News Release – Construction Afoot at Diné College

Ongoing construction at Diné College’s Tsaile campus.


NHC Part of Cosmetic Effort at Diné College


TSAILE, Ariz. — Students and faculty members returning to Diné College for the beginning of the Fall 2018 semester will see some changes and improvements that have occurred over the summer, school officials say. Some of the changes are ongoing, while others are in place.

The changes include:

  • The Chicago-based Higher Learning Commission recently approved Diné College for a new Bachelor’s of Arts degree program in Diné Studies. The College has an associate’s of arts degree program in Diné Studies, and now has one at the B.A. level.

“We are promoting this program now. A lot of schools require their teachers to have certifications in language and culture,” George Joe, marketing and communications director at Diné College, said.

  • An $8 million renovation and improvement project is taking place at the Ned Hatathli Cultural Center that has been going on since after the May 2018 graduation. That project aims to stabilize the NHC Building, refurbishing offices, classrooms on the first floor and replacing the outer colored window panels of the six-story building.

Note: Built in 1974, the NHC is the tallest building on the Navajo Nation and considered one of the busiest places for staffers, students and the general public visiting the Tsaile campus.

  • Student enrollment is up and ahead of previous years. Enrollment is at (app.) 1,500, records show.
  • Family residential units have a waiting list, as do the College’s residential halls. “We have waiting lists for both the family and residential housing units,” Prescilla Leonard, Director of Enrollment at Diné College, said.
  • Six new faculty members, in a variety of disciplines, along with 10 new staffers have been hired since the end of Spring semester 2018. One of the newly hired faculty members, Karla Britton, Ph.D., is a Harvard University grad and a former lecturer at Yale University.
  • Dr. James Tutt, the former president of the Crownpoint Institute of Technology (now Navajo Technical University) will join the staff, too. He started Aug.14.
  • A new food service vendor, NMS of Anchorage, Alaska, was brought aboard as Diné College’s new contracted food provider. The company boasts two nationally-acclaimed chefs who’ll coordinate daily meals.
  • Diné College is the focus of the Fall 2018 issue of Tribal College Journal. The publication features pictorials and lengthy exposés about Diné College over the years.
  • The College has petitioned the HLC to become a full-fledged university.
  • A 50th anniversary gala is set for Sept. 22 at Scottsdale, Ariz. That event is part of an ongoing 50th anniversary Speaker Series and 2018 satellite campus recognitions.



Marie R. Etsitty Nez 
Vice President of External Affairs

George Joe, M.A. M.Ed, Director Of Marketing and Communications

Bernie DotsonPublic Relations Officer

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