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Posts for 2014

The First Week of School — Start with Good Learning Habits

With the heat of summer upon us, it is hard to believe that school will soon be in session once again. The first week of school is critical for starting off the semester with good habits. Starting off on the wrong foot can start a downward spiral that can be difficult to overcome. Use the following tips to get the semester started off right.

Take Responsibility

At WDT there's no one looking over your shoulder or holding your hand to make sure you get off on the right foot. It's all up to you—and your feet. Our staff is here to help in any way we can, but you need to let us know what challenges you may be having.

Attend Class

In a class that meets 30 times in a semester, each lesson has about 3 percent of the content. If you miss the first week, you are already 8 percent behind. Every professor is on a different timeline, and it is important that you are on board.

Know Your Limits

Some classes, especially those concerning math and science, are taught at many different levels. Be sure you haven't signed up for a class that's either too hard or too easy for you, given your prior training and abilities. Placement tests and course numbers aren't always right, so trust your own sense of the course. Make changes early if necessary and avoid a disaster later in the semester.

Use the Syllabus

The syllabus can give you the inside track on what counts and what doesn't. In some courses, the syllabus contains important clues about what will be on the tests, within the course's written goals and objectives. Be alert to these tip-offs about what the professor deems as important. Often, the syllabus will contain the value of each class activity toward your final grade. This will help you to focus your energy appropriately.

Take Note

Get into the habit early of writing everything down from the very first meeting of the class. Keeping your hands moving will help you actively engage with the lecture and form questions. If it is a hands on class, be sure to actively participate.

Plan Ahead

Get out your calendar (paper or electronic) and mark all the important dates: the dates and times of all your exams, your professors' office hours, paper due dates, and WDT holidays and vacations. Be on the lookout for possible conflicts, which should be resolved right away.

Designate a Study Zone

It's not too early to scope out a quiet place where you'll do your studying. And when you get there, turn off the gadgets. It is easy to be distracted by devices by way of texting, Facebook, IM, Twitter, and many more. Allow yourself five minutes at the end of every hour if you can't keep them off. But, after five minutes, be strict with yourself to power down again.

Most professors do assign homework for the first week of classes and actually expect you to do it, even if there's not a test or quiz until the fourth week. First impressions do matter, and putting forth effort in the beginning will benefit not only your habits, but your final grade. So get off to a good start, and keep in mind that you are investing in your future.

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IMPORTANT - Office Software and WDT Student Email Changes

Hello, WDT Students.

Three important items regarding Office software and student email:

1. Starting this semester, WDT will make Office available free of charge to all students. You can download Office at https://portal.office.com starting Monday, August 25. Your log-in will be your student email address (firstname.lastname@stu.wdt.edu), and your password is your regular WDT network password.

2. Starting the same day, you will use this link to check student email: https://outlook.office365.com. Your log-in will be your student email address (firstname.lastname@stu.wdt.edu), and your password is your regular WDT network password.

3. As of Friday, August 22, WDT will no longer use Google accounts for student emails and data storage. This means that your student Google emails and any data in Google Drive will be gone. Following the directions in this document, you can back up all email and data, but you must do this before Friday, August 22. After that, all data emails and data will be deleted.

If you have questions or run into problems, please contact the WDT Helpdesk at helpdesk@wdt.edu or 394-5355.

Thanks. We look forward to seeing you on campus for the fall semester.

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Dual enrollment for high school students

If you are currently a high school sophomore or junior, you may want to consider dual enrollment at Western Dakota Tech. While you can still take high school classes and participate in high school activities, this opportunity will allow you to get a step ahead in your post high school education. This means the potential for earlier graduation, and experience in the work force. Read on for more benefits of dual enrollment courses at Western Dakota Tech.

1. Dual enrollment will give you an idea of what course work will be like in college. The academic environment is different from high school, and allows for more freedom and flexibility.

2. You may have the opportunity to take courses that are not offered in high school.

3. It will allow you to get a better feel for the area of your academic interest. For example, if you took a general healthcare class in high school, healthcare courses offered at WDT can give you more insight if you think that is the career path you wish to take.

4. Many students change their field of study at least once. By taking a couple of dual enrollment classes, you can narrow down what you would like to choose as your field of study, before having the pressure to decide upon high school graduation.

5. Perhaps the largest benefit to dual enrollment is that you may begin accumulating credits for program requirements, allowing you to take lighter course loads through your schooling, or graduate early.

6. It is cost effective. Rapid City Area School students who are at least a junior and in good academic standing can take all courses free of charge, except for the nine Regent General Education courses, which are $40 per credit hour.

There are many benefits to dual enrollment at Western Dakota Tech, along with still being able to enjoy the high school experience.
If you are interested in WDT's dual enrollment program, or for the dual enrollment application, please visit the Western Dakota Tech website.

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WDT to host job fair for veterans

iStock_000021489094SmallWestern Dakota Tech will host the Black Hills Veterans' Job Fair from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, in the WDT Commons Area.

Participants will have the opportunity to meet with employers from South Dakota and across the nation. Over 85 exhibitors will be on site to conduct interviews and accept applications.

For a list of exhibitors, click here.

Although this event targets Guard and Reserve members, veterans, active duty military, and their families, all WDT students and alumni, as well as the public are welcome to attend.

This event is a collaboration between WDT and several veteran-serving organizations, including Hero 2 Hired, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Veterans Upward Bound, Airman & Family Readiness Center, and the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

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WDT hosts healthcare camp for prospective students

Western Dakota Tech will host a camp for prospective healthcare students Tuesday, June 24, at WDT. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

The event will give prospective students an opportunity to explore healthcare career programs offered at WDT. Students will be able to tour classrooms and labs, meet instructors, and learn about financial aid and the admissions process.

Students graduating with healthcare degrees have the benefit of entering one of the fastest-growing industries. National and state labor market information projects significant growth in the healthcare field by 2020: Practical Nurses by 14.3 percent, Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics by 15.3 percent and Certified Nursing Assistants by 21 percent.

"This camp is a great opportunity for students to explore careers in a very lucrative industry. The pathways offered here at WDT allow students to get through school and into the workforce quickly," said Chandra Calvert, Grants Coordinator. "The need for healthcare workers is very high not only here in South Dakota, but in the nation. Students who go through these programs will have many opportunities for employment."

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 97 percent of WDT's most recent graduates are working, continuing their education, or serving in the military, and 85 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 online at www.wdt.edu or by contacting Cindy Weber at (605) 718-2419 or cindy.weber@wdt.edu.

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