About Navajo Native American Research Center (NARCH) Partnership
Mark C. Bauer, PhD Diné College
Nicolette Teufel-Shone Northern Arizona University
PROJECT SUMMARY/ABSTRACT – Student Enhancement Project Significant disparities separate Native populations from the health and health infrastructure enjoyed by the general U.S. population. To develop culturally relevant approaches to building healthy communities, more Native health professionals and researchers are needed for Native Nations to exercise their sovereignty including roles and responsibilities to achieve health equity. Yet, for aspiring health professionals on rural reservations, education and training opportunities are limited. The Navajo Native American Research Center for Health Partnership’s (NNARCHP) Student Enhancement Project (SEP) will build and institutionalize the human infrastructure needed to conduct relevant evidence-based health research and essential public health services needed to improve the well being of Navajo people. SEP builds on Diné College’s demonstrated ability to collaborate with institutions of higher education to enhance the Navajo Nation’s professional health research capacity by training Navajo students, practitioners, and researchers.
Using an “educational pathway approach” to resources within the Navajo Nation, the specific aims of this project are to:
- Increase the number of high school students familiar with health related professions;
- Enhance the Diné College Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health (BSPH) by developing local research experiences, upgrading Diné College’s 10-week Summer Research Enhancement Program (SREP) from a sophomore to a senior capstone, gaining accreditation with the Council of Public Health Education (CEPH) and strengthening alignment with graduate level programs;
- Develop and offer a Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) MPH degree with an Indigenous Health concentration tailored to the practice and research needs of the Navajo Department of Health, Indian Health Service (IHS) and Diné College, and
- to mentor AI post-graduate students. To achieve these aims, the SEP will leverage existing academic partnerships and coordinate with the NNARCHP’s Administrative Core and Research Projects to provide educational opportunities: a) a service learning program for high school students; b) practicum experiences for Diné College bachelor level students and c) field based service and research opportunities within a MPH degree program offered through on-line and face-to-face courses on the Diné College campus.
Evaluation of project impact will be tracked quantitatively, specifically through student enrollment, completed courses, degrees awarded, and qualitatively, through student voice documenting factors associated with academic success and application of learned skill sets.