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Western Dakota Tech Makes the Rank

August 23, 2016

Western Dakota Tech named the 174th Best Community College in the country, out of 821 ranked.

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Western Dakota Tech In the News

August 19, 2016



Black Hills Fox News reports on the impact of Build Dakota Scholarships at Western Dakota Tech.

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Precision machining student makes waves

July 15, 2016

Western Dakota Tech student, Jeremiah Spencer, is well on his way after receiving his Precision Machining diploma one week before receiving his high school diploma in May.

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Surgical tech students travel to the golden state

June 13, 2016

A group from Western Dakota Tech attended the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) 47th National Conference in San Diego at the beginning of June.

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New program filling fast

April 26, 2016

Students are taking a bite out of the new Dental Assistant program at Western Dakota Tech. The program will begin fall 2016 and is in high-demand with an estimated 19 of the 24 spaces already full and nearly 30 prospective students.

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WDT News

Student Life

Success means something different to everyone. For us, it means watching our students grow and develop their skills.

But growth doesn’t only happen in the classroom. So we ensure plenty of opportunities for networking with a wide variety of clubs and organizations.

At Western Dakota Tech, we support each other, challenge each other, work alongside each other, and find new ways to have fun every day.

WDT Student Life

Degree Programs

With over 30 programs in a variety of fields, Western Dakota Tech is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region. From Business and Computers to Construction Trades, Health Services to Legal and Public Services and more, Western Dakota Tech is where your future begins. More than 85 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military. Our graduates achieve success. What are you waiting for? Your future is in your hands and with Western Dakota Tech, you have the power to shape that future. Start shaping your future with Western Dakota Tech.

Business And Computers

Business Management & Marketing

The business world offers well-trained students an endless list of opportunities. You can own a business and be your own boss. You can manage a store for someone else. You can run the social media marketing operation for a company or an ad agency. You could manage an office or be an executive assistant. Or, you can use your imagination to do whatever you’ve always dreamed about.

Accounting

Where the career is going

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks held more than 1.8 million jobs in 2010. They work in all industries and at all levels of government. Local government and the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services industry are among the individual industries employing the largest numbers of these clerks.

Employment of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to grow by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. As the number of businesses and organizations increases and financial regulations become stricter, there will be greater demand for these workers to maintain books and provide accounting services. That makes it an excellent career choice. Job opportunities in South Dakota and Rapid City are expected to be excellent.

Business Office Professional

Office Managers and Executive Assisstants are an important part of today's workforce. The Business Professional Diploma from Western Dakota Tech can prepare you for a variety of careers in the business world. Salary for Administrative Assistants and Office Managers can range from between $24,000 - $60,000 per year.

Business Social Media Marketing

The Social Media Manager will administer the company’s social media marketing and advertising. Administration includes but is not limited to:

  • Deliberate planning and goal setting
  • Development of brand awareness and online reputation
  • Content management
  • SEO (search engine optimization) and generation of inbound traffic
  • Cultivation of leads and sales

The Social Media Manager is a highly motivated, creative individual with experience and a passion for connecting with current and future customers. That passion comes through as he/she engages with customers on a daily basis, with the ultimate goal of turning fans into customers.

Community leadership and participation (both online and offline) are integral to a Social Media Manager’s success. An essential component is communicating the company’s brand in a positive, authentic way what will attract today’s modern, hyper-connected buyers.

The Social Media Manager is instrumental in managing the company’s content-related assets. Google’s #1 search ranking factor is relevant content (content that serves the searchers needs the best). It’s clear then that managing content should be part of the Social Media Manager’s Job Description.

Computer Science

Computer Science specialists work with every employee in an organization as well as outside personnel to provide a stable computing environment. As support personnel, specialists give advice to users by interpreting problems and providing technical support for hardware, software, and networks. Technicians troubleshoot hardware and software errors, add new equipment, and install, configure, and troubleshoot problems. They also create, secure, and maintain networks of all types.

A typical job description for a computer science specialist would generally include working in an office environment.  The job is often performed alone, and the specialist must possess strong troubleshooting and technical skills, including strong math skills.  Conversely, the specialist must also work with users who are not comfortable with the system or who are experiencing difficulties, this the requirement for strong communication skills.

Configuring a network can require long hours of work in a short period of time.  Maintaining the network can alternate between routine tasks to install, maintain, and update programs, as well as the hectic work of troubleshooting and fixing network problems.  If a network crashes, the specialist must work quickly and purposefully to solve problems and restore the network operation.

In addition, the task of updating and maintaining network services can require late hours and work on an irregular schedule.  The IT worker must also be prepared to maintain related technology within an organization, including audio-visual equipment, televisions, phones, and cabling infrastructure.  Physical duties may include climbing and working using ladders, installing cabling, moving computers and related equipment, and installing equipment.

