Western Dakota Tech led the state's technical institutes in growth this year, growing enrollment by 10.5% from fall 2014. This fall, 1,012 students are preparing for in-demand careers at WDT in Rapid City.
"These figures show the value of technical education," President Ann Bolman said. "The strides made in recent years at WDT to improve programs are showing benefits to students and industry."
The Build Dakota Scholarship program, which provides full-ride scholarships to students entering high-demand industries, is a contributing factor to the enrollment increase.
Dual Enrollment classes are another area helping boost enrollment. High school students are also able to take Dual Enrollment classes at a free or reduced rate, allowing them to earn both high school and college credit simultaneously.
"There are some amazing opportunities for students at WDT right now," Bolman said. "The ability to get through school with minimal debt and be primed for a high-demand career is stronger now than ever."
WDT has added night classes to accommodate student and employer demand in two areas — Transportation Technician Heavy and Welding and Fabrication.
"We are committed to quality programs that meet student and industry demand," Bolman said. "We will continue working hard to make sure students are receiving the skills and experiences they need to be successful."
WDT is adding three new programs in 2016 to continue its efforts to meet student and industry demand—Medical Lab Tech, Dental Assisting, and Cybersecurity. Career opportunities in all three areas is growing in South Dakota and across the country.
WDT's placement numbers show WDT works. More than 98 percent of WDT's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 93 percent remain in South Dakota.
"Ultimately, our goal is to prepare students for stable and rewarding careers," Bolman said. "WDT is proud of our student's post-graduation success."
For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.