The First Week of School – Start with Good Learning Habits

With the heat of summer upon us, it is hard to believe that school will soon be in session once again. The first week of school is critical for starting off the semester with good habits. Starting off on the wrong foot can start a downward spiral that can be difficult to overcome. Use the following tips to get the semester started off right.

Take Responsibility

At WDT there’s no one looking over your shoulder or holding your hand to make sure you get off on the right foot. It’s all up to you—and your feet. Our staff is here to help in any way we can, but you need to let us know what challenges you may be having.

Attend Class

In a class that meets 30 times in a semester, each lesson has about 3 percent of the content. If you miss the first week, you are already 8 percent behind. Every professor is on a different timeline, and it is important that you are on board.

Know Your Limits

Some classes, especially those concerning math and science, are taught at many different levels. Be sure you haven’t signed up for a class that’s either too hard or too easy for you, given your prior training and abilities. Placement tests and course numbers aren’t always right, so trust your own sense of the course. Make changes early if necessary and avoid a disaster later in the semester.

Use the Syllabus

The syllabus can give you the inside track on what counts and what doesn’t. In some courses, the syllabus contains important clues about what will be on the tests, within the course’s written goals and objectives. Be alert to these tip-offs about what the professor deems as important. Often, the syllabus will contain the value of each class activity toward your final grade. This will help you to focus your energy appropriately.

Take Note

Get into the habit early of writing everything down from the very first meeting of the class. Keeping your hands moving will help you actively engage with the lecture and form questions. If it is a hands on class, be sure to actively participate.

Plan Ahead

Get out your calendar (paper or electronic) and mark all the important dates: the dates and times of all your exams, your professors’ office hours, paper due dates, and WDT holidays and vacations. Be on the lookout for possible conflicts, which should be resolved right away.

Designate a Study Zone

It’s not too early to scope out a quiet place where you’ll do your studying. And when you get there, turn off the gadgets. It is easy to be distracted by devices by way of texting, Facebook, IM, Twitter, and many more. Allow yourself five minutes at the end of every hour if you can’t keep them off. But, after five minutes, be strict with yourself to power down again.

Most professors do assign homework for the first week of classes and actually expect you to do it, even if there’s not a test or quiz until the fourth week. First impressions do matter, and putting forth effort in the beginning will benefit not only your habits, but your final grade. So get off to a good start, and keep in mind that you are investing in your future.

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.

Dual enrollment for high school students

If you are currently a high school sophomore or junior, you may want to consider dual enrollment at Western Dakota Tech. While you can still take high school classes and participate in high school activities, this opportunity will allow you to get a step ahead in your post high school education. This means the potential for earlier graduation, and experience in the work force. Read on for more benefits of dual enrollment courses at Western Dakota Tech.

1. Dual enrollment will give you an idea of what course work will be like in college. The academic environment is different from high school, and allows for more freedom and flexibility.

2. You may have the opportunity to take courses that are not offered in high school.

3. It will allow you to get a better feel for the area of your academic interest. For example, if you took a general healthcare class in high school, healthcare courses offered at WDT can give you more insight if you think that is the career path you wish to take.

4. Many students change their field of study at least once. By taking a couple of dual enrollment classes, you can narrow down what you would like to choose as your field of study, before having the pressure to decide upon high school graduation.

5. Perhaps the largest benefit to dual enrollment is that you may begin accumulating credits for program requirements, allowing you to take lighter course loads through your schooling, or graduate early.

6. It is cost effective. Rapid City Area School students who are at least a junior and in good academic standing can take all courses free of charge, except for the nine Regent General Education courses, which are $40 per credit hour.

There are many benefits to dual enrollment at Western Dakota Tech, along with still being able to enjoy the high school experience.
If you are interested in WDT’s dual enrollment program, or for the dual enrollment application, please visit the Western Dakota Tech website.