Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Aug. 11

Diné College offering mostly online classes for fall semester
Registration now open

(Photo courtesy of Dine College)

(Photo courtesy of Dine College)

TSAILE, Ariz. — Dine college will offer 358 courses this fall with all but 10 courses to be offered online.

Currently, staff are preparing for the return of students by instituting campus-wide safety measures, a $6.4 million technology upgrade, developing a laptop loaner program and other student success measures.

The fall semester begins Aug. 17.

Online registration began June 22 and remains open.

Diné College President Charles Roessel said the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should not be a barrier to education.

“We are getting the college ready for you this fall. This is a time of uncertainty, but it should not deter you from making a new future for you and your family,” he said.

Roessel said students can expect a much safer campus, with new signage encouraging social distancing. Plexiglass has also been installed in offices and classrooms to help ward off transmission of COVID-19.

Roessel said the college has invested $6.4 million in technology upgrades, pointing out expanded broadband capacity, Zoom studios and the laptop loaner program.

“A combination (48) of laptops and MAC Air Books were ordered,” said Diné College Information Technology Director Joy Thompson.

The discounted cost of each machine ranges from $500 to $700.

“There are more (40) to be purchased,” Thompson said.

According to Thompson, wireless Internet units with wireless data plans were ordered for students who do not have internet access at their homes. Additionally, students can access the Internet from wireless access points at either of the college’s six campuses. Access points are located at student parking lots. Hours of access are within curfew times implemented by the Navajo Nation.

“We’re looking to making (the) educational experience successful,” Roessel said. “We’re making things as safe as we can.”

Over the past few months, college officials have said COVID-19 testing and tracing protocols are encouraged and campuses will be regularly cleaned in accordance with CDC guidelines.

The college intends to prioritize on-campus instruction for courses, labs, studios and practicums where hands-on experiences are critical for learning.

There is also a cap on class size based on square feet, not to exceed 10 students and only essential classes will be face-to-face. Hand-washing stations will be provided throughout the six campuses of the college. Security check points will also be implemented throughout college buildings and will require temperature checks and an ID scan upon entry.

For the summer session, the college reported 424 students were enrolled. Summer semesters were rolled into one session.

A campus wide Zoom meeting was held at the end of June where employees were informed of a return-to-work plan. There are around 300 people who work at Diné College at campuses in Arizona and New Mexico.

Information provided by Diné College

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