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Part 19: Navajo Indian College - 2001-09-10


We continue with our series of reports about how foreign students can study in the United States. Today, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, we tell about an unusual college that accepts foreign students. It is a Navajo Indian college in the American Southwest. ANNCR:

Dine (din-AY) College was known as Navajo Community College until a few years ago. Dine is the word Navajo Indians use for themselves.

It was the first college in the United States controlled by an Indian tribe. The first classrooms were built in the early Nineteen-Seventies on the Navajo reservation in Tsaile (SAY-lee), Arizona. Dine College also has a campus in Shiprock, New Mexico. And it offers programs in other towns on the Navajo reservation.

When the college was established, officials wanted a place that would combine modern education with Navajo ceremonial life. The grounds at Tsaile demonstrate this. The buildings are designed in a circle. A circle represents life to the Navajos. At the center is a tall building with eight sides. It is covered with black glass. It represents a nearby mountain, Tsaile Peak. The tall building is surrounded by low buildings where the students live. Most of these buildings are designed to look like the traditional round Navajo home, the hogan.

Dine College offers two years of education. Students can earn degrees in such areas as business and computer science. The college also has a four-year program that leads to a degree in education from Arizona State University.

Dine College is open to anyone who wants to attend. This year, three foreign students are attending Dine College. Officials say foreign students must score at least five hundred on the Test of English as a Foreign Language before they can be admitted. Dine College does not provide financial aid to international students. The cost of one year is about four-thousand dollars.