News Release – Diné College Ranked No. 5 Nationwide for Most Associate Degrees Awarded

Photo caption: Ryan Lee in the photo. May 2019

Diné College Ranked No. 5 Nationwide for Most Associate Degrees Awarded Annually to Native Americans


Jan. 2, 2020

TSAILE, Ariz. —Diné College graduates a large number of students with associate degrees, according to a survey done by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics and published in the Dec. 12, 2019, edition of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, a national magazine.

The magazine ranked Diné College No. 5 with respect to associate’s degrees conferred to Native Americans in all disciplines. Diné College was the highest ranked tribal college.

Diné College President Monty Roessel said, “We are proud of the ranking, it reaffirms that our faculty care about student success and with a low teacher-to-student ratio, extra time can be focused on students to ensure they are successful.”

According to the magazine, the number of associate degrees awarded around the U.S. in the academic year 2017-18 was just more than 1 million. Of the degrees awarded, 44 percent were conferred to minorities.

Provost Geraldine Garrity said students excel at Dine College, “Because the institution is culturally-based and relevant for students. Students incorporate both the Navajo and Western perspectives in their education and are able to achieve their goals toward life-learning.”

The survey breaks down the Top 100 institutions that awarded associate’s degrees to Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics.

The Diné College Breakdown

Diné College graduated 25 students with associate’s degrees in health occupations in 2019, and there were 24 students who received associate’s degrees in business administration in the same academic year. There were 22 students who received like degrees in social science in 2019. The college graduated its fourth largest class ever last May.

“I will always value the Navajo teachings that were part of the business program and how Diné College puts that influence into college concepts,” Ryan Lee said. Lee graduated from Diné College with associate (2017) and bachelor (2019) degrees in business and pans to attend the University of Oklahoma to pursue a master’s degree in business administration. He currents works as a student recruiter for the college.

“This is a very important part of why people choose the business program at the college.”

​ Diné College was founded in 1968 as the first tribally-controlled institution of higher learning and solidified its four-year status in April 2019. The college operates campuses in Arizona and New Mexico and is planning to establish a law school.

Launched in 1984, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education covers news, information and commentary on subjects concerning diversity in American higher education. It is the second largest higher education trade publication in the U.S. and delivers the largest audience of educators of color from more than 4,800 U.S. colleges and universities.



Marie R. Etsitty Nez 
Vice President of External Affairs

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

Bernie DotsonPublic Relations Officer

Scott TomGraphic Design and Digital Media Specialist

Jazzmine D. MartinezMarketing Assistant

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