CKK (Certified Koi Keeper) Scholarship Program


We offer every member club one CKK Program scholarship per year, so that the club can can have trained CKKs who will help other members.  We also team with other non-profits, like the World Wide Koi Club, or Vagabond Koi, to make scholarships open to the international public.  We just completed a scholarship offering with WWKC that ended Nov 30, 2018.  Below is info about that new group, as well as previous year's students.


Congratulations and welcome to our 2018-19 group of CKK scholarship students!

Michael Norman -- Dickson, TN

Victoria Freilinger -- Royal Oaks, CA

Seth Noles -- Utica, KY

Aaron Shorter -- Aurora, OH

Pat Stevens -- Cherryville, NC

Paula Pershall-Gilbert -- Post Falls, ID

Jim Nice -- Sandy, OR

Claudia Nice -- Sandy, OR

Linda Mack -- Boring, OR

Rob Kenny -- Woodinville, WA

Seng Tran -- Fresno, CA

Michael Michelle -- Pittsboro, NC


Here is a chart of everyone's progress to date: 

As of 7/7/2019:  




Scroll down the page for the CKK program requirements and suggested course schedules. 

Questions?  email Mary Nielsen, the Student Coordinator, at


2017-18 Scholarship Students


Congratulations to Lisa Herrick, who became a CKK on May 12, 2019!

Here is your progress chart 

As of 7/7/19:




Course Completion

  • All courses, including both parts of the Lab, must be completed by December 1, 2018 in order to receive a refund of the $100 deposit. 

  • Total permissible time (including paid extensions) to complete the course is 2 years - Jan 1, 2020 – after that, student must start over from scratch.


Taking the courses: Order and Timing

Students may take the nine courses in the order that works best for them - either easy-to-hard, or hard-to-easy (Our recommendation is to start with the easy ones).  They are allowed to take courses in any order so long as Diagnosis and Treatment is 8th and the Lab is 9th.  Coursework should be started no later than January 1.

Easy-to-hard order: Anatomy, Physiology, Biosecurity, Nutrition, Filtration, Construction, Water Quality, Diagnosis & Treatment, Lab

Hard-to-easy order:  WQ, Construction, Filtration, Nutrition, Biosecurity, Anatomy, Physiology, D&T, Lab


Timetable for finishing on time, assuming a January 1 start date:

Easy-to-hard sequence:

Course Start By Finish By Actual Study Time
Anatomy - 1 wk Jan. 1 Jan. 7 4-6 hours
Physiology - 1 wk Jan. 7 Jan. 14 4-6 hours
Biosecurity - 1 wk Jan. 14 Jan. 21 4-6 hours
Nutrition - 2 wks Jan. 21 Feb. 4 8-12 hours
Filtration - 2 wks Feb. 4 Feb. 18 8-12 hours
Construction (3 tests) - 4 wks Feb. 18 Mar. 18 16-24 hours
Water Quality (big exam) - 4 wks Mar. 18 Apr. 18 16-24 hours
Diagnosis & Treatment (4 assignments + final) - 4 wks Apr. 18 May 18 16-24 hours
Lab (2 parts) - 2 wks May 18 June 1 8-12 hours

Total:                               21 weeks (5.1 months)        84-126 hours

Hard-to-easy sequence

Course Start By Finish By Actual Study Time
Water Quality - 4 wks Jan. 1 Jan. 31 16-24 hours
Construction - 4 wks Feb. 1 Feb. 28 16-24 hours
Filtration - 2 wks Mar. 1 Mar. 14 8-12 hours
Nutrition - 2 wks Mar. 15 Mar. 29 8-12 hours
Biosecurity - 1 wk Mar. 30 Apr. 6 4-6 hours
Anatomy - 1 wk Apr. 7 Apr. 13 4-6 hours
Physiology - 1 wk Apr. 13 Apr. 21 4-6 hours
Diagnosis & Treatment - 4 wks Apr. 22 May 18 16-24 hours
Lab - 2 wks May 18 June 1 8-12 hours

Total:                               21 weeks (5.1 months)        84-126 hours

Additional requirements - Monthly Report Required:

Each student must communicate monthly by email with Mary Nielsen, the Student Coordinator, at this email address: (link sends e-mail).  This communication is due the first week of each month until a student has completed all nine courses, unless otherwise arranged between the student and the Coordinator.  The communication will be a brief accounting for the past month and a plan for the upcoming month using the following example form.  A blank form will be sent monthly to each scholarship student.

