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Western Dakota Tech Enrollment Increases Fall Semester 2017

As area colleges experienced a dip in enrollment this fall, Western Dakota Tech saw an increase of 1.4 percent. Western Dakota Tech's fall enrollment is 1,088 students.

This increase follows the 6 percent increase in enrollment the college experienced last fall. The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology reported a decrease in enrollment of 2.83 percent this year in comparison to last year. Black Hills State University had a drop of 1.56 percent.

"We are pleased to report that Western Dakota Tech enrollment continues to grow," said President Ann Bolman, Ed.D. "Our reputation for providing quality education and producing skilled workers to fill job openings is one of the many reasons for the increase. We also have high quality faculty, state-of-the-art equipment, and a successful approach to student success. I couldn't be more proud of the educational strides our faculty, staff and students have made at Western Dakota Tech the last few years."

Western Dakota Tech programs with an enrollment increase include: Computer Science, Dental Assisting, Medical Laboratory Technician, Paramedic, Pharmacy Technician, Practical Nursing, and Transportation Technology - Light Duty. Two new areas also contributed to the student increase - Plumbing and Technical Studies.

The largest increase in students was in Dual Enrollment, which went from 182 students last fall to 213 this year. Through Western Dakota Tech's Dual Enrollment program, high school students can take classes at a reduced rate (or at no cost to Rapid City Area Schools students) to get an early start on their future career.

The student enrollment increase at Western Dakota Tech coincides with positive national reports regarding skilled labor trends in the United States. A recent Georgetown University Center report stated there are 30 million jobs in the United States, that don't require a Bachelor's degree, which pay on average $55,000 per year. The U.S. Department of Education notes those with technical education are somewhat more likely to be employed than others and much more likely to be working in their fields of study.

More than 96 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military. Eighty-one percent of the college's graduates are employed in their field within six months of graduating. Western Dakota Tech program and student success is also due to strong industry partnerships.

"Western Dakota Tech graduates are entering the workforce job-ready, are finding employment in high-need career fields, and are making good wages. This results in a positive economic impact in Rapid City, South Dakota and the surrounding area," Dr. Bolman said.

Western Dakota Tech Programs, Students Benefit from Perkins Act Grant Funds for Updates | News | Western Dakota Tech
About Western Dakota Tech

Western Dakota Tech was established in 1968 and is the only technical college that serves the western South Dakota region.

Western Dakota Tech offers programs in a variety of fields, including Business and Computers, Construction and Manufacturing, Energy and Environmental Technologies, Health Sciences, Legal and Public Services, and Transportation Technologies.

More than 96 percent of Western Dakota Tech's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or are enlisted in the military.

Western Dakota Tech faculty, staff, and administration focus their efforts on helping students gain the skills and experiences they need to succeed. Through hands-on learning, internships, and industry partnerships, Western Dakota Tech students graduate ready to make a real and immediate contribution to their employers and to their communities.

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


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