Navajo Technical University has added its ninth baccalaureate degree after receiving approval from the Institutions Action Council of the Higher Learning Commission to begin offering a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education.
The degree is the sixth baccalaureate degree added by NTU in the past three years, joining a list of degrees that include: a Bachelor of Arts degree in Diné Culture, Language, and Leadership; a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing and New Media; and Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer and Electronics Engineering, Environmental Science and Natural Resources, and Industrial Engineering. NTU offered its first four-year degrees in 2011 with Bachelor of Applied Science degrees in IT—Computer Science, IT—Digital Manufacturing, and IT—New Media.
“I’m so thrilled for the degree,” exclaimed NTU Early Childhood Multicultural Education instructor, Della Begay, who also helped developed the curriculum for the new program. “It’s what everybody’s been waiting for.”
Begay started NTU’s Early Childhood program in 2001 as a 3 credit hour, entry-level introductory course, which eventually developed into a certificate program and associate’s degree. Currently, there are 118 students enrolled in the program.
“There is a demand in this area for early childhood teachers because we have a head start program and two elementary schools in town,” explained Begay. “We’re feeding into the system, but the system is also feeding us. We’re receiving a lot of interest from head start programs as well as home-based and FACE programs that send us their employees.”
NTU’s Early Childhood Multicultural Education program requires approximately 128 credit hours to complete and includes two tracks, one with an emphasis on birth through age 4 and the other geared towards birth through age 8. Both tracks will prepare students to obtain early childhood licensure in the state of New Mexico.
“I think it’s a positive step,” said Angelita Darwin of Standing Rock, New Mexico. “It’s opening up more opportunities for myself but also the younger generations. I’m just excited and grateful the school acknowledged the fact we need more educators.”
Darwin will be graduating with her associate’s degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education in May, but upon completion, she plans on continuing into NTU’s Bachelor of Science degree program.
“I like being here. It’s cost effective and close to my home and family,” Darwin stated. “It’s a positive experience.”
Currently, NTU offers an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education at two of its sites in Crownpoint and Chinle, and Early Childhood Multicultural Education classes at Teec Nos Pos. The baccalaureate degree will be offered at the Crownpoint campus only. According to Begay, the B.S. degree will align with NTU’s Bachelor of Arts degree in Diné Culture, Language, and Leadership in order to reinforce the multicultural aspect of the program.
For more information about NTU’s Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Multicultural Education, contact Della Begay at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 505-786-4304.