Navajo Tech reaches out to adult learners with Weekend College program

CHINLE, Ariz. - In an attempt to make become more accessible to students, Navajo Technical College is offering a Weekend College program through its Chinle Instructional for an Associate of Applied Science degree in General Studies.

The Weekend College program was developed with adult learners in mind so students wouldn't have to sacrifice family and personal obligations.

"With this program, we go by our mission statement in providing community education in a student-oriented environment," stated Sharon Toadecheenie, NTC's Weekend College program coordinator. "We're really benefiting the community in Chinle where a lot of parents want to go to school, but they don't always have the time or opportunity."

The college's weekend format is based on a traditional curriculum called "clusters," and is designed to provide a flexible program of study without comprising the intellectual wealth of coursework found in NTC's traditional degree requirements. Students have the opportunity of joining one of the six clusters at any time, but must finish their degree with a capstone course.

The program curriculum is currently about 75 percent complete and still has to go under review through NTC's curriculum board and the Higher Learning Commission. If approved, Weekend College could start as soon as Sept. 2 in Chinle.

The program will start in Chinle and eventually expand elsewhere.

"Once the program gets approved and off its feet, demand is going to come into play," explained NTC Chinle Instructional Site Director Arlena Bo Benallie. "We're going to start at the Chinle Instructional Site, but once we get the program steady, we're going to implement the program at our New Mexico campus."

Weekend College takes 24-36 months to complete, requiring a total of 62 credit hours. Courses that would normally take 16 weeks in a traditional degree program can be completed in approximately seven full weekends.

In order to be eligible for NTC's Weekend College, students must show proof of high school completion or a GED certificate. They also must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 and meet NTC's admission requirements.

The NTC Chinle Instructional Site has been in operation since 2006 and has had an increase in enrollment every year. According to Benallie, NTC is expecting a fall enrollment of 400 students, almost a hundred more than last year.

For more information or to register for Weekend College cluster courses, please contact the Admissions Office at the NTC Chinle Instructional Site at (928) 674-5764 or (505) 786-4341.

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