CROWNPOINT, NM – Reducing tuition in half for the summer semester is one strategy Navajo Technical University deployed in an effort to encourage students to complete their education amidst a global pandemic that has impacted over 5,500 families on the Navajo Nation.
COVID-19 reached the Navajo Nation at the beginning of March prior to students being dismissed for spring break. Instead of returning to class, students were introduced to an emergency distance education model that delivered coursework online, by traditional mail, and teleconferencing.
Finals were extended to accommodate programs that required face-to-face hour instruction, and NTU implemented a spring intersession to assist students that needed to make up coursework or graduates in need of completing a course. The three-week intersession limited students to one course at 15 hours a week. A summer intersession will also be offered beginning July 20, 2020.
“Our students didn’t ask for this disruption to their lives and it is our responsibility to make every effort to ensure they continue their studies and graduate on time,” explained NTU provost Dr. Colleen W. Bowman. “We are living in a new world that requires new solutions and innovative approaches to learning. It’s also critical to have our students and graduates involved in this process.”
In addition to cutting tuition in half, NTU has waived tuition completely for high school graduates that took dual credit courses with NTU over the past year. To be eligible for the tuition waiver, students are required to participate in NTU’s summer online bridge program and they must register for fall courses. According to Dr. Bowman, the strategy is intended to help students persist with their studies at an institution that is familiar and close to home.
“A lot of families might be hesitant about sending their graduates across the country during this time of uncertainty, so we want to be the institution that helps students stay on course with their studies while remaining home and being available to also help their family in this time of need,” continued Dr. Bowman. “NTU is an affordable institution, recognized for both our online capacity and accredited programs. Our responsibility to be there for our students in this way.”
NTU administrators are discussing a hybrid delivery for the fall, which would be a combination of online and face-to-face instruction. Discussions are also taking place about moving up the start date and finishing the semester before Thanksgiving break. For more information about NTU’s summer and fall enrollment process, contact Delores Becenti at firstname.lastname@example.org.