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Posts for May 2013

Western Dakota Tech graduates 316 on May 18, 2013

Western Dakota Tech will honor 316 graduates during WDT's 45thCommencement, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena.

Graduates from more than 20 programs will receive degrees and diplomas as they culminate their studies and hard work.

"These graduates represent a trained and educated group of workers who will begin careers and make the western South Dakota region an even better place to live and work," WDT President Mark Wilson said. "This is a special day for the graduates and our communities."

Educator, motivational speaker, author, and accomplished runner Elaine Doll-Dunn will join WDT as commencement speaker. WDT also will present two important awards—Distinguished Service and Distinguished Alumni—during the ceremony.

Despite a recovering economy, many graduates secured degree-related employment before the ceremony because of a growing demand for skilled workers throughout the region. More than 98 percent of WDT's 2011-2012 graduates are either working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and more than 90 percent remain in South Dakota.

"WDT's mission is to train students for the workforce," Wilson said. "Our placement rates show that our students are talented, skilled, and well-prepared for their careers."

The 2013 class pushes the total number of Western Dakota Tech graduates since 1968 to nearly 9,000.

"For more than 40 years, WDT graduates have joined our communities as leaders and built their careers around the skills and behaviors they learned here," Wilson said. "WDT always has—and will continue to have—a significant impact on our communities."

Other commencement activities include:

Friday, May 17:

  • Nursing Pinning Ceremony: WDT will honor graduates from the Practical Nursing program during a pinning ceremony at 10 a.m. in Room ABCD

  • WDT will honor its outstanding graduates and other award winners during the annual Awards Banquet scheduled for 6 p.m. in the WDT Commons.


Saturday, May 18

  • WDT will hold the annual Eagle Feather Ceremony at 9 a.m. in Room ABCD. This is a feathering ceremony to honor the Native American graduates and their accomplishments.


WDT invites the media to all events.

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 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 98 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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WDT to hold Eagle Feather ceremony for Native American graduates

Western Dakota Tech will hold an Eagle Feather Ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, in Room ABCD at WDT in Rapid City to honor WDT's Native American graduates.

Approximately 15 native students will receive blessed eagle feathers during the ceremony.

"In Native American culture, it is a great honor to receive an eagle feather," WDT's Special Services coordinator Melanie Garstenshlager said. "It signifies that you have done something great for yourself, your family, or your community. Students have made many sacrifices during their time in school and they are making a better life for themselves and their families."

Native students coming to Rapid City from a reservation town or community have to face numerous challenges, Garstenshlager said.

"They need to adjust to life without their families, which is their main support system," she said. "Also, the adjustment to living independently, managing money, and life in the city can be very overwhelming for most native students."

WDT has services in place to help native students succeed. WDT enrolled 195 native students during the 2012-2013 academic year. Twenty-six native students are scheduled to graduate during commencement, scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

WDT invites the media to the Eagle Feather Ceremony.

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 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 98 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, 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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WDT to hold pinning ceremony for Practical Nursing graduates

Western Dakota Tech will hold a pinning ceremony for the Practical Nursing spring class of 2013 at 10 a.m. Friday, May 17, in Room ABCD at WDT.

The ceremony will honor this year's graduates for their accomplishments and serve as a way of sending the graduates into the healthcare field.

"This is an important day for these graduates and for Western Dakota Tech," program coordinator Jani Lerback said. "These nurses will serve our communities for years to come."

WDT's practical nursing program prepares students for important and challenging careers in nursing. WDT graduates are well-prepared to contribute to our communities. For several years, 100 percent of WDT nursing graduates have passed the NCLEX-PN (State Boards) required for all practical nurses and are practicing in healthcare settings.

"WDT is providing a high-quality education that allows graduates to provide exceptional nursing care," Lerback said. "We are proud of our graduates and the daily contributions they make in healthcare."

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 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 98 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, 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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WDT Flight Night scheduled for May 21

Western Dakota Tech invites anyone interested in learning more about WDT and its more than 30 programs to WDT's Flight Night scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, at WDT in Rapid City. The event begins at 5:30 p.m.

WDT faculty and staff will attend the event to discuss WDT's programs, give tours of classrooms and labs and discuss how WDT programs prepare graduates for in-demand careers in South Dakota. Also during the event, Admissions, Financial Aid and others will be available to answer questions about all aspects of the WDT experience.

"WDT's programs train students for growing career fields," admissions coordinator Jill Elder said. "Employers want workers with high levels of technical ability and experience, and WDT gives students those exact things."

To continue to meet the needs of the workforce, WDT will add and expand programs set to begin in the fall 2013 and fall 2014 semesters. For fall 2013, WDT has received approval to offer new, nine-month diploma programs in HVAC Technology, Plumbing Technology, Computer-Aided Drafting, and Precision Machining Technology. The Computer-Aided Drafting diploma program can be complete 100 percent online. WDT also will now offer an Associate of Applied Science degree in Practical Nursing.

WDT will seek approval to begin offering the following options in fall 2013:

  • A diploma in Bookkeeping

  • A diploma in Healthcare Technician

  • An associate of applied science degree in HVAC and Plumbing Technology

  • An associate of applied science degree in Pharmacy Technician

  • An associate of applied science degree in Drafting and Machining Technology


Proposals for other programs, including Physical Therapist Assistant and Construction Technology, are being developed for fall 2014 starts. WDT also plans to offer an associate of applied science degree in Surgical Technology beginning fall 2014.

Western Dakota Tech is the only technical institute that serves the western South Dakota region. WDT offers more than 30 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 98 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.

Register for Flight Night at www.wdt.edu or by contacting Admissions at (800) 544-8765, (605) 718-2565 or admissions@wdt.edu.

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