- Navajo Technical University in New Mexico said it has become the first tribal institution to offer an accredited doctoral degree in the US.
- Public land university announced earlier this month will begin a doctoral program on Navajo culture and language. The institution calls it a degree in Diné, which is a Navajo word meaning “people.”
- Navajo Tech has already begun accepting students for the program’s inaugural Fall 2023 cohort.
There is only a small group of institutions, more than 30 of them recognized as tribal institutions from the US Department of Education.
Tribal colleges are an integral part of their communities and as noted the federal governmentthey are often the only postsecondary institution in some of the poorest rural areas of the US
They offer all degree levels, but only a handful of institutions maintain master’s degree programs.
Navajo Tech will offer the highest degree possible at a tribal institution, which its president, Elmer Guy, said in a statement “is a monumental achievement for Navajo Technical University, the Navajo Nation and tribal colleges and universities across the country.”
“It reflects NTU’s commitment and determination to achieve new levels of delivering the best education for our people and scholars who want to achieve major degrees close to home and at our institution,” Guy said.
Doctoral students will learn about procedures for promoting and preserving Diné culture, the university said.