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Teacher Scholarship Award

The American Council on Rural Special Education (ACRES) offers a scholarship award of up to $1,000 to give a practicing rural teacher an opportunity to pursue education and training that would not otherwise be affordable within his/her district. The scholarship award must be applied to a formal program that leads to a specialized certificate, an additional endorsement or a graduate degree. Creativity in gaining and sharing information with others will be considered in selecting the recipient of the scholarship award.

Submit a Scholarship Application

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for an ACRES teacher scholarship award, an individual must be:
  • currently or recently employed by a rural school district as a certified teacher in regular or special education;
  • working with students with disabilities or with regular education students and “retooling” for work in a special education setting;
  • pursuing a goal of increasing skills in special education or “retooling” from a regular education to a special education career; 
  • a citizen of the United States.

Applications must consist of

  • a completed application form
  • an essay describing the opportunities and challenges of rural special education, the reason why funds are needed for the training, the plans for using the scholarship award for further education or training, and how the information gained from the education or training will be shared with other educators in rural schools; 
  • two letters of recommendation from persons in a position to judge capabilities as a rural special educator; at least one reference must be from an individual actively involved in rural special education.

Selection Process

The selection committee will consist of ACRES members who geographically and professionally represent all aspects of rural special education in the United States. These people may include rural parents, preservice educators, state education professionals, special education directors, teachers, and health and related service professionals. Selection of the award winner will be made on the basis of a completed application form, the essay, and two letters of reference. The award will be announced at the Annual ACRES National Conference. The scholarship must be used during the academic year immediately following notification of the award, and cannot be held for future use or transferred to other individuals. The award winner will also receive a one-year honorary membership in ACRES.

Application Submission and Review Process

Submit a Scholarship Application

Please direct questions to Tori Colson,

All applications must be submitted by December 15, 2021.

The ACRES Awards and Scholarships Committee will review all applications, select recipients of awards, and notify ACRES Headquarters of the outcome.

The scholarship award recipient will be notified prior to the annual conference and invited to attend the award presentation that will be made at one of the general sessions. The recipient does not need to be present to receive the scholarship award but is encouraged to come to meet and network with other rural special educators.

Need more information?

For more information on this scholarship award, please contact: