B.A. in Elementary Education

If your last name begins with … your advisor is:

A – B Jeannie Lewis
NHC 604D. 928.724.6704
C – G Blackhorse Mitchell
NHC 601C. 928.724.6817
H – N Herman Cody
NHC 601C. 928.724.6703
O – Z Thomas Benally
NHC 601D. 928.724.6818

A.A. in Early Childhood Education


If your last name begins with … your advisor is:

A – Z Amelia Black
A – Z Barsine Benally

Recommended Sequence of ECE Courses

ECE Courses

Course # Course Title Credits
ECE-111 Introduction to Early Childhood Education 3
ECE-116 Language and Cognitive Development 3
ECE-220 Creative Arts for Young Children 3
ECE-108 Field Experience 4
ECE-225 Child Growth and Development 3
ECE-235 K’e Adaa’ Akohwiindzin, Social Development and Community 3
ECE-245 Wellness and Special Needs for Young Children 4
ECE-110 Field Experience II 4

Degree Checklists

Dean and Contact

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

PO Box C-15
Tsaile, AZ 86556



Meet Our Faculty

Barsine Barney Benally, Instructor

M.A., Doane College, Education
B.A., Arizona State University, Education
A.A., Diné College, Education


Barsine Barney Benally (Diné) is an instructor of Early Childhood Education with the Center for Diné Teacher Education Program at Diné College. Two thousand-twelve will embark her first year at Diné College as a full time faculty member. She has earned her Associates of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and Navajo Language with Diné College. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education with emphasis on Multi-lingual and Multicultural Elementary Education with Arizona State University. She received her Masters of Education Degree in Educational Leadership with Doane College and is currently working on her Graduates Degree in Educational Leadership with Arizona State University.

She has worked eight years as a K-8th instructor for Tsehootsooi Diné Bi’olta’, an immersion school in Fort Defiance, Arizona. Professional endeavors include serving on the Yale National Teacher Initiative, Certified Teacher K-8th and Navajo Bilingually Endorsed K-12th.

Charlton Long, Assistant Professor

M.A., Arizona State University, Curriculum Instruction
B.S., Arizona State University, Elementary Education

BAEE Faculty

Charlton Long is originally from Forest Lake—Black Mesa area. He is Yeii’í Diné, born for Haltsoíí Tábąąhii, Lók’aa’ Diné are his maternal grandparents and Naakaii Diné are his paternal grandparents. Mr. Long is an Alumni of Diné College. He received his Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. He has his teaching licenses for both Arizona and New Mexico States. He is endorsed in Gifted and Talented, Reading, TESOL, and ESL. He also has his coaching license for both Arizona and New Mexico.

His work experiences include working with Kg through 12th BIE, charter, alternative and public schools on and off the Navajo reservation for over ten years. He also taught in multi-age classrooms. He is currently working with Center for Diné Teacher Education as education faculty. He teaches for the AA in education and BA in Elementary program.

He is a veteran who was stationed at Ft. Bragg, NC and Ft. Benning, Ga. He enjoys teaching and learning. He looks forward to working with higher learning at Diné College where he started his educational journey.

Thomas Benally, Instructor

M.Ed., Doane College, Curriculum & Instruction
B.S., Northern Arizona University, Education


My name is Thomas P. Benally, Kin Lichíi’nii, Bit’ahnii báshíshchíín, Kin Yaa’áanii dashicheii dóó Naakaii Dine’é dashinálí. Tsé Nitsaa Deez’áhídéé’ naashá. I worked at Rock Point Community School for twenty-eight years. I started out as a Reading Tutor back in the 1970’s. After that, I held various positions, to name a few: Navajo Literacy Teacher, Navajo Language Evaluator/Specialist, Navajo Language and Culture Specialist, Elementary Principal, and 4th Grade Navajo Language Teacher.

