NTU offers B.S. in Early Childhood Education

May 1st, 2014 | By | Category: 25-4: Nation Building, Tribal College News
By Daniel Vandever

MOVING FORWARD. Della Begay works with a student in the early childhood multicultural education program at NTU.

Navajo Technical University (NTU, Crownpoint, NM) has added its ninth bachelor’s degree program in early childhood multicultural education after receiving approval from the Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

The program is the sixth baccalaureate degree added to NTU’s offerings in the past three years. Other offerings include a Bachelor of Arts in Diné culture, language, and leadership; a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing and new media; and Bachelor of Science degrees in computer and electronics engineering, environmental science and natural resources, and industrial engineering. NTU offered its first four-year degrees in 2006 with the launch of its Bachelor of Applied Science programs in computer science, digital manufacturing, and new media.

“I’m so thrilled for the degree,” exclaimed Della Begay, an early childhood multicultural education instructor who also helped develop the curriculum for the new program. “It’s what everybody’s been waiting for.” Begay started NTU’s early childhood program in 2001 as a three credit hour, entry-level introductory course, which eventually developed into a certificate program and associate’s degree. Currently, there are 118 students enrolled in the program.

“There is a demand in this area for early childhood teachers because we have a Head Start program and two elementary schools in town,” explained Begay. “We’re feeding into the system, but the system is also feeding us. We’re receiving a lot of interest from Head Start programs as well as home-based and FACE programs that send us their employees.”

NTU’s early childhood multicultural education program requires approximately 128 credit hours to complete and includes two tracks, one with an emphasis on birth through age four, and the other focusing on ages four to eight. Both tracks will prepare students to obtain early childhood licensure in the State of New Mexico.

“I think it’s a positive step,” said Angelita Darwin. “It’s opening up more opportunities for myself, but also for the younger generations. I’m just excited and grateful the school acknowledged the fact that we need more educators.”

Darwin will be graduating with her associate’s degree in early childhood multicultural education in May, but upon completion she plans on continuing into NTU’s Bachelor of Science degree program. “I like being here. It’s cost effective and close to my home and family,” Darwin stated. “It’s a positive experience.”

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