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

Western Dakota Tech prides itself on providing students with relevant career training utilizing the most modern technology. The college is excited to announce it has received a Federal Perkins Act grant in the amount of $373,000 for technology and program upgrades.

"This is a federal grant awarded in different amounts annually, based on need, to high schools and technical colleges through the South Dakota Department of Education," said Brian Watland, Western Dakota Tech Vice President for Finance and Operations. "Now that we know the grant amount we have received, we can purchase items now so our students can benefit right away! The program awardees have been notified and we have price quotes coming in right now to make purchases."

The Perkins request process follows along with the annual budget creation process for Western Dakota Tech. Program instructors create a "wish list" of equipment they would like to add or replace in their program. This year, close to $1 million in requests were submitted, so difficult choices had to be made. The Western Dakota Tech Leadership team reviews all submissions and decides which requests are applied for with input from the Academic Department.

Perkins grant money has been awarded to the following programs for purchases this school year:

Computer Aided Drafting - 3-D virtual reality goggles and an aerial drone.
Computer Science - Computer RAM upgrades.
Dental Assisting - Additional X-ray equipment.
Environmental Engineering - Electronic diagnostic equipment upgrades, Rotap shakers and a sieve analysis system.
Fire Science - Bunker gear, racks for SCBA Tanks, shop vices, climbing and repelling gear.
SIM Center - New high-tech eyeball for one of the patient simulators.
Welding & Fabrication - Robotic welding technology.

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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