Diné College to Provide College Credit for Newly Created Code Writers Education Initiative

Aug 19th, 2015 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive

Diné College will participate in the Code Writers Education Initiative, a program that seeks to offer computer code-writing curriculum for students in kindergarten through high school and community college. In addition, the program seeks to employ technology like robotics and cyber security to attract and teach students about the exciting opportunities available through STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) careers.

The program was unveiled in Window Rock, Arizona on August 14, 2015, which is Navajo Code Talker Day. The Science Foundation Arizona (SFAz), Governor Doug Ducey, Senator John McCain and State Senator Carlyle Begay, along with founding technology partners Intel Corporation and Cisco Systems, worked together to establish the program. The program brings together business, philanthropy, education, and government to create a technology-based education curriculum for Arizona’s Native Americans.

High school students will earn educational credit though Diné College’s existing Dual Credit Program. Upon the completion of the curriculum, students will earn a computer science certificate through the college and be eligible to transfer their credits to an institution of their choice. The academic program is currently in development.

“The Code Writers Education Initiative will blow away classroom walls and bring the world’s most sophisticated learning environment to the Navajo Nation,” says Science Foundation Arizona’s STEM network director Ken Quartermain Jr. “By teaching this generation computational learning, we help unleash the power of these young minds, and allow them to transform their lives, their families and their communities.”

The education initiative is aimed at attracting and retaining more Native American youth to STEM subjects and eventual careers. Currently, the US is lagging in the number of STEM-trained individuals in the country’s workforce. “Arizona has the third-highest Native American population in the country, so as companies look to expand and diversify their workforce to reflect community demographics, we want them to look to Arizona first,” states Governor Ducey. “This great initiative helps Native American students by giving them the training and computer programming skills they need to pursue technology-based careers, and it also helps companies as they continue to build a diverse and talented workforce.”

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