Library Technician

The Library Technician Career

The Library Technician’s role continues to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st-Century patrons.

When libraries are interviewing to fill positions, two of the criteria they look for are library experience and library education. This program combines the two and will vault a good candidate to the top of the list for interviews.

Bookkeeping

Students can complete this program online or on campus!

What you’ll learn

The Bookkeeping program will provide students with technical understanding and skills development by integrating theory with practical experience. Through the program, students will develop skills in accounting principles, finance, payroll accounting, Quickbooks, and more. Students will learn how to complete the typical duties of someone working in the bookkeeping field, including:

  • Using bookkeeping software as well as online spreadsheets and databases
  • Entering (posting) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
  • Receiving and recording cash, checks, and vouchers
  • Putting costs (debits) as well as income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
  • Producing reports such as income statements (costs compared to income), balance sheets, and totals by account
  • Checking figures, postings, and reports for accuracy
  • Reconciling or noting and reporting any differences they find in the records

Business Entrepreneurship

A business entrepreneuership diploma can help prepare you and give the skills necessary to own your own business and be your own boss.

Construction And Manufacturing

Computer-Aided Drafting

CAD Technicians produce technical drawings with advanced 3D software.  As a CAD Tech you will be entering a career as an integral part of an architectural, civil, or mechanical firm.

Architectural drafters assist architects by preparing technical plans and details showing the dimensions, construction materials, and processes used for residential and commercial building projects.

Mechanical drafters prepare detail and assembly drawings of a wide variety of machinery and mechanical devices, indicating dimensions, fastening methods, and other requirements.

Civil drafters create drawings that detail the construction related to land, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

The Computer-Aided Drafting Technician program at Western Dakota Tech will provide you with a solid base of knowledge in all three of these fields.

Drafting and Machining Technology

Many private companies complete both the design and manufacturing of equipment, parts, and related items. This program will graduate skilled technicians who are able to bring value to those employers in multiple ways because they will be skilled enough to participate in multiple areas of the business. These workers will be flexible and will be seen as a valuable asset by any of these employers.

HVAC & Refrigeration Technology

HVAC/R is a growing career field, and employers need well-trained technicians who can step right in and start working. Western Dakota Techs’s program is designed to do just that – and do it quickly.


HVAC/R is listed as a Bright Outlook occupation, meaning it is projected to grow much faster than the national average. HVAC/RClimate-control systems generally need replacement after 10 to 15 years. A large number of recently constructed homes and commercial buildings will need replacement climate-control systems by 2020, spurring demand for technicians.

HVAC/R is also listed as a Green Occupation. The growing emphasis on energy efficiency and pollution reduction will require more HVAC and HVAC/R technicians as climate-control systems are retrofitted, upgraded, or replaced entirely. Regulations prohibiting the discharge and production of older types of refrigerant pollutants also will result in the need to modify or replace many existing air conditioning systems.

Check out this article by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn more about industry outlook for HVAC/R technicians.


Welding and Fabrication

Welding and fabrication are growing fields in the western South Dakota region. Job opportunities are available and growing as opportunities in the field expand in South Dakota and the surrounding states.

Electrical Trades

Students will study and learn to interpret and apply the requirements of the National Electrical Code. A solid background in the theory and technology of the electrical field will give the knowledge and ability to install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair electrical circuits and equipment. The training gives students the flexibility to pursue different areas of employment as entry-level electricians. Most of our lab experience mimics outside work-sites and allows students to have first-hand experience in a controlled environment. The Electrical Trades program prepares students for employment as an apprentice electrician in the construction, mining, and industrial manufacturing sectors of the Trades and Construction Industry.
The South Dakota Electrical Commission requires successful completion of First Aid/CPR training in order to graduate from an electrical trades program.

Precision Machining Technology

Program graduates will be qualified to work in machine shops, factories, and other businesses that produce and repair machinery, parts, and related items. The Precision Machining field is a crucial one that allows graduates to be prepared to work in an ever chaning industry. You will enter the job field ready to use mechanical blueprints and instructions for machining projects, produce machined parts to given tolerances, and much more.

Energy And Environmental Technologies

Electrical Trades

Students will study and learn to interpret and apply the requirements of the National Electrical Code. A solid background in the theory and technology of the electrical field will give the knowledge and ability to install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair electrical circuits and equipment. The training gives students the flexibility to pursue different areas of employment as entry-level electricians. Most of our lab experience mimics outside work-sites and allows students to have first-hand experience in a controlled environment. The Electrical Trades program prepares students for employment as an apprentice electrician in the construction, mining, and industrial manufacturing sectors of the Trades and Construction Industry.
The South Dakota Electrical Commission requires successful completion of First Aid/CPR training in order to graduate from an electrical trades program.

