Diné College interim president urges Congress to authorize funding bill

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For Immediate Release

Diné College interim president urges Congress to authorize funding bill

WASHINGTON—Diné College Interim President Martín Miguel Ahumada provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in support of S 2564, legislation to authorize the Diné College Act of 2016.

The bill authorizes funding to support operational funding and a much needed facilities study along with additional funding for construction projects at the College’s two campuses and four satellite sites across the Navajo Nation. The Diné College Act of 2016 replaces the Navajo Nation Higher Education Act of 2008, which expired in 2014.

U.S. Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) joined by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced the bipartisan Diné College Act of 2016 on Feb. 23.

Ahumada said the passage of the bill will ensure the Navajo Nation and its people can have the right to self-determination; improve the economic and social well-being of the Navajo Nation through higher education; and maintain and strengthen distinct institutions of higher education that teach Navajo language, culture, traditions and history.

“Your endorsement of this bill will enable us to both maintain and improve our programs and services—and to serve as a world-class model for innovation, for the preservation of language and culture, and for overall nation-building,” said Ahumada.

Diné College is fulfilling its nation-building mission by enhancing its bachelor’s degree programs in business administration and elementary education.

Additionally, the College is creating new bachelor’s degree programs in biology, psychology, secondary math education, secondary science education, and Indigenous public health.

Diné College awards 19 associate degrees, six certificates and two bachelor degrees and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

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