CKK Scholarship Monthly Reporting Form
Last month’s goal(s):
Results (goals complete? incomplete?  Please elaborate):
Corrective action required, if any:
Goals for the upcoming month:

Students set their own goals.  These goals should have definitive, measurable end points and specific dates as in the example above, e.g., merely attempting to do something is not considered a valid goal.  These monthly communications are required to continue in the program.  Failure to submit these reports will trigger a reminder and, if missed for a second month, student will be dropped from the program.  Exceptions for hardships will be considered and granted at the sole discretion of the scholarship grantors, i.e., WWKC and/or KOI.
Questions and/or requests should be submitted to the Student Coordinator at (link sends e-mail).
Payment reserves a scholarship!

Once having earned their certification, Certified Koi Keepers will receive:

  • A Certified Koi Keeper pin sent by mail

  • A Certified Koi Keeper certificate sent by mail

  • A $30 credit toward the purchase of K.O.I. courses and/or ebooks

  • A template for printable Certified Koi Keeper business cards – sent by email

  • A 50% discount on K.O.I. ebooks

  • A 25% discount on most additional K.O.I. courses and groups of courses (Courses 313, 520 and 521 do not qualify for this discount)

To maintain their certification, Certified Koi Keepers must acquire 15 Continuing Education Units every 2 years. More information about Continuing Education can be found in the K.O.I. Continuing Education Policy (link at the bottom of the home page).


The fine print:

What to expect in order to become a CKK – a note from Spike Cover

We are pleased that you are considering applying to become a Certified Koi Keeper with K.O.I.  Before you sign up, we would like to tell you a little about what you’ll need to do to be successful.

You will need to commit both time and money.  We’ll explain each below.

First, you’ll need to put some earnest money up front.  If you fulfil the requirements of the program, you’ll get that money back.  You’ll also likely need to purchase some books and supplies.  We’ll explain what’s needed below.

You’ll need to have the time, and you’ll need to commit enough time to read the material and take the tests.  Some advanced hobbyists have tried to just take the tests without studying the material, and have struggled.  It’s much better that you believe that you need to study to do well and that you be willing to commit the time to do that.  It’s also a dumb move to study “to the test,” as you are only minimizing your own learning that way.

All this is not meant to scare you, just to warn you that good intentions alone won’t cut it in these classes.  It will take commitment and effort.  Historically, about half of the people who think they can and will make this commitment, don’t finish.  This is not because the material was too difficult but rather because they either didn’t accurately assess the time required and then discovered they couldn’t commit that time, or they just weren’t willing to put out the required effort.  Literally everyone who has committed the time has made it through.

Financial commitment estimates:

  • $100 Deposit, refundable if program is completed by June 30, 2018

  • $85  Step by Step Advanced Koi Diagnosis and Treatment by Duncan Griffiths (text for #207, available at K.O.I. website store)

  • $50 to $150  Microscope, slides, cover slips

  • $35 to $50  Digital gram scale, accurate to .01g 

  • $25 to $35  API test kits for ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, pH, KH

  • $50 to $100  Large koi net

  • $50 to $100  Koi sock net – optional but nice to have

  • $15 to $100  Tub(s) large enough to hold a koi for anesthesia (can be a blue koi tub, or a Rubbermaid tub – a second container for anesthesia recovery is optional but nice to have)

So that’s $410 to $720 assuming the student has none of the above.  It could be as little as $100 (refundable) if the student already has all of the necessary equipment and supplies.


Computer requirements:

  • Internet access

  • An email account

  • The ability to access and modify (edit) MS Word documents and attach them to emails

  • The ability to access and view PDF files

  • Some means of playing a DVD, either on computer or TV

Again, we want to emphasize that succeeding in the CKK program will require not only your good intentions, but your commitment and work.


Please email our student coordinator - Mary Nielsen ( (link sends e-mail)) for further explanation and more info!


Here's a list of the  2017- 2018 Scholarship students:

Rachelle Dyson

Marc Dyson

Marc Tilkin  COMPLETED

Bryan Bailey

Andrea Rivas -- COMPLETED

Steve Zimmerman -- COMPLETED


Melissa Elkin -- COMPLETED

Michelle Mozdzen -- COMPLETED

Bret Noe

Katherine Swoboda

Kurt Menking

Diane Giangrande

John Siefert -- COMPLETED

Lisa Herrick

Kimberly Allison


CLICK HERE to see our Scholarship pages from 2015 and 2016.




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