Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Oct. 28

The American Academy helps Navajo students preserve language, history

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - Navajo students can now learn their tribe's customs and language while becoming eligible for scholarships, thanks to two Navajo courses now being offered by online high school, The American Academy.

The American Academy offers courses in Navajo government and Navajo language. Both courses are intended to enrich the cultural knowledge of students within and outside the Navajo Nation. The Navajo government course covers the evolution of Navajo government from its beginnings to the present time. In the Navajo language course, students learn to speak, write and read numerals, learn about anatomy, conversational phrases and other common terms.

"It's very important to the Navajo people to pass their traditions and language down from generation to generation," said Rebekah Richards, senior vice president of academic affairs and principal of the Academy. "Teachers who are qualified to educate students about Diné culture are rare, particularly outside the reservation. We help members of the Navajo Nation preserve their cultural heritage by offering these online courses. Students anywhere in the country can access the courses and master the content with the help of a Navajo teacher."

High school credit for both courses is required to be eligible for the Chief Manuelito Scholarship, a four-year, $7,000-per-year scholarship awarded annually by the Navajo Nation to high-achieving Navajo students entering their first year of college. Several American Academy students are currently eligible for the award. Recipients of the scholarship will be announced in July. Previously, students outside traditional Navajo regions had little or no access to cultural courses from accredited institutions, but having the courses available online expands the potential scholarship applicant pool significantly.

"We sought availability of online Navajo courses because many schools that serve Navajo children do not offer such courses at the high school," said Rose Graham, director of the Navajo Nation Office of Scholarship and Financial Assistance. "Also, there are Navajo families in just about every state of the union where Navajo language and history are definitely not taught in schools."

The American Academy is accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools, which means that credits earned at the academy will transfer to public and accredited private high schools across the country. The Academy serves students throughout the U.S. and in several countries. Every student has access to licensed instructors and to tutoring available on-demand at any time.

Enrollment is open at the academy, and 233 different classes begin every Monday.

About the American Academy

The American Academy is an accredited online high school built on a system that has served more than 80,000 students since 1994. It serves students worldwide who want to supplement their high school program or earn their high school diploma. The Academy offers a flexible educational experience along with a high quality, engaging curriculum that aligns with state standards. Through its relationships with long-standing education institutions, including the Utah State Board of Education, the academy provides leading-edge resources and access to licensed, experienced instructors.

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