Professional Truck Driver students graduate from WDT

Western Dakota Tech held a graduation ceremony for students of the Professional Truck Driver Program at 10:00 a.m. yesterday, July 15, on the WDT campus.

The ceremony took place through the Corporate Education Center, a division of WDT. Four students graduated from program:

  • Russell Blakeman of Belle Fourche
  • Jonathan Groce of Rapid City
  • Tyler Motsick of Rapid City
  • Donald Schweigman of Rapid City

The program is a six-week class designed to prepare men and women for over-the-road semi-truck driving employment. Students use classroom instruction and behind the wheel experience to learn road skills, yard skills, vehicle control and inspection training, as well as other trucking skills. Trucking recruiters are welcome at the school and are encouraged to visit each class.

The next class is scheduled for September 9, 2015. For more information about this program or to register, please contact the WDT Corporate Education Center at 605-718-2410.

The Corporate Education Center offers short-term classes, custom training, events, seminars, career programs, and more to help companies train employees and to help students be successful in new and current careers.

WDT is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 20 programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction Trades, Health Services, Legal and Public Services, Manufacturing and Mechanical Trades, and Science and Technology. More than 98 percent of WDT’s most recent graduates are either working or continuing their education, and more than 93 percent of those placed in careers are working in South Dakota.

WDT welcomes new President

Ann Bolman01Western Dakota Tech is pleased to welcome Dr. Ann Bolman to campus as WDT’s new President. She comes to WDT after 25 years of higher education experience in Texas.

Dr. Bolman will assume leadership of the campus July 24, pending approval by the Rapid City School Board on July 14. Dr. Bolman replaces Mark Wilson, who left WDT in June to become President of Mitchell Technical Institute.

“I was so impressed when I met with faculty and staff with the commitment they have to the students,” Dr. Bolman said. “You don’t see that everywhere. When I saw that, it really excited me about the potential for the school.”

From 1990 to 2009, Dr. Bolman served at Grayson College, Texas, as a reading and writing instructor, director of developmental education, Assistant Dean, and Dean.

Dr. Bolman says she has been looking for a college that understands the impact technical institutes can have on the local and regional economy. She is impressed with the progress WDT faculty and staff have made with community and regional development and with improving student learning and retention.

Dr. Bolman feels her skills with strategic program and resource development and her focus on partnerships and collaborations on and off campus make her a good fit for WDT.

“WDT is a great institution and has wonderful potential,” Dr. Bolman said. “I am excited to be part of that bright future.”

During her career, Dr. Bolman:

  • Managed department, division, and instructions budgets up to $14 million.
  • Identified, acquired, prioritized, and allocated resources on a need-based system.
  • Wrote, received, and managed several grants.
  • Partnered with regional universities to develop articulation agreements to allow skilled technical graduates to complete bachelor’s degrees.
  • Served as member of the Lone Star College Completion Council to implement system-wide reforms in developmental education, student tutoring, and advising services across all Lone Start College campuses.
  • Led the development of a campus-wide peer tutoring program to support the needs of technical and workforce students, particularly in areas such as EMT, criminal justice, and fire science.
  • Developed strategies to assist students in transitioning from adult basic education preparation/GED courses into career and technical programs.
  • Developed basic skills instruction that was embedded into career and workforce programs aimed at supporting student progress in technical programs while simultaneously building basic skills.
  • Worked as a full-time faculty member teaching developmental reading and writing, during which time her students had the highest and second-highest pass rates on the statewide standardized placement test.

Dr. Bolman wants the community to know she has an open-door policy and wants to hear from those who need WDT’s assistance. She will be taking a lot of time in the early months of her tenure to get to know everyone on campus and in the community.

“If there’s something WDT can help with, I want to know about it,” Dr. Bolman said. “I really want to hear everyone’s dreams for the school, its programs and its role in the community.”

Dr. Bolman earned a Doctor of Education degree in English from Texas A&M University-Commerce, a Master of Arts degree in English from Texas A&I University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Texas A&I University.

For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to Visit WDT on the web at

WDT breaks ground June 30 on expansion

Western Dakota Tech broke ground Tuesday, June 30, 2015, on multiple expansion projects that will help WDT better meet the needs of students and the community.

The expansion project includes:

  • Diesel Service Technology Lab: This 31,110-square-ffot lab will be constructed north of the main entrance. It will give students plenty of room to practice skills needed for success and allow the Diesel program to move from the Rushmore Building on Mickelson Drive to the main campus.
  • Medical Simulation Lab: Home to some of the most high-tech equipment in healthcare education, students training in this 8,780-square-foot facility will use high-fidelity, responsive, lifelike patient simulators to log clinical hours and practice real-life scenarios with no risk of endangerment. WDT’s long-term vision is to make the Simulation Center a training location for healthcare professionals from across the region.
  • Event Center: Seating 450 people in a round-table setting, this 13,130-square-foot center will provide a large gathering place for WDT events, conferences, regional training opportunities, and the community.
  • Public Safety Building: The new, 15,435-square-foot Public Safety Building will provide flexible and real-world inspired education opportunities to students in WDT’s Law Enforcement, Fire Science, and Paramedic/EMT programs. It will allow students in these programs to learn and work together under one roof just as they will after graduation.
  • Kitchen Renovation: An expansion of the current commons area and complete kitchen remodel will rejuvenate the space students call their own and make it more functional and inviting.

This expansion will prepare WDT for an exciting future full of opportunity. Once complete, the project will fuel future growth so WDT can play a bigger role in making Rapid City and western South Dakota even better places to live and work.

Construction begins soon. The expansion is scheduled to be ready for use by the beginning of the Spring 2017 semester.

For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to