Diné College (formerly Navajo Community College)
Locations: Main campus in Tsaile, Arizona, plus seven community-based campuses throughout Arizona and New Mexico.
Chartering Tribe: Navajo Nation
Interim President: Dr. Martin M. Ahumada
Land Grant College: Yes
Enrollment: 1,360 (Fall 2014)
Bachelor’s degree programs
- Business Administration
- Elementary Education
Associate degree programs
- Agroecology/Environmental Science
- Business Administration
- Business Management
- Computer Information Systems
- Diné Studies
- Early Childhood Education
- Environmental Sciences
- Fine Arts
- General Sciences
- Health Occupations
- Liberal Arts
- Navajo Language
- Office Administration
- Public Health
- Public Health – Environmental Public Health
- Public Health – Health Education (Sociocultural)
- Social and Behavioral Sciences
- Social Work
- Irrigation Technician
- Office Technology
- Public Health
- Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship
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.
Diné College, the tribal college of the Navajo Nation, landed at the top of a 2015 national ranking of community colleges. Roughly 670 community colleges from around the country were ranked on 17 key metrics, which included tuition costs, fees, and student-to-faculty ratio, among others. Diné College ranked number one in cost and financial, and in career outcomes. The tribal college ranked number 25 in classroom experience.
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.
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.
After three intense years of program development, the college’s board of regents gave the fine arts faculty the green light to submit a four-year fine arts baccalaureate degree program to the Higher Learning Commission for accreditation. The group designed and received approval for a Certificate of Digital Arts program in 2015. Students can begin enrolling in the certificate program in fall 2016. Eventually, they plan to expand the digital arts program under the umbrella of the BFA, along with developing additional baccalaureate-level fine arts programs.
The new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program is specifically for studio arts and photography. Students will apply to the program upon completion of an Associate of Fine Arts degree at Diné College or at another institution. Students will then complete 52 hours of upper-level BFA curriculum.
This new program joins recent HLC submissions for seven other new academic programs at the college, including a Bachelor of Science in biology, a Bachelor of Science in secondary mathematics, a Bachelor of Science in secondary science, a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, an Associate of Science in pre-engineering, a computer technology certificate program, and a Geographical Information System certificate program.