Currently, I am a Center for Diné Teacher Education faculty member. I teach education courses for both the A.A. and B.A. programs. I have worked here at Diné College for thirteen years now. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Northern Arizona University, and an M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College, in Crete, Nebraska. I haven been in education for over forty-three years.

Amelia Black, Associate Professor

M.Ed., Arizona State University, Curriculum & Instruction (Bilingual Education)
B.A., Arizona State University, Education

ECE Faculty

Professor Amelia I. Black has taught Early Childhood and Elementary Education courses at Diné College since the inception of the AA Early Childhood Education program and the change to four-year status for Diné College. Throughout her time at Diné College, she’s taught all sequences of Early Childhood Education, Human Development, Special Education, Introduction and Theory courses. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at Diné College, Professor Black serves on the First Things First Navajo Nation Regional Board as an “at large member” and has held the position as Chair for Center for Dine Teacher Education in previous years. She has been a member of the College wide Academic Standards and the Assessment Committee. Outside of Diné College, Professor Black holds an Arizona Department of Education Certificate with endorsements in English as a Second Language, Special Education and Early Childhood Education. She has served as a teacher in the pre-kindergarten to 8th grade environments for over 10 years.

Blackhorse Mitchell, Professor

M.A., University of New Mexico, Secondary Education
B.S., University of New Mexico, Elementary Education
A.S., Diné College, BI/Cultural/Language
A.A., Diné College, Education

BAEE Faculty

Billi’ lizhinii Blackhorse Mitchell was born and raised on Palmer Mesa a place known by Diné People as Tse Dildo’ii above Salt Creek Canyon, New Mexico which is near the Colorado state line in  Northern New  Mexico. He is a Yei’ii Dine’I Tachii’nii born for Naakaii Dine’I. His maternal Grandfather is Hooghan Lani and his paternal Grandfathers are Ashiihi clans. He attended [Ignacio] Boarding School k-1/k-11 in Ignacio High School, Ignacio, Colorado. He received his academic degree from the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1964. Returned to IAIA and received his FA in Literary Writing in 1966 then continued to attain his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1978 from University of New Mexico College of Education. After teaching [14] year in Elementary school, middle school, he returned to UNM College of Education and received his Master’s of Art in Secondary School minored in Classical Language in the area of Dine Language. To date he has worked in  the educational field for 30 years and occasionally worked as Adjunct faculty at Dine College, Shiprock, New Mexico as well as other Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Herman Cody, Associate Professor

Ed.D., Arizona State University, Education
M.A., Northern Arizona University, Bilingual/Multicultural Ed.,
B.S., Northern Arizona University, Elementary Ed. A.A., University of New Mexico, Recreation/Leadership

BAEE Faculty
(928) 724-6703

Dr. Herman Cody was born and raised in the Leupp area of the Navajo Nation at a place called Grand Falls.  He is Tsi’naajinii born for Naakai Dine’é.  His maternal grandfather is Kinyaa’áanii with paternal grandfather as Tódích’íi’nii.  He received his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Master’s in Bilingual/Multicultural Education from Northern Arizona University, and his doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from Arizona State University.  He is a Vietnam-era veteran having served in Southeast Asia.  Dr. Cody brings extensive classroom teaching experience to CDTE and is an avid advocate for Diné language revitalization.

Dr. Wilson Aronilth Jr.

Diné Studies Faculty
Honorary Degree, Dine College
The Four Pillars of Dine Philosophy

  1. Tradition:
    Create an environment of trust to facilitate expression. Show attitude, behavior, personality, interest views and goals relating to four base clans.Show a willingness to participate and cooperate in a certain traditional process – develop a sense of belonging through Ké, express self-identity through Diné Language, prayers, songs, values, belief, philosophy and custom.
  2. Skills:
    Well cultivated, critical thinkers, good self-direction, good communication and problem solving abilities. Ability to come to a well reasoned conclusion and solution. Have a job, family and beautiful home.
  3. Knowledge:
    Show integrity, positive thinking, and good leadership while expressing truth, peace and harmony.Have a mission, vision, principle, values, beliefs, and to practice and live it every day.
  4. Leadership:
    Develop a clear mission, vision, and SNBH philosophy. As a result, this leads to one’s survival of a solid foundation creates a good stability to live this life.Diné leadership involves integrity, trustworthiness and the commitment to follow good principles and ethics.

