Roy E. Howard, Ph.D.
Gallup Graduate Studies Center, Western New Mexico University
e-mail | Vita

Navajo Area Technical Opportunities Program, U.S. Department of Commerce

Grant coordinating committee:

Larry Shaw NETC Navajo Education Technology Consortium

Larry Linford GMcSD Gallup McKinley County School District

Roy Howard WNMU Gallup Graduate Studies Center

Herb Mosher and Duane Jordan RMCHCS Rehoboth Medical Center

Bob Begay Navajo Nation RSI

Ram Das UNM-G

Steve Grey Dept of Energy, Lawrence Livermore Lab

Tico Charley Navajo Nation Communication Utility

Alex Largie Navajo Nation Information Technology

Scope of the Grant proposal:

High speed, broad band telecommunications infrastructure to deliver internet and video communications to remote areas for telemedicine, education, and full scale economic development.

Navajo Indian Reservation Wide Area Network (NIRWAN) Project

Western New Mexico University

Western New Mexico University has pioneered distance and rural
education in the Navajo Area since 1984 through the Gallup Graduate
Studies Center. WNMU is prepared to deliver instruction to remote
locations that are equipped with video conferencing and web technologies.

In November, 1999, the Gallup Graduate Studies Center (GGSC) activated
a Polycom View Station for videoteleconferencing. Supported by a full T1
line, the station makes live, interactive meetings and classes a reality.
Connecting at 384kbh makes for real-time viewing of all the action.

The Gallup Graduate Studies Center has its own domain on the world wide
web. Go to for access to the brochure and class
schedule, web sites for each of the five programs, and much more. Many
courses use web components as part of the instruction.

The Gallup Graduate Studies Center is hard wired directly to the internet.
Students, faculty, and staff are instantly on-line any time of the day or night
with high speed connections. The modern laboratory is equipped with
PowerMac and Dell computers, color printer, laser printer, scanner, digital
camera, video camera, and the applications to support professional
computer materials production.

Although over three fourths of the consumers in the Four Corners area are
Native American, there is a definite lack of Indian people in leadership
positions in business, industry, and government. To address this
need, Western New Mexico University offers a Masters of Business
Administration, and Masters in Education degrees in Gallup, but many
individuals have to travel long distances to attend classes. The MBA and
MAT programs offer new opportunities for upward mobility for Indian and
other rural people in business, industry, and government, if they can
access the instruction. Many of those who benefit from the MBA option
may also be employed in schools in non-instructional careers.
Conversations with Navajo and Zuni tribal leaders have met with an
ethusiastic response: that there is a critical need to upgrade the skills of
many leaders, from division directors to tribal industry managers. "We
will hire all the Indian MBA's you can graduate", was the oft heard reply.

There is also a long standing community goal to increase the number of
Indian people as teachers, counselors, leaders, and community role models
and thus improve the learning of K-12 children and youth in a vast
geographical region where over 75% are Native American. This will be
accomplished with appropriate infrastructure for course delivery by:
1. increasing the number of master teachers by attracting certified Native
American teachers into Bilingual Education, ESL, and Special Education;
2. improving the qualifications of current Indian teachers, counselors and
administrators; and
3. providing a learning environment that supports and stimulates a
commitment to meeting the needs of Indian students.

The proposed communications infrastructure project will promote
considerable sharing of resources among the participants. WNMU is
engaging in a special relationship with Gallup/McKinley County Schools,
Zuni Public Schools and other districts to accomplish coordination and

In conclusion, there is a drastic shortage of Indian teachers, counselors,
and administrators in the area served by Western New Mexico University.
The Navajo Indian Reservation Wide Area Network Project expects, with federal
support to help with infrastructure needs, to increase the number of
qualified Indian individuals in professions that serve Indian people by
providing access to degree programs to qualified individuals to achieve a
Masters degree in elementary or secondary education (Bilingual Education
or ESL), Special Education, school administration, counseling, or the
Masters of Business Administration. Assuming that each counselor and
administrator will impact entire school populations or businesses, and each
teacher will impact 22 students per year for the next 20 years, the WNMU
benefit from the NIRWAN Project can reasonably expect to impact about
88,000 Indian children and directly impact, with tools to encourage and
support the learning of their children, about 49,400 parents, or a total of
about 137,400 Indian and other rural residents.

Roy E. Howard, Ph.D.
Gallup Graduate Studies Center, Western New Mexico University
e-mail | Vita