Northland Pioneer College

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Northland Pioneer College
Other name
MottoExpanding Minds[ citation needed], Transforming Lives[ citation needed]
Type Public Community College
Established1974 (46 years ago) (1974)
Academic affiliation
Higher Learning Commission
PresidentMark Vest
Academic staff
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States

34°14′35″N 110°03′15″W / 34.2431651°N 110.0542716°W / 34.2431651; -110.0542716
Campus Rural
Colors Royal blue, Gold
Nickname Golden Eagles
MascotErnie Eagle
NPL Logo.png

Northland Pioneer College (NPC) is a public community college serving an area in Show Low, Arizona. Campuses are located in four of the largest Navajo County communities: Holbrook, Show Low, Snowflake, and Winslow. Five centers are located in Hopi/Polacca, Kayenta, Springerville, St. Johns, and Whiteriver. NPC also partners with community members in Apache County, Arizona. NPC is governed by the Navajo County Community College District, the nation’s second-largest community college service area – 21,158 square miles (54,800 km2). The Navajo, Hopi, and White Mountain Apache Indian Reservations occupy more than forty percent of the total land in the college's service area. NPC has an open admissions policy.


In the late 1950s, citizens in Northeastern Arizona were concerned about the lack of access to higher education and began advocating for the establishment of a regional community college. In fall 1972, the Navajo County Community College District was formed to serve the higher education needs of residents in a region covering 21,158 square miles (nearly the size of West Virginia). The district oversees Northland Pioneer College, which began offering college classes in fall 1974. More than 2,000 students enrolled that first year, double the anticipated number. Classes were held in an abandoned school, an abandoned hospital and a variety of public school classrooms and community buildings. The first graduating class, in spring 1975, included nine students.


  • Edward Sorensen, May 1973 - January 1977
  • Gordon Snowbarger, January 1977 - June 1977 (interim)
  • Marvin Vasher, July 1977 - October 1990
  • Shirley Reed, October - December 1990 (interim)
  • John Anderson, January 1991 - January 1997
  • Gary Passer, January 1997 - June 2004
  • Richard Fleming, July 2004 - September 20, 2005
  • Gary Passer, September 21, 2005 - June 2006 (interim)
  • Ralph Orr, July 2006 - April 2007
  • Mark Vest, April - May 2007 (interim)
  • Jeanne Swarthout, May 2007 - June 2018
  • Mark Vest, July 2018 – Present


NPC is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC). [1] The most recent HLC evaluation of the college took place in 2010, with unqualified approval of every area of college operations. HLC continuously monitors operational and educational standards, ensuring NPC students of an up-to-date, nationally recognized and accredited educational experience. The next accreditation visit is scheduled to take place November 18–19, 2019. The college also is accredited by agencies on a program specific basis. [2]


  1. ^ "Accreditation". Northland Pioneer College. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  2. ^ "Other Agencies That Accredit NPC Programs". Northland Pioneer College. Retrieved 24 July 2018.

External links

Latitude and Longitude:

34°14′35″N 110°03′15″W / 34.2431651°N 110.0542716°W / 34.2431651; -110.0542716