State Board of Education approves new WDT programs

The South Dakota Board of Education approved three new programs for Western Dakota Tech on Monday, August 24, 2015. The programs are Cybersecurity, Dental Assistant, and Medical Laboratory Technician.

Labor market information indicates that demand for workers in these fields is strong in South Dakota and nationally. WDT strives to offer programs with exceptional job outlooks to benefit students and the community. WDT will offer the programs beginning in 2016.

Cybersecurity students will complete classes in network security, network defense and countermeasures, information security, databases, computer forensics, and more. The industry is currently experiencing unprecedented growth due to the dramatic increase of computing and communications technologies across the globe. Through 2022, the number of Information Security Analysts will grow by 25 percent in South Dakota and 37 percent nationally.

Dental Assistant students will complete classes in basic radiography, pre- and post-operative patient care and instruction, chairside assisting, taking tooth and mouth impressions, supervised practice, equipment maintenance and sterilization, medical record-keeping, general office duties, reception and patient intake, and scheduling. Through 2022, the number of dental assisting positions will grow by 12.7 percent in South Dakota and 25 percent nationally.

Medical Laboratory Technician students will complete classes in general laboratory procedures and skills; laboratory mathematics; medical computer applications; interpersonal and communications skills; and the basic principles of hematology, medical microbiology, immunohematology, immunology, clinical chemistry, and urinalysis. Through 2022, the number of Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians will grow by 17.6 percent in South Dakota and 30 percent nationally.

“WDT is excited to add these three options because the need for skilled workers in these fields is so great,” WDT President Ann Bolman said. “Students will graduate from these programs with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they need to be successful.”

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

WDT holds orientation for full-ride scholarship students

The inaugural group of WDT Build Dakota scholars will attend an orientation to learn about campus and their full-ride scholarships that will pay all tuition and other expenses while preparing students for high-need careers in South Dakota.

The orientation will run from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Thursday, August 13, on the WDT campus. WDT invites the media to attend.

WDT awarded 89 full-ride scholarships for the 2014-2015 year. These scholarships will pay for tuition, fees, books, supplies, tools, uniforms, laptop computers, and other educational expenses.

“We are so proud to host this special group of students,” WDT President Ann Bolman said. “These scholarships will help these students prepare for in-demand careers in South Dakota while not taking on student loan debt. This is great news for them and for South Dakota.”

The event will introduce students to resources available on campus and online. Students will attend speaker sessions, tour campus, pick up schedules, and have questions answered before classes begin August 24.

Between 2014 and 2018, $50 million dollars will be invested through private donations from T. Denny Sanford and the South Dakota Future Fund to create and operate the Build Dakota Scholarship program.

Scholarships will be awarded to students entering high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s technical institutes to fill the state’s technical careers with skilled professionals. Recipients of the full-ride scholarships will commit to living and working in the state, in their field of study, for three years following graduation.

WDT awarded every available scholarship for this year. Applications will be available once again in November 2015 for the 2016-2017 year.

Learn more about Build Dakota Scholarships at

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.