Environmental Engineering Tech

Program graduates primarily work outdoors in the field, collecting information used to assess how increased demand affects the quality and quantity of our nation’s natural resources. Our Environmental Engineering Tech graduates work in a broad range of jobs such as collecting and analyzing water and soil samples, measuring stream flow and groundwater levels, and conducting soils testing.

The work can be physically demanding, requiring technicians to climb or hike long distances, carrying equipment to remote locations. The job often entails working under varying climatic conditions for extended periods. Technicians may be required to drive off-road vehicles such as 4-wheelers and snowmobiles, or even ride horses, boats or helicopters, to access some remote sampling sites.

Health Sciences

Allied Health

Educational curricula teach students to evaluate patients’ responses to therapy and make appropriate decisions about continued treatment or modification of treatment plans. The following professions are included in allied health: Athletic training, Audiology, Cardiovascular perfusion technology, Cytotechnology, Dental hygiene, Diagnostic medical sonography, Dietetics, Emergency medical sciences, Health administration, Health information management, Medical technology, Nuclear medicine technology, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, Physician assistant, Radiation therapy technology, Radiography, Rehabilitation counseling, Respiratory therapy, Respiratory therapy technology, and Speech-language pathology.

Dental Assisting

Tasks performed by Dental Assistants may include sterilizing dental equipment, preparing the work area, assisting the dentist during procedures, keeping patients’ mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment, processing x-rays, scheduling patient appointments, and instructing patients in proper dental hygiene. The dental assistant may work in a private or group practice setting specializing in general dentistry, oral surgery, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, or pedodontics. Dental sales and marketing of products is another career opportunity for the dental assistant. Dental assistants must have strong communication skills, a desire to work with their hands, and a passion for a challenging career with responsibilities that increase the efficiency and quality of oral health care delivery.

Health Information Management

A medical office is a complex operation. Patients come and go all day. Phones must be answered and appointments made. Patient files must be pulled, processed and returned. Electronic Health Records must be completed accurately. Procedures must be scheduled and pre-authorizations obtained. Inventory must be monitored and stocked. Claims and bills must be processed. As a Health Information Management employee, you will organize office activities and provide support to medical staff.

Healthcare Technician

Program graduates will be able to help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. They also will be able to provide medical office support in clinics, physician’s offices, and other healthcare providers.

Medical Assisting

A Medical Assistant is a professional multi-skilled person who assists in all aspects of medical care and is primarily employed in a medical office setting. Medical Assistants help the physician with patient care management, execute administrative and clinical procedures, and perform managerial functions.

Administrative duties may include using computer applications, answering telephones, greeting patients, updating and filing patient medical records, coding and filling out insurance forms, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services, and handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping in a medical office setting.

Clinical duties may include taking medical histories, taking vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patient for examination, assisting the physician during the exam, collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, instructing patients about medication and special diets, preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician, and taking electrocardiograms.

Medical Laboratory Technician

Tasks performed by Medical Laboratory Assistants may include analyzing body fluids and recording findings, studying blood samples for use in transfusions, operating sophisticated laboratory equipment, logging data from medical tests, discussing results of laboratory findings with physicians, and others.

Pharmacy Technician

A Pharmacy Tech helps licensed Pharmacists provide medication and other healthcare products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. They also perform administrative duties, such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on State rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor’s office. They must verify that information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then, they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of prescription container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities, including reading patients’ charts and preparing the appropriate medication. After the pharmacist checks the prescription for accuracy, the pharmacy technician may deliver it to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient’s profile. Technicians also may assemble a 24-hour supply of medicine for every patient. They package and label each dose separately. The packages are then placed in the medicine cabinets of patients until the supervising pharmacist checks them for accuracy, and only then is the medication given to the patients.

Phlebotomy/Laboratory Assistant

Phlebotomists collect, transport, handle, and process blood and other specimens for laboratory analysis. They identify and select equipment, supplies, and additives used in blood collection and understand factors that affect specimen collection procedures and test results. Recognizing the importance of specimen collection in the overall patient care system, phlebotomists adhere to infection control and safety policies and procedures. They monitor quality control within predetermined limits while demonstrating professional conduct, stress management, and communication skills with patients, peers and other health care personnel as well as with the public.

Phlebotomists are employed in hospitals, physician offices, and clincs, medical laboratories, and blood breaks as blood precurement specialists.

Practical Nursing

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a member of the medical profession that does their duties taking care of patients while under the management of registered nurses or doctors.