Roger P. Benally, Professor

M.Ed., Doane College, Educational Leadership
M.Ed., Doane College, Curriculum & Instruction
B.A., Prescott College, Education

Navajo Language Faculty
M.Ed, Doane College
Educational Leadership
Roger P. Benally’s clans are, Kin {ich7i’nii nil9, Bit’ahnii y1shch77n, Kin Yaa’1anii dabicheii d00 Naakaii Dine’4 dabin1l7. He is originally from Rock Point, Arizona. He was employed by Rock Point Community School for 34 years. He held different positions, such as being the Navajo Language and Culture Teacher, Navajo Science Teacher, Navajo Curriculum Specialist, and being a Navajo Language and Culture Director. He started his employment with Dine College in Center for Dine Studies in fall of 2012. Currently he teaches NAV 101, NAV 102, NAV 201, NAV 202, NAV 211 and NAV 212. He received his BA in Elementary Education from Prescott College. He earned his M.A. degree in Leadership and Curriculum Instructions from Doane College, Nebraska.

Avery Denny, Professor

Diné Medicine Man’s Association, Inc., Hataahlii

Diné Studies Faculty

Clans are T0 dík=zh7 nis[9, T0tsohnnii Báshíshchíín, Ta’neeszahnii dashicheii, Ts4n7jíkiní dashin1l7. Hooshdódiitóódéé’ naashá. I reside in Whippoorwill, Arizona as a member of the Navajo Nation.

Navajo Traditional Educational background:

Hataa[ii, a Singer of the Blessing way/ Hózhóój7, Protection way/ Naayée’eejí, and T[’44j7 Hat11l, The Night Chant. A Hataa[ii holds the highest standard in the community practicing the Navajo Traditional Healing Ceremonies. These ceremonies last two, five and nine nights. These ceremonies are known as a Hat11l or Nahaghá. This skill as a healer is like being physician.

Teaching for over 24 years in the area of Diné Culture and Oral History. Listed below are courses that I teach at Diné College:

  1. Foundation of Navajo Culture
  2. Navajo Oral History
  3. Navajo Philosophy
  4. Navajo Holistic Healing
  5. Navajo Herbology
  6. Dine Educational Philosophy (DEP)
  7. Navajo Spirituality
  8. Navajo Early Child and Adolescent Development

Thomas Littleben Jr., Instructor

B.S., Northern Arizona University, Education
A.A., Diné College, Diné Studies
A.A., Diné College, Navajo Language

Navajo Language Faculty
B.S., Northern Arizona University

Gene Vecenti, Associate Professor

M.Ed., Northern Arizona University, Bilingual/Multicultural Education
B.A., Fort Lewis College, Student Structured
A.A., Diné College, Liberal Arts
A.A., Diné College, Navajo Language
A.A., Diné College, Diné Studies

Navajo Language Faculty
M.Ed, Northern Arizona University

Vecenti de Gene Ortizio Juanajillo Alitizar – comes from the community of Lukachukai. AZ. Has been employed at Navajo Community College, and now Diné College for 34 total years.

Became a Center for Diné Studies Faculty in 1995 and has taught as an Adjunct Faculty in English, Math and Physical Education throughout the years. Academic education includes: Master of Education – Bilingual Multicultural Education – Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff AZ; Bachelor of Arts – Education – Fort Lewis College, Durango CO; Associate of Arts – Diné Studies, Bi-Cultural Specialist, Navajo Language, and Liberal Arts – Diné College, Tsaile AZ.

