Navajo Technical College Ed Program Earns Award

Feb 15th, 2009 | By | Category: 20-3: Tribal Athletes Fight for Their Place, Tribal College News
By Karen Francis

By Karen Francis, reprinted with permission from the Gallup Independent

Formerly on probation by the state, Navajo Technical College’s Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program earned an Award of Distinction within one year after Jasper Joe (Diné) took over as director. “This is a dramatic turnaround,” says Dr. Francis Becenti (Diné), director of outreach and engagement at Navajo Technical College (NTC, Crownpoint, NM).

Navajo Tech’s ABE program was one of six statewide that received the award from the New Mexico Adult Education Association for “having demonstrated outstanding performance.” With the award, the program also received $19,410 to supplement its budget. Joe says the extra funds will be spent enhancing the instruction program so that more students are able to earn a GED (General Educational Development) diploma in the future. Parn Etre-Perez, state director of ABE, commended the programs for achieving the honor.

As a result of his efforts, Joe was recently appointed one of the six members of the state’s ABE/GED Director’s Committee, which advises the New Mexico Higher Education Department on issues related to program management, assessment, and accountability.

With the appointment, NTC was designated an official GED-testing center for the first time in its history. “This means that students will no longer have to travel to Gallup to take their tests,” Joe says. With locations in Crownpoint, Torreon, and Pueblo Pintado, the Navajo Tech ABE program serves a total of 268 enrolled students.

The program also has received a $130,000 grant from the Navajo Department of Workforce Development to strengthen the college transition program where students can enroll in college programs when they are close to passing the GED exam. About 60 students enrolled in ABE are expected to take part in the transition program. They will receive full tuition, books, and supplies as incentives to continue to work toward college degrees.

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