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Posts for January 2013

WDT to begin programs in HVAC and Plumbing

Western Dakota Tech is addressing the needs of the workforce by starting new diploma programs in HVAC Technology and Plumbing Technology.

WDT is now accepting applications for the nine-month programs. Classes will begin in the fall 2013 semester that begins in August.

"Skilled employees are needed in these fields," WDT President Mark Wilson said. "These programs will give students the skills they need to be successful in careers that are in-demand."

Both programs have been designed with industry input so the courses will provide the skills students need.

Graduates of the HVAC Technology program will be able to:

  • Design residential and light commercial central heating and air conditioning systems

  • Install, troubleshoot, and repair residential and light commercial heating and air conditioning equipment

  • Design, fabricate and install forced air and hot water distribution systems

  • Install a wide range of oil and gas boilers and forced-air furnaces

  • Design, fabricate, and install home and light commercial ventilation systems, including both exhaust and fresh air make-up exchangers


Students also will prepare for and take the universal HVAC certification exam so they are qualified to handle all types of refrigerant.

Graduates of the Plumbing Technology program will have skills in:

  • Piping techniques and procedures

  • Plumbing and piping systems

  • Residential and commercial system installations

  • Blueprint reading and isometric interpretation


Employment trends in both career fields show that jobs are available now and will be in the future as the need for trained technicians grows.

Employment of HVAC mechanics and installers is expected to grow 34 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is also expected to increase demand for qualified HVAC technicians.

The median annual wage of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers was $42,530 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,490, and the top 10 percent earned more than $66,930.

Employment of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters is projected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for plumbers is expected to come from new building construction and stricter water efficiency standards for plumbing systems, such as low-flow toilets and showerheads.

The median annual wage of plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters was $46,660 in May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,580, and the top 10 percent earned more than $79,920.

Western Dakota Tech 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 96 percent of WDT's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 90 percent remain in South Dakota.

WDT 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, WDT students graduate ready to make real and immediate contributions to their employers and their communities.

For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to admissions@wdt.edu. Visit WDT on the web at www.wdt.edu.

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ACCUPLACER will help more students succeed

A new diagnostic tool being used at WDT will better identify the academic skills of students and help them improve faster and more efficiently. WDT recently adopted ACCUPLACER as the test future students take to determine their placement in math and English classes. The test replaces the COMPASS, which had been used for more than 10 years. Future students will take ACCUPLACER during the Admissions process. The adaptive, untimed assessment in the areas of reading comprehension, sentence skills, arithmetic, and elementary algebra provide a detailed analysis of each student's academic strengths and weaknesses. WDT uses the test results to determine what math and English classes best fits each student. It also will determine what, if any, remediation students need so they can be successful. "ACCUPLACER is a great tool," said Brad Henrich, Registrar. "It will give us more detail about where students should be placed and what additional help they may need." Approximately one-third of all college students in the United States require some type of remediation. Of that one-third, half do not graduate from college. WDT hopes to reverse that trend by using ACCUPLACER's MyFoundationsLab to provide students who need remediation more customized help than WDT ever could before. Based on performance on the initial ACCUPLACER test, MyFoundationsLab generates a personalized learning path for each student. This easy-to-use learning system offers targeted, just-in-time remediation mapped to the ACCUPLACER diagnostic results. MyFoundationsLab provides the academic skill development students need to be successful. MyFoundationsLab offers multiple benefits: • Individualized learning paths offer proven tutorials, instruction, and practice with instant feedback. • It is ideal for learners of various levels and ages. • Students work at their own pace on any computer with an Internet connection. • It is available 24/7. • Detailed reporting tools allow students and institutions to easily monitor progress. WDT's Student Success Center will work with students using MyFoundationsLab. Monitoring their progress, Center staff will help students stay on track and provide tutoring and other assistance as students need it. "Accuplacer's diagnostic capabilities will help WDT students remediate in the areas of reading comprehension, writing and math areas either prior to full-time enrollment or as a co-requisite to the math and writing courses required," said Mary Ann Slanina, Academic Services coordinator. WDT also will use ACCUPLACER to assess the academic needs of dual-enrollment students who are taking high school and WDT courses. Dual enrollment students will take the assessment during the WDT Admissions process and again when they are finished with WDT courses to determine how their skills have changed over time. However WDT uses ACCUPLACER, it will provide students with the tools they need to improve their skills and increase their chances of academic success. "We are looking forward to using this instrument," Henrich said. "We are confident it will help more students reach their educational and career goals." Western Dakota Tech 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 96 percent of WDT's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 90 percent remain in South Dakota. WDT 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, WDT students graduate ready to make real and immediate contributions to their employers and their communities. For information about WDT, call (800) 544-8765 or (605) 718-2565 or send an email to admissions@wdt.edu. Visit WDT on the web at www.wdt.edu.

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New and current student open house Jan. 10 and Jan. 11

WDT invites all new and current students to campus Jan. 10 and Jan. 11, to:
  • Find classrooms and labs
  • Find answers to last-minute questions
  • Fix any schedule problems
  • Discover services to students
  • Talk to faculty
  • Tour campus
  • Buy books
  • Pick up class schedules
  • Receive students ID's
Come to campus any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, or Friday, Jan. 11. The event isn't mandatory, but WDT highly recommends it. Being comfortable with campus and having everything straightened out will help students focus on what's most important when classes being Monday, Jan. 14. If you have any questions, contact Admissions at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565, or admissions@wdt.edu.

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