Diné College Signs MOU with Northern Arizona University

Mar 9th, 2016 | By | Category: Online TC News, Tribal College News, Web Exclusive
By Lori Tapahonso

Front row: NAU President Rita Cheng, Diné College President Martin Ahumada. Back row: Theresa Hatatulie, Diné Board of Regents; Aaron Lee, student representative, Diné Board of Regents; NAU’s Chad Hamill; and Greg Bigman, Diné College Board of Regents. Photo courtesy of NAU News

Diné College and Northern Arizona University (NAU) finalized a monumental partnership agreement that allows the two institutions to maximize their resources and expertise to increase educational opportunities within the Navajo Nation. Diné College president Martin Ahumada and NAU president Rita Cheng signed the memorandum of understanding recently in Flagstaff, Arizona. The agreement outlines academic programming, faculty collaboration, and student success initiatives.

Under the agreement, faculty at each institution will collaborate creating a faculty exchange program and developing specialized curriculum. The agreement will allow the two institutions to create academic success programs specifically for Diné College students. Ahumada notes that the missions of both institutions strongly align, “The strengths of NAU match very well with what we [Diné College] need the most.”

The agreement will facilitate the transfer of Diné College students to NAU in order to continue their education. With the agreement, the two institutions aim to increase the number of Native American students earning baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Each institution will select a liaison that will assist in the facilitation of the agreement. The liaison will establish academic advising teams that will guide students through the college transfer process.

“We have a historical commitment to our Native American communities. We need to look for every possible avenue to reach more students and to encourage transfer into our master’s and Ph.D. programs,” says Cheng.

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