Credentialed to teach Navajo (Diné) Culture, Language, History, Nation’s Government, Traditional Knowledge, Applied Linguistics, Linguistics, Language Methodology, Language Acquisition, Morphology, Phonology, Syntax, Semantics/Pragmatics, and Discourse. Worked and provided assistance to the Navajo Community College, and Diné College to at-least 5 accreditation processes. Completed the Project Siih Hasin for the 2008 Higher Learning Commission Accreditation.

Provided Leadership and membership to the Student Learning Academic Assessment for more than 20 years. Been in the membership and leadership role for the Academic Standing Committee: Academic Standards, Curriculum, Distance Education, and the Arizona Languages Articulation Task Force (AzLATF).


Martha Austin-Garrison

Navajo Language Faculty
M.Ed, Arizona State University

Áshiihí salt clan, Father’s clan is Tódích’íi’nii bitterwater, Maternal grandfather’s clan is Tábaahí edgewater, Paternal grandfather’s clan is Bit’ahnii Lók’aa’ dine’é Folded arms- Reed clans. Originally from Tséyi’ Canyon near Kayenta, AZ and Navajo Mountain community. Graduated from James A. Garfield, Seattle, WA. Has a BA degree in Elementary Education from University of Arizona and a M.Ed., from Arizona State University. Has taught in the Elementary school on the Navajo Nation. Taught Math and English in Junior High School including Freshmen classes at Rough Rock School. Had teaching experience with Dine College/ASU former Center for Diné Teacher Education. A sheep-herder, weaver and Navajo language writer. Chair person for School of Dine Studies and Education.

Is fluent in both Navajo and English. Assist with communicating and translating in the Navajo language, especially in the medical field. Teaching Navajo language and Navajo Indian Studies courses. Developed some NAV and NIS courses for AA and BA proposed degree in Dine Studies. Has many years of working with Northwestern University on Navajo Ethno-Medical Encyclopedia, interviewing Navajo traditional medicine people, transcribing recorded tapes and writing the medical encyclopedia in Navajo language. Teaching for 38 plus years for Dine College, Center for Diné Studies and Education.


Dr. Herbert Benally, Distinguished Professor Emeritus

Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, Indigenous Studies
M.Ed., Arizona State University, Adult Education: Third World Development
B.A., Arizona State University, Health and Biological Science

Diné Studies Faculty
Ph.D, California Institute of Integral Studies

Herbert John Benally, PhD is a faculty in the School of Dine Studies and Education at Dine College, Shiprock Campus where he teaches Navajo Culture, Oral Tradition, Philosophy, Navajo History, Navajo Nation Government, Contemporary Indian Affairs, Native North America. He holds a PhD. in Traditional Knowledge/ Philosophy from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), M.Ed. in Adult and Higher Education with emphasis on Third World Development and B.A. in Health Education/Biological Science from Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. Benally have studies and conducts research on Navajo Blessing Way, creation stories, history, philosophy and epistemology. His work in Navajo epistemology H0zh=-go Na’adá is now a Research method use in number research, assessment, evaluation in health and environment. Dr. Benally’s has presented at numerous conferences in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Spain, and Japan. He works with numerous communities, schools, social services, rehabilitation centers, Navajo nation judicial system and health-related program and environment. His writing on Navajo philosophy and epistemology are published in some journals and textbooks.

Window Rock

Don Denetdeal

Diné Studies Faculty
B.S., Northern Arizona University

Donald Denetdeal is a native from Klagetoh, Arizona. He has been teaching for the past 29 plus years for Navajo Community College/Diné College. He teaches most of the Navajo Indian Studies (NIS) courses (Navajo Cultural Arts Philosophy, Navajo Silversmithing I and II, Foundations of Navajo Culture, Navajo Oral History, Introduction to Navajo Herbology, Navajo History to Present, Navajo Oral Tradition and Style, Navajo Holistic Healing, Contemporary Indian Affairs and Tribal Government, Navajo Nation Government, Diné Education Philosophy I and Navajo Philosophy). He was raised with Navajo Language as primary language and Navajo cultural ways of life. He received A.A. Degree at Eastern Arizona College and Received B.S. Degree at Northern Arizona University. He has been working in Navajo Education arena for over 40 years.

