Dine College


April 2016


Fine Arts Program Gets Nod from Regents

The Fine Arts Faculty were recently given the green light by the Board of Regents to submit a four-year Fine Arts baccalaureate degree program to the Higher Learning Commission for accreditation.

The new Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program is specifically for studio arts and photography.  Students will apply into the program upon completion of an Associate of Arts in Fine Art at DC or from another college.  Students will then complete 52 hours of upper level BFA curriculum. The program is expected to be ready for enrollment in the fall of 2017.



Student artist, Andrea Sekayumptewa
 painting a hallway mural entitled, "Pathway of the Sun."

Nathan Begay won the mural completion sponsored by the art department


Currently, the Fine Arts Program is housed in the north wing of the Gorman Classroom Building in Tsaile. The program has a gallery and three dedicated classrooms managed by two full-time faculty members, Don Whitesinger who teaches Painting, Design and Survey of Native American Art; and Karen Willeto who teaches Photography, Drawing and survey courses in Art History. 

The Fine Arts faculty members had plenty of practice building arts programs.  They designed and received approval for a Certificate of Digital Arts program in 2015.  Students can begin enrolling in the certificate program in fall 2016.

Eventually, the group plans to expand the Digital Arts program under the umbrella of the BFA, along with developing additional bachelor-level fine arts programs.

The Fine Arts faculty recognizes the importance of continuing to build the BFA.  "Our students are naturally creative...it is in their nature. It's important to give our students a creative outlet to balance the analytical side of their intelligence, " Don said as he explains why fine arts are an important part of a Native educational institution.

The new BFA comes on the heels of an already successful Associate Degree in Fine Arts.  Karen and Don continue to guide students toward award winning success.  Most recently, their students took first and third place in a national arts competition at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Conference in Minneapolis, Minneapolis.

Those students are among the artists featured at the upcoming Spring Art Show on March 13 at the Tsaile Campus from 5:30 -8:00 pm in the Gorman Classroom Building and in the gallery in the Library. The event is free and open to the public.

The next step for the Fine Arts faculty is to begin drafting curriculum to be submitted to HLC along with the program framework.  This new program joins recent HLC submissions for seven new academic programs at the College: Bachelor of Science in Biology; Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics, Bachelor of Science in Secondary Science, Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Associate of Science in Pre-Engineering Program, Computer Technology Certificate Program, and Geographical Information System Certificate