Diné College to Offer New Multi-Cultural Education Bachelor’s Degree Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 10, 2019
TSAILE, Ariz — As 2019 comes to an end, it marks a time of new possibilities and change at Diné College.
A new track in the bachelor’s of arts degree in multi-cultural education will be offered beginning in Spring 2020 at the college’s Shiprock campus.
The college currently offers a bachelor’s of arts degree in elementary education with an emphasis in Navajo language, a bachelor’s of science in secondary mathematics and science and an associate’s of arts degree in education and early childhood education with an emphasis in Navajo language.
It’s the first time ever the college is offering the new multi-cultural degree program. The program was unanimously approved by the Diné College Board of Regents on Nov.12.
“It is a program entirely different from existing programs at Diné College,” Charlton Long, the education faculty member who created the new program, said. “I have collaborated with the proper stakeholders to ensure the program is successful.”
Diné College Dean of Diné Studies and Education Lawrence Isaac, Jr., Ph.D, a career educator, said the program is partnering with San Juan College of Farmington in the endeavor.
“The teacher education program at the Shiprock campus will be one of a cohort model,” Isaac, Jr., said. “The multicultural curriculum is specifically designed for emerging educators, paraprofessionals and classroom teachers.”
Isaac, Jr., noted that based on data from the New Mexico Educator Vacancy Report, there are 89 regional school districts — of which 16 are located near Diné College’s Shiprock and Crownpoint campuses. Those are the McKinley and San Juan county school districts.
Long said he’s been busy making sure program development meets New Mexico standards and licensure. He said that students enrolled in the new program become eligible to obtain teacher certification in New Mexico and therefore teach in New Mexico school districts like McKinley and San Juan counties.
“We need teachers in the northwest region of (New Mexico) and there are some programs out there that don’t accommodate the need for teachers,” Long said. “Simply put, there is a need for more teachers and programs.”
“Creating a new program on standards of New Mexico will help address our students that live in that state who seek (NM) teacher certification without using reciprocity,” Long said. “Overall, we just need more teachers. We are trying to meet the needs which will benefit the state and the students.”
An initial goal of the program is to produce 100 certified teachers by the Spring of 2021, Long and Isaac, Jr., said.
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