Dr. Christine M. Ami

Social and Behavioral Science Faculty, also teaching Dine studies courses for NCAP: NIS 185, NIS 197, and NIS 198.
Ph.D., University of California, Davis
Navajo Cultural Arts Program Grant Manager

Yá’át’ééh. Dóone’é nishlínígíí éí Táchii’nii nishlí, Bilagáana báshíshchíín, T’ó’aheedl’ííníí dashicheii, Bilagáana dashinálí.

My name is Christine Ami and, as a faculty member of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, I teach Anthropology, History, and Indigenous Research Methodologies and Methods. I hold a B.A. in Spanish and Foreign Language Education (Rowan University) and a M.A. in Latin American Literature – emphasis in Colonial Studies (University of Maryland, College Park). I received my doctoral degree in Native American Studies with an emphasis in Diné Studies, Animal Studies and Decolonial Studies at the University of California, Davis. My research investigates the nuances of traditional butchering of sheep throughout the Navajo Nation. These variations also correspond with the various approaches to inherent Diné decolonizing practices, which I analyze throughout my dissertation, “Díí jí nída’iil’ah : A Study of Traditional Navajo Butchering.”

Additionally, as the Navajo Cultural Arts Program (NCAP) Grant Manager at Diné College in Tsaile, Arizona, I am responsible programing associated with the Navajo Cultural Arts Certificate Program, the Navajo Cultural Arts Apprenticeship Program as well as various cultural arts lectures and workshops offered throughout the year. For more information about the NCAP, please visit

Tuba City Campus

Jerry Kien, Instructor

B.A., Word Bible College, Theology

Diné Studies Faculty
MA Navajo Language, Culture, and Leadership, Navajo Technical University

B.A. Elementary Education

Changing Navajo Education One Classroom at a Time

BAEE (Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education) Application
Fall Admission
Spring Admission
Click here for Application Download



Bá’ólta’í adoodleełgi bína’niltin bił hazánídóó éí bá’ólta’í áyoolííł, Diné bizaad dóó Diné bi’ó’ool’įįł yee yinootį́į́ł. Bá’ólta’í bohónéedzáanii dadooleeł. Na’nitin yíhooł’ą́’ígíí t’áá ałtso da’ołta’í yee neidínóotįįł. Óhoo’aah bił nahaz’ą́ą́góó ólta’í Sá’ąh Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón bik’ehgo Diné bizaad dóó bi’ó’ool’įįł dóó Bilagáana bizaad dóó bi’ó’ool’įįł yee hadiléé dooleeł.

The School of Diné Studies and Education is preparing future teachers continuously. Teaching includes Diné languages and Cultures. Enabling them to become respectful, effective teachers. The teachers will use Navajo teachings with all students. Their lessons will be based on Sá’ąh Naagháí Bik’eh Hózhóón. They will develop their students according to Navajo teachings and traditions.


Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education (B.A.)

The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program prepares prospective teachers to develop the necessary values, knowledge, skills, and confidence to promote children’s academic skills and confident cultural identities in English and Navajo.

To assess student learning, each teacher candidate develops a working portfolio in semester’s I-III that reflects the candidate’s unique experiences, aims, and desires as measured against the goals and competencies of the semester’s courses and apprenticeship activities.

rom the working portfolio, candidates develop a presentation portfolio in semester IV that is presented to the college community.