The LPN does what is considered essential care, which means they help patients to eat, dress, walk, take a bath, comb their hair, etc. They may also give them their medicines, take their temperature or other vital signs, and do other similar duties.

They cannot do things like assist in surgery or help with anesthesia, but they are very vital in doing many common medical and personal things for patients and assisting the doctors and nurses do other functions. LPNs can work in places like hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or private homes.

What Do LPNs Do?

LPNs take care of a variety of duties depending on their work setting and location. Typically, they do the following:

  • Keep detailed, accurate records on patients' health
  • Monitor the health of patients by taking blood pressure and checking other vital signs
  • Report the status of patients to doctors and registered nurses
  • Help patients with basic care and personal hygiene activities, like dressing or bathing
  • Administer basic nursing care, such as inserting catheters, changing bandages or administering intravenous medications
  • Discuss health care with patients, explain procedures and listen to their concerns
  • Teaching families and caregivers how to care for injured or sick relatives

    Where do LPNs work?

    LPNs work in a variety of settings. In 2010, 29 percent of LPNS worked in nursing care facilities, 15 percent worked in hospitals offering general medical and surgical care, and 12 percent worked in physicians' offices. The remaining LPNs worked in community care facilities for elderly patients or in home health care services.


Surgical Technology

Surgical technologists are vital members of the surgical team and are involved in all aspects of a patient’s care while in surgery. Surgical technologists are relied upon by surgeons, nurses, anesthesia providers, and numerous other health care professionals to be the technical specialists in a vast area of expertise.

Surgical technologists use a wide variety of knowledge and abilities in surgical sciences, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and patient care to provide vital support to the patient and the surgical team. The discipline of surgery is an ever-changing arena of health care, making considerable leaps in technology, techniques, and interventions almost daily. Surgical technologists stand at the leading edge of this revolution, using their professionalism, expertise, and abilities to make a difference.

Transportation Technologies

Transportation Technology - Light Duty

Automotive service technicians inspect, maintain or repair automobiles and light trucks with gasoline and diesel engines. The ability to diagnose the source of the problem quickly and accurately, one of the technician’s most valuable skills, requires good reasoning ability and a thorough knowledge of automobiles. Automotive technology is rapidly increasing in sophistication, and most training authorities strongly recommend that persons seeking automotive technician jobs complete a formal training program after graduating from high school, continuing their education, or changing careers.

Transportation Technology - Heavy Duty

The ongoing advancement in diesel technology and electronic control systems has resulted in better engine performance, better fuel economy, lower exhaust emissions, greater durability, and an even longer engine life.


Associates of Applied Science

Computer-Aided Drafting

CAD Technicians produce technical drawings with advanced 3D software.  As a CAD Tech you will be entering a career as an integral part of an architectural, civil, or mechanical firm.

Architectural drafters assist architects by preparing technical plans and details showing the dimensions, construction materials, and processes used for residential and commercial building projects.

Mechanical drafters prepare detail and assembly drawings of a wide variety of machinery and mechanical devices, indicating dimensions, fastening methods, and other requirements.

Civil drafters create drawings that detail the construction related to land, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure.

The Computer-Aided Drafting Technician program at Western Dakota Tech will provide you with a solid base of knowledge in all three of these fields.

Business Management & Marketing

The business world offers well-trained students an endless list of opportunities. You can own a business and be your own boss. You can manage a store for someone else. You can run the social media marketing operation for a company or an ad agency. You could manage an office or be an executive assistant. Or, you can use your imagination to do whatever you’ve always dreamed about.

Criminal Justice

Graduates of the program will be able to accomplish the typical duties of criminal justice professionals in many fields, including:

  • Certified law enforcement officer (WDT also offers a Law Enforcement program)
  • Corrections officer
  • Border patrol agent
  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer
  • Private investigator
  • Gaming officer or investigator
  • Security guard
  • Child protective services officer
  • Transportation security screener
  • Emergency services dispatcher
  • Other related occupations

Allied Health

Educational curricula teach students to evaluate patients’ responses to therapy and make appropriate decisions about continued treatment or modification of treatment plans. The following professions are included in allied health: Athletic training, Audiology, Cardiovascular perfusion technology, Cytotechnology, Dental hygiene, Diagnostic medical sonography, Dietetics, Emergency medical sciences, Health administration, Health information management, Medical technology, Nuclear medicine technology, Occupational therapy, Physical therapy, Physician assistant, Radiation therapy technology, Radiography, Rehabilitation counseling, Respiratory therapy, Respiratory therapy technology, and Speech-language pathology.

