NPC_leaving_legacyNorthland’s ECD program traces its roots back to the college’s founding in 1974, when Claude Endfield was one of the college’s first 10 graduates. She has helped guide the ECD program since 1988, adding age-specific specializations and adjusting curricula to meet our communities’ changing needs.

Retiring in June 2016, Endfield has easily traveled over a million miles, on paved roads and wagon tracks to bring ECD instruction to residents of the Navajo, Hopi and White Mountain Apache reservations and adjoining communities.


Claude Endfield, retiring chair of NPC’s Early Childhood Education program, received a bouquet of flowers and a Peterson Yazzie Kachina during the Early Childhood Fair on October 28, 2015. An endowed scholarship in her honor was announced to help support ECD students.

Endfield has served as a consultant/evaluator for the Child Care Bureau and national Head Start to tribal ECD programs in rural Alaska, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. She is so well respected and admired that an endowed scholarship for NPC early childhood students has been created in her honor (

Endfield is a big proponent of encouraging students to earn their CDA Credential, awarded by The Council for Early Childhood Recognition which certifies a core set of competency standards for the provider/educator. “Initially, only Head Start workers were interested in earning their CDA Credential, but now child care providers, in both center and home settings, are also interested,” notes Endfield.

National Head Start standards require that half of the staff members at a given Head Start location have associate degrees, with the remainder having bachelor’s or higher degrees in early childhood or a related field. (Education isn’t considered a related field.) Endfield estimates that 100 percent of Head Start teachers in NPC’s service area prepared for their CDA Credential through NPC, with many continuing on to complete NPC certificates and degrees.

“We train Early Childhood professionals, whether they are called family providers, child care providers, early educators, or child care aides. NPC offers a wide variety of degrees and certificates to meet many different needs. Our program focuses on teaching students to be the best early childhood educators and helps them find their place in a very enjoyable, rewarding career. It has been a pleasure and honor to teach and work with them throughout the years,” said Endfield.