Executive Director, A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center
Keshhi, ko’ don dewannne a:deyaye
Welcome to the A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center!
We are thankful for the many allies, partners, community and tribal resources that have been made available as we embark on a journey to strengthen the higher educational opportunities for our community and the surrounding attendance area of A:shiwi College.
A:shiwi College & Career Readiness Center is a direct result of our tribal leadership defining with courage, foresight and self-determination how they wanted to address the higher learning needs and create expanded educational opportunities for the Zuni people. The opportunity to create a tribal college specifically for the Zuni people came about when the University of New Mexico decided to close and abandon the Zuni instructional site as being too costly and without an educational direction. After a series of negotiations, the tribe received the facility, contents and land from the University and started the process of establishing a tribal college. Having recently retired from the Superintendency with the Zuni Public School District, the Zuni Tribal Council appointed me, as a Zuni tribal member, to head this initiative.
The Zuni Tribal Council stated they wanted a strong foundation of academic programs, career and technical education as well as culturally and linguistically supportive learning to develop in the newly emerging college. They also wanted to achieve independent accreditation, but in the meantime, to partner with an existing tribal college to learn about applicable accreditation policies, programs, funding and standards developed for tribal colleges. A proposal was presented to Navajo Technical University, (NTU) Office of the President and the Board of Regents.
The proposal was accepted and the A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center became an Instructional Site of Navajo Technical University. On December 7, 2018, The Higher Learning Commission sent a letter to Dr. Elmer Guy, President of NTU that the Zuni Site was recognized and accredited for coursework under NTU accreditation.
We are fortunate to have entered into an agreement of sponsorship with NTU, a tribal college accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. NTU enjoys a reputation that represents excellence, is culturally grounded and acknowledged as one of the premier tribal colleges in the nation. We expect to continue gaining from their knowledge, experiences and expertise as we work toward becoming an independent accredited tribal college and continue the necessary organizational development to improve student services and build capacity at A:shiwi College.
We urge community members and those in surrounding areas to enroll in Navajo Technical University at the A:shiwi Campus. There are many academic courses to choose from and the newest extended education programs focus on traditional creative arts and entrepreneurship.
I will continue to provide progress reports as we move forward. My sincere appreciation to our cadre of capable, committed and professional Zuni staff and the Zuni Tribal Council for their extraordinary support. Elahkwa!
Hayes A. Lewis, Executive Director
A:shiwi College and Career Readiness Center