Northland Pioneer College (NPC) is a regionally accredited, publicly supported, comprehensive community college serving Navajo County, Arizona. Campuses are located in four of the largest Navajo County communities: Holbrook, Show Low, Snowflake/Taylor and Winslow. Instructional centers are located in Hopi/Polacca, Kayenta and Whiteriver.
NPC also partners with community members in Apache County, Arizona, with instructional centers in Springerville/Eagar and St. Johns. 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 60 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 the approximate 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.
From those humble beginnings, NPC now serves more than 5,000 students annually, using innovative technology to connect its own nine locations plus delivering college-level courses to rural high school students throughout its service area.
- 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 - October 2020
- Jeanne Swarthout, October 2020 - Present (interim)