One Circle Dr. Route 12
P.O. Box 126
Tsaile, AZ 86556
Mission, Vision, Educational Philosophy
Sa'ah Naaghai Bik'eh Hozhoo, the Diné traditional paradigm for understanding all living systems, places life in harmony with the natural world and the universe and serves as the guiding educational philosophy of Diné College.
Diné College’s mission is to apply the Sa'ah Naagháí Bik'eh Hózhóón principles to advance quality student learning:
• Through Nitsáhákees (thinking), Nahat’á (planning), Iiná (living), and Siihasin (assuring);
• In study of the Diné language, history, and culture;
• In preparation for further studies and employment in a multi-cultural and technological world; and
• In fostering social responsibility, community service and scholarly research that contribute to the social, economic and cultural well-being of the Navajo Nation.
The college has adopted various strategies to implement its mission and assessment tools that measure student learning in accordance with the mission.
Navajo Community College (renamed Diné College in 1997) became the nation’s first tribally-controlled college when it was chartered by the Navajo Nation in 1968. In 1976, Diné College also became the first tribal college to attain accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools renewed Diné College’s accreditation in 1995 and again in 2002. The college received Land Grant Status in 1994. In 1998, Diné College reached another milestone when it bestowed its first bachelor’s degrees under its new four-year Diné Teacher Education Program.
With its establishment, Diné College changed the history of Indian education. Diné College launched the tribal college movement that has since produced 34 tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) throughout the United States. These institutions provide culturally relevant educational opportunities to students from over 250 federally recognized tribes and span nearly all of Indian Country. Such opportunities did not exist before the founding of Diné College.
Geographic Features and Challenges
As the tribal college responsible for serving the 300,000 enrolled members of the Navajo Nation, Diné College’s two main campuses are located in Tsaile, Arizona and Window Rock, Arizona. Satellite sites include Chinle, Ganado, Kayenta, and Tuba City in Arizona, and Shiprock and Crownpoint in New Mexico.
This multi-site system, the largest of any tribal college, serves the 26,000 square-mile Navajo Indian Reservation that covers all of northeastern Arizona, the southeastern portion of Utah and northwestern New Mexico.
Academics & Students
Students attending Diné College may enroll in any of the 20 associate’s degree programs, three certificate programs or in the bachelor’s degree program. Diné College enrolls approximately 2,000 students annually, nearly all of whom are Navajo. Female students comprise two-thirds of the student population and 56 percent of students pursue their studies full-time.
Diné College graduates transferring to four-year universities benefit from the college’s adherence to the Arizona General Education Curriculum. It allows general education courses taken at Diné College to transfer as a block, rather than requiring evaluation and approval of each individual course.
Other Outstanding Accomplishments
In over 40 years of existence, Diné College has created several nationally-recognized institutes and programs. Today:
• The Diné Policy Institute currently collaborates with nine post-secondary institutions to educate, collaborate and serve as a resource for policy and research affecting the Navajo Nation;
• The Diné Environmental Institute develops culturally relevant curricula and conducts policy, outreach, training, and research; and
• The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement promotes biomedical and behavioral research and studies in minority serving institutions, including Diné College.
As the nation’s oldest tribal college and one of the largest TCUs, Diné College also continues to serve as a leader in the wider tribal college movement.