School of Diné Studies and Education

Welcome to the School of Diné Studies and Education

We have recently merged former Division of Dine Studies and Division of Center for Dine Teacher Education, into one School. We currently have a School Dean, Dr. Lawrence Isaac Jr, an Administrative Assistant, a Program Coordinator, and a combined count of 18 faculties that teach courses which fall under the School of Dine Studies and Education. We have 2 Certificate programs, 3 Associate of Arts degree programs, 2 Bachelor of Arts degree programs, 1 Bachelor of Science degree program, and 2 endorsements programs.

We currently have two grant programs under our school: the Certificate in Navajo Cultural Arts Program and the Stem Equity Program.

Dean’s Biographical Data

Lawrence Isaac, Jr. is a enrolled member of Navajo Nation, and his Navajo clan is nanastzhi’taabahah; naatooh’dineh;taa’chiini yaa’sheii’; kiyaahani bi’nalli; and lliz’ze’lanii daa’bi’cheii. Originally home area is Black Mesa, near Kayenta AZ, He is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran; a graduate of Navajo Community College (1969: first Student Body President for three semesters). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Educational Administration with a minor in Higher Education. Dr. Isaac served as the Eastern Area Education Program Administrator, OIEP, Washington, D.C (1986-1990) working with 25 federally-recognized tribes; Deputy Director, Environmental Assessment Studies, Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago, IL; President, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Academy, Mystic, CT; Director of Education, Rough Rock Demonstration School; first Navajo Utah Trust Fund Administrator, Blanding, UT; Vice President, Student Affairs & Administration, Navajo Community College; Superintendent, Shonto Prepartory School; Dean of Students, Navajo Technical University; and present Dean, School of Dine Studies & Education, Dine College.

Lawrence Isaac, Jr., Dean, School of Dine Studies & Education
Ph.D. – Education Admin. & Higher Education, The University of Arizona
M.A. – Education Administration, The University of Arizona
Certificate – American Indian Law, Summer Law Program, University of New Mexico
B.A. – Government/Anthropology, The University of Arizona
A.A. – Navajo Community College

The SDSE now offers a variety of courses online via the College’s course management system, Blackboard. Are they right for you? Does online learning suit your style of learning? Will you be satisfied taking courses in an online environment? Consider the following things that are expected of students enrolled in Distance Education courses (the list below is adapted from a similar list created by New Mexico State University):

  • I have a reliable computer and internet access necessary to participate successfully in a distance education course.
  • I am able to devote 4 to 8 hours online, per week per course, to distance learning.
  • My schedule is predictable enough to plan ahead for study and coursework.
  • I have the time management skills to balance the demands of school and a job (in other words, I will not leave my assignments until the last minute).
  • I am organized, motivated, and self-disciplined.
  • I am willing to take responsibility for getting whatever help I need by asking questions of other students and the instructor.
  • I have strong reading and writing skills.
  • I feel comfortable expressing my ideas and questions in writing and have successfully done so using email and discussion boards in the past.
  • I am comfortable downloading and installing software.
  • I look forward to learning new computer technologies or will try even if somewhat apprehensive.

In addition to study habits, it is important to also possess the technical skills necessary to complete an online course. Consider the following computer skills that are expected of teacher candidates taking online courses:

  • I understand basic file management tasks such as creating and renaming files and folders.
  • I know how to save and retrieve files and documents.
  • I know how to upload files.
  • I am able to have several applications open at the same time and move between them.
  • I know how to install software on my computer.
  • I can describe any technical difficulties I may have in order to receive assistance.
  • I am familiar with word processing software and can use it comfortably.
  • I understand how to use email.
  • I know how to keep my software, such as internet browsers, up to date.
  • I understand how to change my browser settings.
  • I know how to search the Web effectively.
  • I understand how to read and follow technical instructions to accomplish new tasks.
  • You take classes close to home. We also have student housing.
  • Tuition is affordable. Financial Aid is also available from Pell Grants and The Navajo Nation.
  • The program is based on Sa’ah Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhoon. It includes Navajo Teaching, Culture, History, and Philosophy, and prepares you to teach children, k-12 setting.
  • Graduates are eligible for licensure. You are qualified for provisional teaching license and an SEI endorsement in Arizona or an initial license in New Mexico, and to teach in K-8 classrooms on The Navajo Nation.
  • As a licensed professional, you will be highly sought out by schools and districts across The Navajo Nation.
  • You can go full-time or part-time. Classes take place in the evenings and on weekends. You can keep your present job.
  • Ninety-five percent of our licensed graduates teach in Navajo Schools. They make good money. Many have continued their education to earn master’s and doctoral degrees.


Description with interviews about the Navajo Immersion program at Tséhootsooi Elementary School in Fort Defiance, Arizona, along with its connections to the School of Diné Studies and Education.

Watch on YouTube


Lawrence Isaac Jr. Ph.D.
School of Diné Studies and Education
Ned Hatalie Center, 5th and 6th Floors
Tsaile, AZ 86556

PO Box C03
Tsaile, AZ 86556