Business Social Media Marketing

The Social Media Manager will administer the company’s social media marketing and advertising. Administration includes but is not limited to:

  • Deliberate planning and goal setting
  • Development of brand awareness and online reputation
  • Content management
  • SEO (search engine optimization) and generation of inbound traffic
  • Cultivation of leads and sales

The Social Media Manager is a highly motivated, creative individual with experience and a passion for connecting with current and future customers. That passion comes through as he/she engages with customers on a daily basis, with the ultimate goal of turning fans into customers.

Community leadership and participation (both online and offline) are integral to a Social Media Manager’s success. An essential component is communicating the company’s brand in a positive, authentic way what will attract today’s modern, hyper-connected buyers.

The Social Media Manager is instrumental in managing the company’s content-related assets. Google’s #1 search ranking factor is relevant content (content that serves the searchers needs the best). It’s clear then that managing content should be part of the Social Media Manager’s Job Description.

Business Office Professional

Office Managers and Executive Assisstants are an important part of today's workforce. The Business Professional Diploma from Western Dakota Tech can prepare you for a variety of careers in the business world. Salary for Administrative Assistants and Office Managers can range from between $24,000 - $60,000 per year.

Computer Science

Computer Science specialists work with every employee in an organization as well as outside personnel to provide a stable computing environment. As support personnel, specialists give advice to users by interpreting problems and providing technical support for hardware, software, and networks. Technicians troubleshoot hardware and software errors, add new equipment, and install, configure, and troubleshoot problems. They also create, secure, and maintain networks of all types.

A typical job description for a computer science specialist would generally include working in an office environment.  The job is often performed alone, and the specialist must possess strong troubleshooting and technical skills, including strong math skills.  Conversely, the specialist must also work with users who are not comfortable with the system or who are experiencing difficulties, this the requirement for strong communication skills.

Configuring a network can require long hours of work in a short period of time.  Maintaining the network can alternate between routine tasks to install, maintain, and update programs, as well as the hectic work of troubleshooting and fixing network problems.  If a network crashes, the specialist must work quickly and purposefully to solve problems and restore the network operation.

In addition, the task of updating and maintaining network services can require late hours and work on an irregular schedule.  The IT worker must also be prepared to maintain related technology within an organization, including audio-visual equipment, televisions, phones, and cabling infrastructure.  Physical duties may include climbing and working using ladders, installing cabling, moving computers and related equipment, and installing equipment.

Medical Laboratory Technician

Tasks performed by Medical Laboratory Assistants may include analyzing body fluids and recording findings, studying blood samples for use in transfusions, operating sophisticated laboratory equipment, logging data from medical tests, discussing results of laboratory findings with physicians, and others.

Surgical Technology

Surgical technologists are vital members of the surgical team and are involved in all aspects of a patient’s care while in surgery. Surgical technologists are relied upon by surgeons, nurses, anesthesia providers, and numerous other health care professionals to be the technical specialists in a vast area of expertise.

Surgical technologists use a wide variety of knowledge and abilities in surgical sciences, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and patient care to provide vital support to the patient and the surgical team. The discipline of surgery is an ever-changing arena of health care, making considerable leaps in technology, techniques, and interventions almost daily. Surgical technologists stand at the leading edge of this revolution, using their professionalism, expertise, and abilities to make a difference.

Welding and Fabrication

Welding and fabrication are growing fields in the western South Dakota region. Job opportunities are available and growing as opportunities in the field expand in South Dakota and the surrounding states.

Paramedic

In an emergency, paramedics are typically dispatched by a 911 operator to the scene, where they often work with police and fire fighters. Once they arrive, paramedics assess the nature of the patient’s condition while trying to determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions. Following medical protocols and guidelines, they provide appropriate emergency care and, when necessary, transport the patient. Some paramedics are trained to treat patients with minor injuries on the scene of an accident or they may treat them at their home without transporting them to a medical facility. Emergency treatment is carried out under the medical direction of physicians.

Paramedics may use special equipment, such as cardiac monitors to interpret a patient’s heart rhythm as well as backboards to immobilize patients before placing them on stretchers and securing them in the ambulance for transport to a medical facility after they have suffered from a medical emergency or traumatic event. These workers generally work in teams. During the transport of a patient, one paramedic drives while the other monitors the patient’s vital signs and gives advanced prehospital care as needed. Some paramedics work as part of a helicopter’s flight crew to transport critically ill or injured patients to hospital trauma centers from remote locations.

At the medical facility, paramedics help transfer patients to the emergency department, report their observations and actions to emergency department staff, and may provide additional emergency treatment. After each run, paramedics replace used supplies and check equipment and complete important patient care reports for the emergency physicians. If a transported patient had a contagious disease, paramedics take extra time to safely decontaminate the interior of the ambulance and report cases to the proper authorities.

