Published September 27, 2017
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA – On September 20, 2017, Navajo Technical University signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Northern Arizona University in effort to better meet the higher education needs of residents in Northern Arizona and the Navajo Nation. The signing took place in a special ceremony at NAU’s Native American Cultural Center, which included representatives from each institution.
The MOU will seek to enhance academic programming and student success at NAU and NTU, as well as explore faculty collaborations and exchanges for the purpose of research and scholarly activities. While NTU and NAU have collaborated on several initiatives in the past, NAU President Dr. Rita Cheng explained that the time was right to commit to something formal.
“The formality of a MOU is so important for us to send a strong signal that it is important to have this partnership. And why it’s important is for the students and their opportunities,” stated President Cheng. “I think together we can provide a great number of opportunities for our students no matter what they want to study, and we can help them fill their dreams.”
Curriculum development and articulations through programs such as joint admission, 2 + 2 programs, dual enrollment, and integrated academic degree progression plans will be a key focus of the MOU, but it will also emphasize shared resources. In operating in this manner, students will be able to benefit from each institution in regards to academic advising and other services that contribute to student success, such as library services and student tracking.
“With dynamic leadership at both institutions, now is the time. This is the moment to create a partnership that will be equitable, innovative, and enduring,” explained Dr. Chad Hamill, Vice President of NAU’s Office of Native American Initiatives. Hamill emphasized that the MOU would greatly benefit each institution in that it brings something unique and enduring.
“Given the wide diversity of our native students at NAU, TCU’s offer something we can’t; a localized, culturally-centered education that expands the students knowledge of self, of community, and the broader world,” said Hamill, who explained that students who come to NAU from TCU’s are more academically prepared and likely to graduate.
The MOU agreement will be effective for a term of five years. At the end of the initial five-year term, the agreement will be evaluated and renegotiated. To ensure the MOU’s success, a liaison will be appointed at each institution that will work closely with inter-institutional disciplinary teams that can properly monitor each initiative.
“We’re very pleased we’re doing something formal,” stated Dr. Elmer J. Guy, president of NTU. “We’ve never done anything at this level and we’re really looking forward to this opportunity.”
For more information about Navajo Technical University visit www.navajotech.edu or call 505.786.4100.
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This BBSNews article originally appeared on Native News Online.