Navajo Technical College
P.O. Box 849
Crownpoint , NM 87313
Mission, Vision, Educational Philosophy
Navajo Technical College (NTC) is committed to offering quality technical, vocational and academic degrees and community education in a student-oriented, hands-on learning environment based on the Diné Philosophy of Education: Nitsáhákees (thinking), Nahátáh (planning), Iína (implementation),and Sihasin (thoughtful critique and analysis).
The vision of Navajo Technical College is to educate Navajo individuals, to utilize state-of-the-art technology and to enhance the desirable character traits of integrity, self-discipline, loyalty, and respect, which give the Navajo people hope, courage, and the resiliency essential to their survival as a people.
Navajo Technical College believes that every student has the innate ability and intelligence to learn and acquire technical skills. Students have knowledge about their abilities and skills to enhance their personal, social, economic and cultural values. A disciplined learning environment, with innovative and viable community-based academic and vocational curricula, will produce a competent, educated, and self-reliant participant of the Navajo Nation in the world of work.
The Navajo Nation charted Navajo Technical College in 1979. Originally named the Navajo Skills Center, its founding purpose was to combat the reservation’s high unemployment rate by training and integrating Navajo workers into the workforce. In 1985, the college’s Board of Directors changed its name to Crownpoint Institute of Technology (CIT), as its mission expanding to meet the demand for greater post-secondary opportunities on the reservation.
CIT received Land Grant status in 1994. In November 2006, the Navajo Nation Council approved changing the name to Navajo Technical College. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools awarded accreditation to the college in 2005, just two years after it received candidacy status. The HLC renewed accreditation in 2010.
Geographic Features and Challenges
The vast Navajo Nation covers an area of northeast Arizona, southeast Utah and northwest New Mexico roughly the size of West Virginia. Providing educational services to a reservation of such size and to a tribal population of over 300,000 members presents a significant challenge to a small tribal college such as NTC.
Navajo Technical College’s main campus is located in Crownpoint, New Mexico, near the northwestern border between New Mexico and Arizona. To meet an ever-increasing demand from tribal members, NTC also offers classes in Chinle, Arizona in the local high school in agreement with the local school district.
Its commitment to provide high quality academic programming in the math, science and technology fields to a large and predominantly rural geographic area makes NTC an ideal institution for strong distance learning and online degree programs. A lack of resources to build technological infrastructure and the widespread lack of connectivity on the reservation, however, continue to pose as significant challenges in this area.
Academics and Students
NTC offers vocational certificates in 15 areas of study and one technical certificate program. Students may also pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in one of 14 fields. NTC recently joined the ranks of tribal colleges offering four-year degrees, with its Bachelor of Science degrees in Information Technology
NTC employs 32 full-time faculty members and many more adjunct, staff and administrators to serve its students. The college recently redoubled efforts to increase the number of Native faculty members from 40 percent by launching a new Navajo Teacher Program at the college.
Since 2006, Navajo Technical College experienced a steady increase in the number of students enrolling each year. Approximately 1,000 students now enroll each fall. Sixty-nine percent of NTC’s student body attends college full-time. Females comprise 55 percent of the student population, and American Indians account for 99 percent of all enrolled students. NTC conferred 32 Associate degrees in 2010.
A number of NTC courses have been already been accepted and included on the New Mexico Articulation Matrix while more courses continue to be submitted for acceptance every year as part of the college’s ongoing efforts to assist with the transferability of NTC general education credits to other New Mexico institutions of higher learning.
Other Outstanding Accomplishments
NTC serves as a true community institution on the Navajo Reservation. The college not only offers rigorous academic programs to students but also employs the skills and knowledge attained at NTC to benefit community members. Examples of such community programming abound. Some examples include accounting students providing tax return assistance, Veterinarian Tech students performing surgical procedures, the college Computer Aided Design program providing jobs after winning corporate contracts, outreach programs that provide college courses to employees at their worksites and the Internet to Hogan Project designed to increase connectivity on the reservation.
NTC was named one of the Aspen Institute’s top 120 community colleges in the country in recognition of such demonstrated institutional and community excellence.