Paramedics also provide transportation for patients from one medical facility to another, particularly if they work for private ambulance services. Patients often need to be transferred to a hospital that specializes in their injury or illness or to a nursing home. This may be around the block or across the nation.

Library Technician

The Library Technician Career

The Library Technician’s role continues to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st-Century patrons.

When libraries are interviewing to fill positions, two of the criteria they look for are library experience and library education. This program combines the two and will vault a good candidate to the top of the list for interviews.

Law Enforcement

Police officers protect lives and property. Detectives and criminal investigators, who are sometimes called agents or special agents, gather facts and collect evidence of possible crimes. Police and detective work can be physically demanding, stressful, and dangerous. Police officers have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations. Working around the clock in shifts is common.

Environmental Engineering Tech

Program graduates primarily work outdoors in the field, collecting information used to assess how increased demand affects the quality and quantity of our nation’s natural resources. Our Environmental Engineering Tech graduates work in a broad range of jobs such as collecting and analyzing water and soil samples, measuring stream flow and groundwater levels, and conducting soils testing.

The work can be physically demanding, requiring technicians to climb or hike long distances, carrying equipment to remote locations. The job often entails working under varying climatic conditions for extended periods. Technicians may be required to drive off-road vehicles such as 4-wheelers and snowmobiles, or even ride horses, boats or helicopters, to access some remote sampling sites.

Drafting and Machining Technology

Many private companies complete both the design and manufacturing of equipment, parts, and related items. This program will graduate skilled technicians who are able to bring value to those employers in multiple ways because they will be skilled enough to participate in multiple areas of the business. These workers will be flexible and will be seen as a valuable asset by any of these employers.

Health Information Management

A medical office is a complex operation. Patients come and go all day. Phones must be answered and appointments made. Patient files must be pulled, processed and returned. Electronic Health Records must be completed accurately. Procedures must be scheduled and pre-authorizations obtained. Inventory must be monitored and stocked. Claims and bills must be processed. As a Health Information Management employee, you will organize office activities and provide support to medical staff.

HVAC & Refrigeration Technology

HVAC/R is a growing career field, and employers need well-trained technicians who can step right in and start working. Western Dakota Techs’s program is designed to do just that – and do it quickly.


HVAC/R is listed as a Bright Outlook occupation, meaning it is projected to grow much faster than the national average. HVAC/RClimate-control systems generally need replacement after 10 to 15 years. A large number of recently constructed homes and commercial buildings will need replacement climate-control systems by 2020, spurring demand for technicians.

HVAC/R is also listed as a Green Occupation. The growing emphasis on energy efficiency and pollution reduction will require more HVAC and HVAC/R technicians as climate-control systems are retrofitted, upgraded, or replaced entirely. Regulations prohibiting the discharge and production of older types of refrigerant pollutants also will result in the need to modify or replace many existing air conditioning systems.

Check out this article by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to learn more about industry outlook for HVAC/R technicians.


Medical Assisting

A Medical Assistant is a professional multi-skilled person who assists in all aspects of medical care and is primarily employed in a medical office setting. Medical Assistants help the physician with patient care management, execute administrative and clinical procedures, and perform managerial functions.

Administrative duties may include using computer applications, answering telephones, greeting patients, updating and filing patient medical records, coding and filling out insurance forms, scheduling appointments, arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services, and handling correspondence, billing, and bookkeeping in a medical office setting.

Clinical duties may include taking medical histories, taking vital signs, explaining treatment procedures to patients, preparing patient for examination, assisting the physician during the exam, collecting and preparing laboratory specimens, performing basic laboratory tests, instructing patients about medication and special diets, preparing and administering medications as directed by a physician, and taking electrocardiograms.

Pharmacy Technician

A Pharmacy Tech helps licensed Pharmacists provide medication and other healthcare products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. They also perform administrative duties, such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on State rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor’s office. They must verify that information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then, they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of prescription container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities, including reading patients’ charts and preparing the appropriate medication. After the pharmacist checks the prescription for accuracy, the pharmacy technician may deliver it to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient’s profile. Technicians also may assemble a 24-hour supply of medicine for every patient. They package and label each dose separately. The packages are then placed in the medicine cabinets of patients until the supervising pharmacist checks them for accuracy, and only then is the medication given to the patients.

Transportation Technology - Light Duty

Automotive service technicians inspect, maintain or repair automobiles and light trucks with gasoline and diesel engines. The ability to diagnose the source of the problem quickly and accurately, one of the technician’s most valuable skills, requires good reasoning ability and a thorough knowledge of automobiles. Automotive technology is rapidly increasing in sophistication, and most training authorities strongly recommend that persons seeking automotive technician jobs complete a formal training program after graduating from high school, continuing their education, or changing careers.

