Supporting the Nation's Judicial System & the Public it Serves

Home > Grants > Education Support Program

Education Support Program

The Education Support Program (ESP) supports full-time state court judges and court managers to attend courses that enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities which they could not otherwise attend because of limited state, local, and personal budgets.  Beginning in FY 2018 (October 1, 2017), the National Judicial College (NJC) and the National Center for State Courts/Institute for Court Management (ICM) will administer the ESP program separately, in partnership and with funding from SJI.

COVERED COSTS

The Education Support Program (ESP) only covers the cost of tuition up to a maximum of $1,000 per award.  Awards will be made for the exact amount requested for tuition.  Funds to pay tuition in excess of $1,000, and other costs of participating in a course such as travel, transportation, meals, materials, and transportation to and from airports (including rental cars) at the site of the education program, must be obtained from other sources or be borne by the ESP award recipient.

ELIGIBLE RECIPIENTS

Because of the limited amount of funding available, only full-time judges of state or local trial and appellate courts; full-time professional state or local court personnel with management responsibilities or on a professional career track; and supervisory and management probation officials in judicial branch probation offices are eligible for the program.  Senior judges, part-time judges, quasi-judicial hearing officers including referees and commissioners, administrative law judges, staff attorneys, law clerks, line staff, law enforcement officers, and other executive branch personnel are not eligible.  Applicants are limited to one ESP award every other fiscal year (i.e. if awarded an ESP in FY 2018, the applicant will remain ineligible until FY 2020), unless the course specifically assumes multi-year participation as part of a certificate program.

ELIGIBLE COURSES

Awards are only for courses presented by the NJC and ICM in a U.S. jurisdiction to participants in the U.S. or U.S. Territories. These courses are designed to enhance the skills of new or experienced judges and court managers.  Participation during annual or mid-year conferences or meetings of a state or national organization does not qualify for ESP purposes, even though the conference may include workshops or other training sessions.

HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY

For NJC courses:

To seek an ESP to attend an NJC course, simply find the course you wish to attend on the NJC website: www.judges.org/courses, and click “register.”  During the registration process, the website will ask whether you need a scholarship to attend.  Simply follow the online instructions to request tuition assistance.  If you have any questions about this process, you may contact NJC Scholarship Coordinator Rebecca Bluemer, at bluemer@judges.org or 800-255-8343.  The NJC reserves the right to apply additional selection criteria.

For ICM courses:

To seek an ESP to participate in the ICM Fellows Program, submit a completed application to ICM Education Program Manager Amy McDowell, at amcdowell@ncsc.org.  If you have any questions about this process, you may contact her at 757-259-1552 or via email.

To seek an ESP to participate in an ICM course, find the course you wish to attend on the ICM website: www.courses.ncsc.org, and click “register.”  During the registration process, the website will ask if you need a scholarship to participate.  Follow the online instructions to request tuition assistance.  If you have any questions about this process, you may contact, ICM Director of National Programs Margaret Allen, at mallen@ncsc.org or 757-259-1581.  ICM reserves the right to apply additional selection criteria.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF ESP AWARD RECIPIENTS

Recipients are responsible for disseminating the information received from the course, when possible, to their court colleagues locally and, if possible, throughout the state.  The NJC and ICM may impose additional requirements on recipients.