NCA Gives CIT Status of Higher Learning CandidateFeb 15th, 2004 | By tcj | Category: 15-3: English Only?, Tribal College News
Crownpoint Institute of Technology (CIT) has been awarded candidacy for higher-education accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The school on the Navajo Reservation in Crownpoint, NM, has been accredited with NCA’s Commission on Schools since 1989, but this major step toward full higher-learning status with the Higher Learning Commission became official October 20 in Chicago, where CIT President James Tutt and Vice President Elmer Guy met with commission representatives.
“Our college has progressed a very long way from its modest trade-school beginnings in 1979,” President Tutt says. The NCA team report praised faculty for providing a nurturing learning environment and commended the school’s learning-centered focus, singling out the Culinary Arts and Veterinary Technology programs for having achieved national recognition. The report also noted CIT’s history of attracting strong funding.
In addition, the report mentioned several challenges: clarification and implementation of the Diné philosophy of education, expansion of the General Education curriculum, progress toward school-wide assessment, greater consistency in CIT’s public documents, and efforts to stabilize funding.
“We are meeting all those challenges,” says Guy. “Our General Education committee is working with the Navajo Nation Office of Language and Culture to incorporate their cultural and educational standards into our curriculum. Since May, we have added faculty in mathematics, the sciences, and Diné Studies. Our assessment committee is examining course objectives and strategies for achieving them, and we’ve hired a director of institutional research to collect and evaluate data from all elements of the college.”
In addition to these improvements, Guy says, the institute is working with the Navajo Nation’s Education Committee and Intergovernmental Relations Committee to ensure that CIT becomes a line item in the federal budget under the Interior Department’s Tribal Priority Education System.