Transportation Technology - Heavy Duty

The ongoing advancement in diesel technology and electronic control systems has resulted in better engine performance, better fuel economy, lower exhaust emissions, greater durability, and an even longer engine life.


Accounting

Where the career is going

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks held more than 1.8 million jobs in 2010. They work in all industries and at all levels of government. Local government and the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services industry are among the individual industries employing the largest numbers of these clerks.

Employment of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to grow by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. As the number of businesses and organizations increases and financial regulations become stricter, there will be greater demand for these workers to maintain books and provide accounting services. That makes it an excellent career choice. Job opportunities in South Dakota and Rapid City are expected to be excellent.

Fire Science

Every year, fires and other emergencies take thousands of lives and destroy property. Firefighters help serve and protect the public against these dangers by being among the first emergency personnel on the scene of a fire, accident, or medical emergency.

Fighting fires is dangerous and complex requiring organization and teamwork from first responders. Professional firefighters must be prepared to respond immediately to any fire or other emergency. This includes a variety of settings, including urban, rural, grasslands, forests, airports, chemical plants, and other industrial sites.

Electrical Trades

Students will study and learn to interpret and apply the requirements of the National Electrical Code. A solid background in the theory and technology of the electrical field will give the knowledge and ability to install, maintain, troubleshoot, and repair electrical circuits and equipment. The training gives students the flexibility to pursue different areas of employment as entry-level electricians. Most of our lab experience mimics outside work-sites and allows students to have first-hand experience in a controlled environment. The Electrical Trades program prepares students for employment as an apprentice electrician in the construction, mining, and industrial manufacturing sectors of the Trades and Construction Industry.
The South Dakota Electrical Commission requires successful completion of First Aid/CPR training in order to graduate from an electrical trades program.

Diploma Program

Bookkeeping

Students can complete this program online or on campus!

What you’ll learn

The Bookkeeping program will provide students with technical understanding and skills development by integrating theory with practical experience. Through the program, students will develop skills in accounting principles, finance, payroll accounting, Quickbooks, and more. Students will learn how to complete the typical duties of someone working in the bookkeeping field, including:

  • Using bookkeeping software as well as online spreadsheets and databases
  • Entering (posting) financial transactions into the appropriate computer software
  • Receiving and recording cash, checks, and vouchers
  • Putting costs (debits) as well as income (credits) into the software, assigning each to an appropriate account
  • Producing reports such as income statements (costs compared to income), balance sheets, and totals by account
  • Checking figures, postings, and reports for accuracy
  • Reconciling or noting and reporting any differences they find in the records

Business Entrepreneurship

A business entrepreneuership diploma can help prepare you and give the skills necessary to own your own business and be your own boss.

Library Technician

The Library Technician Career

The Library Technician’s role continues to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st-Century patrons.

When libraries are interviewing to fill positions, two of the criteria they look for are library experience and library education. This program combines the two and will vault a good candidate to the top of the list for interviews.

Precision Machining Technology

Program graduates will be qualified to work in machine shops, factories, and other businesses that produce and repair machinery, parts, and related items. The Precision Machining field is a crucial one that allows graduates to be prepared to work in an ever chaning industry. You will enter the job field ready to use mechanical blueprints and instructions for machining projects, produce machined parts to given tolerances, and much more.

Dental Assisting

Tasks performed by Dental Assistants may include sterilizing dental equipment, preparing the work area, assisting the dentist during procedures, keeping patients’ mouths dry by using suction hoses and other equipment, processing x-rays, scheduling patient appointments, and instructing patients in proper dental hygiene. The dental assistant may work in a private or group practice setting specializing in general dentistry, oral surgery, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, prosthodontics, or pedodontics. Dental sales and marketing of products is another career opportunity for the dental assistant. Dental assistants must have strong communication skills, a desire to work with their hands, and a passion for a challenging career with responsibilities that increase the efficiency and quality of oral health care delivery.

Phlebotomy/Laboratory Assistant

Phlebotomists collect, transport, handle, and process blood and other specimens for laboratory analysis. They identify and select equipment, supplies, and additives used in blood collection and understand factors that affect specimen collection procedures and test results. Recognizing the importance of specimen collection in the overall patient care system, phlebotomists adhere to infection control and safety policies and procedures. They monitor quality control within predetermined limits while demonstrating professional conduct, stress management, and communication skills with patients, peers and other health care personnel as well as with the public.

Phlebotomists are employed in hospitals, physician offices, and clincs, medical laboratories, and blood breaks as blood precurement specialists.