The program is offered on a full-time basis at the Tsaile  campus. Individuals may apply any time of year but are formally considered in spring. The application deadline is June 1. This allows for an admission decision prior to the Navajo Nation Scholarship deadline.
Admission criteria are as follows:

  • Completion of an A.A. in Elementary Education (based on the College’s 2009-2010 or more recent catalog) or Education (based on the 2012-13 catalog) with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better
  • Passing score on the NES Elementary subject knowledge subtests I and II (this requirement is being phased in; recent applicants were required to at, a minimum, take the test)
  • Current Navajo Nation tribal background check;
  • Current Fingerprint Clearance Card from the state of Arizona
  • Application with essay (completed at the Center for Diné Teacher Education) and unofficial transcripts;
  • Personal interview with an BAEE admissions committee

Applications from individuals who hold an A.A. in Elementary Education from another institution or from Diné College prior to fall 2009, or an A.A. in different academic specialization, are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. These individuals may need to take additional lower-division coursework.

BAEE Application Process

Step 1: Submit initial application:

  • Completed application
  • Essay (writing at the Learning Center).
  • Unofficial transcripts (or copies) of all college coursework.
  • Copy of score on NES elementary education subject knowledge exams.
  • Copies of Arizona Fingerprint Clearance Card and Navajo Nation Tribal Background check.

Step 2: On-campus interviews will be scheduled for eligible candidates

Step 3: Upon acceptance into the program:

  • Submit a completed application and required materials for admission to Diné College (if not currently enrolled). For assistance in completing this item, please contact Admissions at 928.724.6634.
  • Submit completed applications for Financial Aid (FAFSA, tribal, etc). For assistance, contact Financial Aid at 928.724.6738.

Submit a completed application for housing (if planning to live on-campus). For assistance in completing this item, contact Residence Life at 928.724.6782.

Professional Preparation Coursework
*Candidates may petition to graduate with an A.A. in Education upon completion of General Education Core and Lower Level Requirements (61-64).

** Admission to the Professional Preparation courses requires the following:

  • 53 credits that include: EDU 200, 238, 240, 261, and 297; MTH 280 and 281; three lab sciences; NAV 101 or 211; ENG 101 and 102; and 12 other General Education credits
  • CGPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Scores from NES Elementary Subject Knowledge Tests I and II
  • Current Navajo Nation and Arizona background checks
  • Official transcripts
  • Interview with BAEE admissions committee
General Education Core Credits
ENG 101: Freshman English I
ENG 102: Freshman English II
Humanities and Fine Arts
Students must choose two courses from:
Art History (ARH)
English (ENG) 212, 213, 231, 233, 234, 241, 297
Fine Arts (FA)
Humanities (HUM)
Theater (THR) 101, 102
Mathematics Student must take appropriate course based on major.
MTH 110: College Algebra
MTH 114: College Mathematics
MTH 106: Survey on College Mathematics
Social and Behavioral Science
Students must choose one History (HST) 101, 102, 135, 136 course and one other course from:
Anthropology (ANT)
Sociology (SOC)
Social Work (SWO)
Social Science (SSC)
Political Science (POS)
Economics (ECO)
Psychology (PSY)
Laboratory Science
Students must choose one Life Science and one
Physical Science course both with labs from:
Life Science: BIO
Physical Science: AGR, AST, CHM, ENV, GLG, PHY, PHS
Physical Education and Health Education
PEH 122
PEH 113-148
Health Education (HEE)
HEE 110, 111, 112
Navajo Studies
One Navajo Language Course Based on Placement Test (NAV 101, 102, 201, 202, or 211)
NIS 111: Foundations of Navajo Culture and
NIS 221: Navajo History to Present 9-10
Required Core Total Students transferring may need to take additional courses to meet core requirements. 40-43
Semester I Credits
EDU 345 Understanding Human Development in Schools 3
EDU 352 Methods for Teaching Diné Educational Philosophy in B – 12 Schools 3
EDU 353 Diversity in Navajo and American Indian Education 3
EDU 354 Emergent Literacy, Language Learning, and Assessment in Bilingual/ESL Settings 3
EDU 358 Field Experience I 2
Program Credits 14
EDU 360 Special Education in Indigenous Classrooms 3
EDU 361 Methods for Language Diverse Students I 3
EDU 362 Integrated Elementary Teaching Methods for Bilingual/ESL Classrooms I 3
EDU 374 Bilingual/ESL Reading Methods, Management, and Assessment 3
EDU 378 Field Experience II 2
Program Credits 14
EDU 474 Bilingual/ESL Writing Methods, Management, and Assessment 3
EDU 475 Methods for Language Diverse Students II 3
EDU 476 SEI/ESL for Linguistically Diverse Students II 3
EDU 477 Integrated Elementary Teaching Methods for Bilingual/ESL Classroom II 3
EDU 478 Field Experience III 2
Program Credits 14
EDU 496 School Law 2
EDU 498 Student Teaching 8
EDU 499 Dine Education Seminar 2
Program Credits 12
Content Emphasis Credits
NAV 102 or 212
NAV 201 or 301
NAV 202 or 289
Degree Earned Credits
General Education 40-43
Lower Division Program Requirements 24
Upper Division Program Requirements 63-66
Total Credits Earned: 127-133
Program Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Code Code Title
13.1202 Elementary Education and Teaching

