a teaching certificate and be employed on an Emergency or Probationary certificate; or, if enrolled in an alternative certification program hold a Temporary Provisional Certificate.  A Substitute certificate or a classified teacher assistant are not acceptable for participation in this program;
  4. Not be certified in the special education or early childhood area in which applicant is currently teaching;
  5. Be enrolled in a approved state or private college or university in Kentucky that has state approved areas of certification;
  6. For special education certification the applicant must be employed in a Kentucky public school district as a full-time special education teacher in the area for which they are seeking certification while participating in the Traineeship Program;
  7. For IECE certification the applicant must be employed as a full-time preschool teacher during the school year in a Kentucky public school district or under contract or agreement with a Kentucky public school district to provide services for 3, 4, and 5 year-old children with disabilities (e.g. schools, Head Start and approved private contractors) while participating in the Traineeship program;
  8. For Director of Special Education (DOSE) individuals must actually be serving a district in the primary role of DOSE on a probationary or temporary provisional certificate;  The Traineeship Program is unable to fund level changes for DoSE;
  9. Not be an employee of the Kentucky Department of Education; and
  10. Not be a recipient of another tuition scholarship or fellowship for tuition that exceeds the basic tuition rate for which a Division of Exceptional Learning Services Traineeship is awarded.  Applicants must notify the Traineeship Program staff immediately if funding from another program, agency, or organization provides funding for courses approved for Traineeship Program funding.


The Traineeship Program does NOT fund courses beyond those required for Special Education or IECE certification.

The Traineeship Program does NOT fund courses that are only required for a Master’s degree or Rank change (foundation courses).

Funding Beyond the First Semester

To determine if you are eligible to apply for continued funding for the next semester, follow the guidelines listed below.

  • Previously funded participants receive priority consideration provided all requirements for eligibility have been fulfilled.
  • Participants who receive a grade below a “B” for any one course in the preparation sequence or who fail to submit grades will be ineligible for one semester. 
  • Participants who earn a second grade below a “B” or who fail to submit grades a second time are no longer eligible to receive Traineeship funding.
  • Each semester you must complete an online application. It is critical that your name be listed exactly the same as on previous applications.
  • Applications must be submitted online on or before the following dates for each semester:


Spring 2024 – November 1st
Summer 2024 – April 1st
Fall 2024 – June 15th