Crownpoint Encouraging New Entrepreneurs

Nov 15th, 1998 | By | Category: 10-2: Assessing Student Learning in a Cultural Environment, Tribal College News

Crownpoint Institute of Technology (CIT) began two new certificate programs this fall, Early Childhood Education and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship. Both programs address widespread unemployment on the Navajo Nation as well as provide alternatives to diminishing welfare assistance. Funds from the federal Carl D. Perkins vocational education program and from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation support the small business program. The early childhood program results from collaboration between CIT and New Mexico State University.

Childhood Education Coordinator Kamie Fuchs said CIT will initially offer a 45- hour course to train people for entry-level positions in child care. In addition to campus-based training, CIT will establish nine outreach sites throughout the Eastern Navajo Agency. Eventually, she expects CIT to offer a two-year degree program. Entrepreneur Hugh Williams of Gallup, N.M., heads the two-semester small business program. “We’ll learn through hands-on experience and role-playing how to develop successful business enterprises on the Navajo Nation,” Williams says.

A third new program will benefit area Navajos who plan to continue in agriculture, which is still a source of support for most Navajo families. CIT became a land grant institution in 1994 along with the 29 other members of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, making it eligible for an extension program. Extension Agent Nathan Fuchs will work with the Crownpoint, N.M., 4-H organization to engage area youth in agricultural projects. He plans to expand 4-H throughout the Eastern Agency.

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