Navajo Teachers to be Rooted

Feb 15th, 1996 | By | Category: 7-4: Wildlife Management, Tribal College News

Navajo Community College will launch a new four year teacher education program this fall in partnership with Arizona State University. The program will prepare Navajos for K-8 teaching positions on the Navajo Nation by promoting Navajo philosophy, culture, history, language, and literacy. Graduates will emerge with bachelor’s degrees in Dine education from ASU and be eligible for Arizona and New Mexico K-8 teaching certificates. The program will be accepting junior students in August 1996.

Participants must be both fluent and literate in the Navajo language since some of the classes will be taught in Navajo. “We want students who are rooted to the community, and we hope to make them even more rooted,” says Benjamin Barney (Dine), director of the Dine Teacher Education Office. Students will not have to leave their families or community. Instead, ASU professors will make the six hour trip from Tempe to Tsaile.

NCC chose ASU as its partner because ASU already incorporates bilingual, multi-cultural, and Native American emphases in its teacher education programs. The college began dreaming about the program nearly 10 years ago, according to Barney. Now they are seeking permanent funding sources.

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