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ERIC Number: EJ1152931
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1052-5505
If Not Us, Then Who? Increasing Opportunities for Students at Navajo Technical University
Vandever, Daniel
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education, v29 n1 Fall 2017
Navajo Technical University first opened its doors in 1979 as the Navajo Skills Center with the simple intention of training an unemployed workforce and putting people to work. At the time, the Diné were just a generation removed from attempts at forced assimilation, which included unwarranted military action by the U.S. Cavalry during the Long Walk campaign of the 1860s, as well as through federally supported programs like the Livestock Reduction Act of the 1930s and boarding school education. Such tactics have had a long term negative impact on the Navajo Nation. Today some of the highest unemployment and poverty rates are among the Navajo. The Navajo Skills Center emerged out of this environment, which helped integrate Western education and training into Navajo livelihood, while remaining committed to promoting Diné language and culture in the classroom. With that foundation in place, the Skills Center was successful in educating the Diné in programs like carpentry, medical assisting, culinary arts, and construction, while also reinforcing cultural identity. After six years of successful operation, and as the institution began to turn its focus on the growing influence of computers, the Navajo Nation's tribal council affirmed the institution's success and approved a name change to the Crownpoint Institute of Technology (CIT). In 2006, CIT became Navajo Technical College as it persisted in it's ability to develop relevant degree programs. In 2013 the institution became a University. While much has been accomplished to push NTU and the Navajo Nation into the future, more must be accomplished to properly address the needs of students so they no longer have to struggle at schools off the reservation in order to earn a degree.
Tribal College Journal of American Indian Higher Education. P.O. Box 720, Mancos, CO 81328. Tel: 888-899-6693; Fax: 970-533-9145; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Mexico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A