State Partners With Denny Sanford To Establish Tech School Scholarships

South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard today (December 17, 2014) announced that the state of South Dakota will partner with South Dakota businessman and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford to establish a full scholarship program for students entering high-need workforce programs at in-state technical institutes.

“The establishment of this scholarship will mean that each year hundreds of our young people will have the opportunity to enter high-demand fields without incurring debt,” Gov. Daugaard said. “The impact of this will be huge, not only for the students who receive the scholarship but for our entire state which has been faced with workforce challenges.”

T. Denny Sanford, owner of First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard, is a well-known philanthropist and South Dakota business owner. Denny purchased United National Corporation, the parent company for the PREMIER organizations in 1986. Since that time, he has created more than 2,300 jobs within the state of South Dakota. To date, Sanford has donated over $1 billion dollars to organizations across the nation.

“I am extremely grateful for Denny’s generous contribution and can’t thank him enough for the investment he’s willing to make in our young people,” said Gov. Daugaard. “Denny, who has already contributed so much to South Dakota by creating thousands of jobs and giving so much of his own money to a number of organizations, is once again stepping up to making our state a better place.”

The Governor has committed to match Sanford’s donation of $25 million with Future Funds for the Build Dakota Scholarship Program. The $50 million is expected to provide 300 scholarships annually in each of the first five years. From 2020 on, an endowment will continue to award approximately 50 scholarships per year.

Those who are awarded with the scholarship will be required to stay in South Dakota to work in their field of study for three years. A board appointed by the Governor will be established to determine specific requirements and how the scholarship will be administered.

“Business leaders across South Dakota have told me that workforce is the single largest obstacle to our continued economic growth,” said state Economic Development Commissioner Pat Costello. “Some businesses have been unable to expand because of the lack of workers. Others have turned down business. This new scholarship will go a long way in addressing that problem.”

Information on the Build Dakota Scholarship program can be found at doe.sd.gov/builddakota.

WDT seeking comments for accreditation visit

Western Dakota Tech is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), a commission of the North Central Association. First accredited in 1983, WDT’s accreditation was reaffirmed in 2008. The next reaffirmation of accreditation visit is April 20 to April 22, 2015. A team of peer reviewers from colleges around the country will assemble on the WDT campus during that time. Before their visit to campus, the public is invited to provide confidential comments to the peer reviewers.

As part of the reaffirmation of accreditation, WDT must provide assurances and evidence of meeting five criteria:

  • Criterion 1: The institution’s mission is clear and articulated publicly; it guides the institution’s operations.
  • Criterion 2: The institution acts with integrity; its conduct is ethical and responsible.
  • Criterion 3: The institution provides high quality education, wherever and however its offerings are delivered.
  • Criterion 4: The institution demonstrates responsibility for the quality of its educational programs, learning environments, and support services, and it evaluates their effectiveness for student learning through processes designed to promote continuous improvement.
  • Criterion 5: The institution’s resources, structures, and processes are sufficient to fulfill its mission, improve the quality of its educational offerings, and respond to future challenges and opportunities. The institution plans for the future.

Comments and feedback are welcomed because they add value to the reaffirmation process. If you would like to comment, please visit the link below to submit your comments to the Higher Learning Commission.

Thank you.

Steve Buchholz
Dean of Accreditation and Advancement
Western Dakota Tech
stephen.buchholz@wdt.edu 

 

IMPORTANT – Office Software and WDT Student Email Changes

Hello, WDT Students.

Three important items regarding Office software and student email:

1. Starting this semester, WDT will make Office available free of charge to all students. You can download Office at https://portal.office.com starting Monday, August 25. Your log-in will be your student email address (firstname.lastname@stu.wdt.edu), and your password is your regular WDT network password.

2. Starting the same day, you will use this link to check student email: https://outlook.office365.com. Your log-in will be your student email address (firstname.lastname@stu.wdt.edu), and your password is your regular WDT network password.

3. As of Friday, August 22, WDT will no longer use Google accounts for student emails and data storage. This means that your student Google emails and any data in Google Drive will be gone. Following the directions in this document, you can back up all email and data, but you must do this before Friday, August 22. After that, all data emails and data will be deleted.

If you have questions or run into problems, please contact the WDT Helpdesk at helpdesk@wdt.edu or 394-5355.

Thanks. We look forward to seeing you on campus for the fall semester.