Health Information Management

A medical office is a complex operation. Patients come and go all day. Phones must be answered and appointments made. Patient files must be pulled, processed and returned. Electronic Health Records must be completed accurately. Procedures must be scheduled and pre-authorizations obtained. Inventory must be monitored and stocked. Claims and bills must be processed. As a Health Information Management employee, you will organize office activities and provide support to medical staff.

Practical Nursing

A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is a member of the medical profession that does their duties taking care of patients while under the management of registered nurses or doctors.

The LPN does what is considered essential care, which means they help patients to eat, dress, walk, take a bath, comb their hair, etc. They may also give them their medicines, take their temperature or other vital signs, and do other similar duties.

They cannot do things like assist in surgery or help with anesthesia, but they are very vital in doing many common medical and personal things for patients and assisting the doctors and nurses do other functions. LPNs can work in places like hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities or private homes.

What Do LPNs Do?

LPNs take care of a variety of duties depending on their work setting and location. Typically, they do the following:

  • Keep detailed, accurate records on patients' health
  • Monitor the health of patients by taking blood pressure and checking other vital signs
  • Report the status of patients to doctors and registered nurses
  • Help patients with basic care and personal hygiene activities, like dressing or bathing
  • Administer basic nursing care, such as inserting catheters, changing bandages or administering intravenous medications
  • Discuss health care with patients, explain procedures and listen to their concerns
  • Teaching families and caregivers how to care for injured or sick relatives

    Where do LPNs work?

    LPNs work in a variety of settings. In 2010, 29 percent of LPNS worked in nursing care facilities, 15 percent worked in hospitals offering general medical and surgical care, and 12 percent worked in physicians' offices. The remaining LPNs worked in community care facilities for elderly patients or in home health care services.


Healthcare Technician

Program graduates will be able to help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. They also will be able to provide medical office support in clinics, physician’s offices, and other healthcare providers.

Pharmacy Technician

A Pharmacy Tech helps licensed Pharmacists provide medication and other healthcare products to patients. Technicians usually perform routine tasks to help prepare prescribed medication, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles. They also perform administrative duties, such as answering phones, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers. Technicians refer any questions regarding prescriptions, drug information, or health matters to a pharmacist.

Pharmacy technicians who work in retail or mail-order pharmacies have varying responsibilities, depending on State rules and regulations. Technicians receive written prescriptions or requests for prescription refills from patients. They also may receive prescriptions sent electronically from the doctor’s office. They must verify that information on the prescription is complete and accurate. To prepare the prescription, technicians must retrieve, count, pour, weigh, measure, and sometimes mix the medication. Then, they prepare the prescription labels, select the type of prescription container, and affix the prescription and auxiliary labels to the container. Once the prescription is filled, technicians price and file the prescription, which must be checked by a pharmacist before it is given to the patient. Technicians may establish and maintain patient profiles, prepare insurance claim forms, and stock and take inventory of prescription and over-the-counter medications.

In hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted-living facilities, technicians have added responsibilities, including reading patients’ charts and preparing the appropriate medication. After the pharmacist checks the prescription for accuracy, the pharmacy technician may deliver it to the patient. The technician then copies the information about the prescribed medication onto the patient’s profile. Technicians also may assemble a 24-hour supply of medicine for every patient. They package and label each dose separately. The packages are then placed in the medicine cabinets of patients until the supervising pharmacist checks them for accuracy, and only then is the medication given to the patients.

Available Online

Business Management & Marketing

The business world offers well-trained students an endless list of opportunities. You can own a business and be your own boss. You can manage a store for someone else. You can run the social media marketing operation for a company or an ad agency. You could manage an office or be an executive assistant. Or, you can use your imagination to do whatever you’ve always dreamed about.

Accounting

Where the career is going

Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks held more than 1.8 million jobs in 2010. They work in all industries and at all levels of government. Local government and the accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping, and payroll services industry are among the individual industries employing the largest numbers of these clerks.

Employment of bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks is projected to grow by 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. As the number of businesses and organizations increases and financial regulations become stricter, there will be greater demand for these workers to maintain books and provide accounting services. That makes it an excellent career choice. Job opportunities in South Dakota and Rapid City are expected to be excellent.

Library Technician

The Library Technician Career

The Library Technician’s role continues to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st-Century patrons.

When libraries are interviewing to fill positions, two of the criteria they look for are library experience and library education. This program combines the two and will vault a good candidate to the top of the list for interviews.

Available Evenings

Welding and Fabrication

Welding and fabrication are growing fields in the western South Dakota region. Job opportunities are available and growing as opportunities in the field expand in South Dakota and the surrounding states.