Dean and Contact

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

PO Box C-15
Tsaile, AZ 86556




Bachelors of Arts (B.A.) in Elementary Education

The Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education program prepares prospective teachers develop the necessary values, knowledge, skills, and confidence so they can promote children’s academic skills and competent cultural identities in English and Navajo. The program is offered at Tsaile campuson a full-time basis only.

Individuals may apply any time of the year but are formally considered in spring and must enter the program in the fall. more information

Associates of Arts (A.A.) in Education

The Associate of Arts in Education introduces students to teaching, encourages them to reflect upon and pursue teaching as a career, and prepares them for successful participation in B.A.-level programs at Diné College and other colleges and universities. Each student develops a portfolio of student learning projects completed during each course in the program. more information

Associates of Arts (A.A.) in Early Childhood Education

The Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education program introduces students to working with young children (up to age 8) and prepares them for successful participation in B.A.-level programs at other colleges and universities and for employment in a related field. more information

Chair and Contact

Contact Information

School of Diné Studies and Education
Ned Hatathli Center (NHC)
Tsaile Campus

PO Box C-15
Tsaile, AZ 86556



School of Diné Studies and Education

Welcome to the School of Dine Studies and Education. We have recently, as of Fall 2017, 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 endorements programs.

Certificate in Navajo Cultural Arts
Certificate in Navajo Nation Leadership
Associate of Arts in Diné Studies
Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education
Associate of Arts in Education
Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Mathematics track
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education Science track
Endorsement Early Childhood Education
Endorsement Math

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


NCAP Spring 2019 Newsletter

Dean and Contact

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


PO Box C-15
Tsaile, AZ 86556



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

Latest News

Endorsement Courses.The School of Diné Studies and Education has developed two sets of endorsement courses that are aligned to requirements of the Arizona Department of Education. The courses promote culturally appropriate teaching and learning strategies for Navajo learners. They are designed for teachers, taught by teachers, with real-world applications in Navajo Nation schools. All courses will be offered at Tsaile Campus.

Math endorsement courses for Fall 2018:

  • Fall 2018

    • EPD 251: Geometry and Measurement in Grades K-8 (3 credits) (ADE: Geometry and Measurement).

Registration for returning endorsement candidates. Teacher candidates who have been admitted to the College may register up until the first day of class. You will need to complete a course registration form and return it to the SDSE office prior to the first day of class.

Registration for new endorsement candidates. Teacher candidates who have not been admitted to the College (and thus have not taken other endorsement courses with us) must provide the following. Complete and return to the SDSE prior to the first day of class:

  • College admission application with non-refundable $20 application fee (you will need to indicate “Non-Degree Seeking” status on the application).
  • Official CIB or enrollment card (applies to Navajo and American Indian students only).

SDSE Online Courses – Are They Right for You?

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.

Why choose Diné College?

  • 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.

Dean and Contact

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

PO Box C-15
Tsaile, AZ 86556