Agreement strengthens NAU ties with Tohono O’odham Nation

President Rita Cheng and TOCC president sign memorandum of understanding
President Rita Cheng and TOCC president sign memorandum of understanding
NAU President Rita Cheng and Tohono O’odham Community College President Paul Robertson signed the memorandum of understanding during a ceremony Tuesday.

NAU has taken another significant step forward in its partnerships with Native American communities.

This week, President Rita Cheng signed a memorandum of understanding with Tohono O’odham Community College–an understanding that strengthens ties between the institutions and provides greater access to educational opportunities for students from the Tohono O’odham Nation. President Cheng joined Edward D. Manuel, Honorable Chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, and Paul Robertson, TOCC President, at a signing ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 9.

At the ceremony, Cheng celebrated the fact that students who attend tribal colleges before they go on to earn four-year degrees are more likely to succeed.

“The MOU we celebrate today is the right step to ensure the best possible outcome for current and future Tohono O’odham students,” Cheng stated.

Throughout its history, NAU has demonstrated a commitment to Native American communities. Stronger relationships with community colleges strengthen the university’s efforts and renew its service and dedication to the success of its Native American students.

Over the past five years, 27 students from the Tohono O’odham Nation have graduated from NAU with 19 bachelor degrees and eight master’s degrees. Those degrees have spanned nearly 20 fields of study, from administration to applied indigenous studies, biomedical science, education leadership and sociology.

The enhanced cooperation signed this week will help more students pursue their dreams of higher education.