CROWNPOINT, NM, March 6, 2023 - Navajo Technical University (NTU) presents the addition of its Doctor of Philosophy in Diné Culture and Language Sustainability to its graduate program. The accomplishment at the University marks a historic occurrence as the first accredited Ph.D. program of its kind at a Tribal College or University. The inaugural doctoral program is designed to produce scholars who can conduct research, teach, and lead in efforts to retain the culture, language, and leadership of the Navajo. The program will immediately accept applicants for its first cohort set to start in Fall 2023.
“The establishment of the doctorate program in Diné Culture and Language Sustainability is a monumental achievement for Navajo Technical University, the Navajo Nation, and Tribal Colleges and Universities throughout the country,” said NTU President Elmer J. Guy, as he confirmed the success and efforts to attain the endorsement. “It reflects NTU’s dedication and commitment to reaching new levels of providing the best education for our people and scholars who want to attain prominent degrees near home and at our institution.”
The development of the program is a significant milestone in regards to preserving a diminishing language and culture that has been at the focal point of many educators and administrators on the Navajo nation over the years. The program’s curriculum will focus on the language, culture, and history of the Diné people that will incorporate contemporary issues and challenges facing Indigenous communities.
The program proposes to train its scholars to become acquainted with best practices that will promote and preserve Diné culture and language to all consultations. Through its accreditation with the Higher Learning Commission, all graduates of the program meet all standards and rigor required. The program will succeed a master’s degree program in Diné Studies language and leadership that currently has a steady cohort of students.
“Since the inception of the Master’s degree in Diné Culture, Language, and Leadership in 2013, our intuition has been reaching new heights in all areas, especially in our technology and vocational programs” said Dr. Guy, as he discussed the various accolades received by the programs. “At NTU we are prepared to meet the technological demands with the needs of culture and language sustainability, the Ph.D. program demonstrates our sincerity to advance those prerequisites.
The accreditation process for NTU doctoral faculty to obtain the Ph.D status to offer the highest degree was a longstanding goal that began five years ago. Its architecture ensures the program meets the highest academic standards recognized by other universities and academic institutions through the Higher Learning Commission’s accreditation. Complementary to the program’s arrangement are the consultation with NTU colleagues, Diné elders, indigenous scholars, community members and experts elsewhere in North America.
University officials have scheduled a celebration for the brand-new Ph.D. program which will take place on Monday, April 24, 2023 at Navajo Technical University main campus. The occasion will feature speeches from prominent members of the Navajo Nation and academia, as well as a traditional Navajo meal and cultural performances.
The Ph.D. program is open to students who currently have a master’s degree. The application deadline is May 1, 2023. For more information about the university’s latest Ph.D. program and other graduate programs offered at NTU please visit navajotech.edu.
Dale Morgan - Communication Specialist