CROWNPOINT, N.M. - After 32 years of providing top-notch technical, vocational and educational instruction, Navajo Technical College (NTC) was recently recognized as one of the top 120 community colleges in the United States by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program, a D.C.-based non-profit organization.
NTC received the honor based off of data that evaluated the percentage of students who graduate with an associate's degree or successfully transfer from their community colleges into a four-year institution. The proportion of low-income and minority students who completed each program was also assessed.
Whereas the national average of retention rate is only 51 percent for all colleges and universities in the U.S., NTC has maintained over a 70 percent average retention the last several years. When it comes to community colleges, fewer than three out of 10 full-time students graduate with a two-year degree in three years and not even half of all students who enroll can complete their coursework within six years according to the Department of Education.
"Our administration is always looking for quality instructors who can provide students with quality learning," explained Steven Benally, Director of Human Resources. "This just goes to show we're heading in the right direction and we're doing something right."
Aspen Institute developed its top community colleges list to identify colleges that have demonstrated high standards of learning, college completion without delay, and community colleges as training grounds for jobs that pay competitive wages. NTC was the only community college representing the Navajo Nation, as well as the state of New Mexico.
The 120 winners - who represent the top 10 percent of the country's 1,200 community colleges - can now enter to win a $1 million fund where the winner will be announced in December.
A full list of the 120 community colleges is available at www.AspenCCPrize.org.
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