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Strategic Plan

In an effort to promote continuous improvement and strategic thinking and action, Western Dakota Tech launched a collaborative strategic planning process in the fall of 2015.

Strategic Planning Process

Step 1: Visioning Sessions

The process began with visioning sessions attended by faculty, staff, administration, students, community members, employers, Board members, industry representatives, and other constituents. During the visioning sessions, the more than 75 participants brainstormed and presented ideas about what Western Dakota Tech could and should look like in the future. The results were captured through a “cover story” activity that asked participants to imagine the stories a magazine would publish about Western Dakota Tech in the year 2021. Teams in each session used large posters to gather their ideas before each team presented its findings.

The visioning sessions allowed the college’s constituent groups to have a voice in the Western Dakota Tech’s future.

Step 2: Draft the Plan

The results of the visioning sessions were grouped together to show common themes. The college Cabinet created a Strategic Planning Task Force that met regularly to discuss the themes and what they meant. It was clear through the discussions the themes all showed a version of how the college serves its constituents. As a result, the task force proposes calling the plan, “We serve …,” and Cabinet agreed. The task force then developed three priorities from the themes and developed strategic targets under each priority. The priorities are Students, Faculty and Staff, and Community. Each priority’s targets were developed with a sound understanding of the college’s current capacity. For example, a first-to-second year retention target of 60 percent was set after reviewing the rate’s trends during the past several years and with the understanding the college was adding four Student Success Coaches in 2016.

The draft targets were shared and discussed with Cabinet, all faculty and staff, students, and the Board. The Strategic Planning Task Force used the feedback to make changes by adding, deleting, and clarifying targets. After additional sharing, the plan was finalized and presented to the governing board for final approval, which was received March 29, 2016 board meeting.

Step 3: Implement and Review

The strategic plan was shared with all faculty and staff so individual unit plans could be aligned with the college-level targets. Units also will incorporate results from annual unit reviews, assessment of student learning, and evaluation of operations to develop their individual unit plans and develop annual budget requests.

Each year, Western Dakota Tech will prepare a strategic planning report that will show evidence of performance in its academic and operational and student support units and progress toward unit and college-level targets. In addition, the annual report will show the college learns from its operational experience and applies that learning to improve its institutional effectiveness, capabilities, and sustainability at both the college and unit levels. The report also will show how Western Dakota Tech uses data to improve quality and the service programs, operational and student support units, and the college provide to students, faculty and staff, and the community. The review of data also will allow for targets to be adjusted, removed, or added based on the college’s capacity, fluctuations in revenue, and emerging factors such as technology, demographic shifts, globalization, and other factors.

2021-2026 Strategic Plan

Western Dakota Tech's Strategic Plan can be viewed at
2021-2026 Western Dakota Technical College Strategic Plan.

2016-2021 Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan Reports

2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020


Western Dakota Technical College prepares students to be highly-skilled professionals through accessible, career-focused programs to improve their lives, while adapting to community workforce needs and positively impacting our economy.


As an integral community partner, Western Dakota Tech leads the region by providing innovative education and advocating technical excellence to drive career development and economic growth.



  • Aspiring to achieve quality.
  • Seeking opportunities to grow professional skills and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Moving beyond compliance.
  • Valuing employer insight and including them in our planning processes.
  • Believing in the ability of our students to learn, meet the high standards we set for them, and fill employer needs.
  • Analyzing programs, services, policies, and procedures, and making adjustments as needed to best serve our students, employees, and community.
  • Being honest.
  • Separating personal and institutional interests.
  • Utilizing shared governance to improve communication and dissemination of information.
  • Understanding the power and effect our words have on students, colleagues, and members of the community when speaking about Western Dakota Tech and striving to use them in the best interest of the College.
  • Knowing and upholding Western Dakota Tech’s policies, and procedures, and objectives.
  • Behaving legally and ethically in all endeavors and encouraging others to do the same.
  • Providing the facilities, equipment, and services students and employees need to be successful.
  • Offering education with high potential for the positive student, employer, and community outcomes.
  • Respecting ourselves and others.
  • Providing fair and just treatment to all.
  • Understanding and celebrating the dignity in all forms of work, both internally and externally.
  • Believing we are a solution to poverty, workforce shortages, unemployment, and other challenges in our community.
  • Empathizing with students, colleagues, and other individuals in their experiences and realities.
  • Utilizing shared governance to ensure participation in decision-making and provide channels for various groups to voice opinions.
  • Respecting and embracing varying cultures, views, and opinions.

The visioning sessions allowed the college’s constituent groups to have a voice in the Western Dakota Tech’s future.

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