Diné College awarded $2.9M for expansion of high-speed internet access
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 28, 2022
TSAILE, AZ, — Diné College has been awarded $2.9 million by the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to enhance IT infrastructure for the College and Navajo Nation. The College is one of the first five awardees as part of the Connecting Minority Communities Pilot Program (CMC).
NTIA stated that “Dine College’s CONNECT NAVAJO project aims to improve educational and economic opportunity on the Navajo Nation by improving internet access, providing more hardware, and investing in IT staff. This project will ensure that the Diné people can continue to reside in their homes on Navajo Nation and benefit from access to technology that helps them earn academic credentials and enter economically rewarding and personally fulfilling careers.”
“Enhancing technology for students and the surrounding community has been and will continue to be a key priority for Diné College,” said Diné College President Charles Roessel. Types of funded projects will include: classroom technology upgrades, community technology hub upgrade, workforce training for economic growth, and digital literacy skills to name a few.
“We knew that we had to extend our services beyond our campuses and centers to the Navajo Nation, and part of this funding will allow us to fund broadband services across the reservation. We will also be investing in our staff, because it is the people behind the scenes that make any project work,” said Diné College IT Director, Ihab Saleh.
The CMC is part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Internet for All Initiative. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 directs $268 million for expanding high-speed internet access and connectivity to eligible colleges and universities.
As a postsecondary educational institution, Diné College awards Associate degrees, Baccalaureate degrees, and Certificates in areas important to the economic and social development of the Navajo Nation. To comply with the College mission, personalized instruction is guaranteed to each student because of the low student-faculty ratio. All are welcome to apply.