Published March 3, 2019
WINDOW ROCK — Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer offer their support on behalf of Diné College to the Arizona State Legislature in regards to Senate Bill 1266 and House Bill 2663, which seeks to provide approximately $2 million for developmental education. The two leaders issued a letter addressed to state legislators in support of the appropriation that would assist Diné college in providing remedial education for Navajo students enrolled in Diné College campuses in Arizona.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer
“The Nez-Lizer administration strongly supports higher education initiatives that help Navajo students, teachers, and administrators. Our Navajo students need to be prepared for college once they complete high school and there is a need for more resources to get them college-ready, and this appropriation would assist many of the students,” said President Nez.
Diné College President Dr. Charles “Monty” Roessel stated that nationally there are more than 60-percent of students that need developmental education when entering college, however, approximately 88-percent of Navajo students at Diné College, who graduate from high school are not ready for college. The college is also looking to partner with high schools to better prepare their students prior to graduating.
“The Office of Navajo Nation Scholarship and Financial Assistance has spent approximately $5 million on developmental education courses. In other words, a large portion of financial aid is spent on getting students ready for college – we must do better,” added President Nez.
Diné College is in great need of additional resources to continue providing remedial classes and has established programs that nurture the dynamics of student learning, workforce development, and economic livelihood for the local tribal communities, especially on the Navajo Nation.
Senate Bill 1266 and House Bill 2663 were introduced based on a successful college readiness pilot program that started in summer 2018 at Diné College, which saw a 75-percent success rate with students being college ready by the time they enter their first college semester.
“We have many talented and intelligent Navajo students who simply need a little more assistance to help them succeed with higher education,” said Vice President Lizer. “It’s basically an investment in our future for our communities and the entire Navajo Nation. When our students succeed it creates a stronger foundation and a better and brighter future for all of us.”