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For Immediate Release: November 29, 2010
Contact: Mary Stadick Smith - (605) 773-7228

Board of Education approves two new programs for technical institutes

Two new technical programs will be offered within South Dakota’s borders beginning in the fall of 2011. The South Dakota Board of Education approved an Entrepreneurship program for Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown and a Precision Technology program at Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell.

The Entrepreneurship program will complement LATI’s already successful Business Associate and Financial Services programs. Those programs will share facilities, staff, expertise and equipment; however, by adding the Entrepreneurship program, prospective students will have more options to gain specialized creative, managerial and financial skills.

“This program will be tailored to students whose ultimate goal is to one day start their own small business,” said LATI President Deb Shephard. “They will learn first-hand from experienced small business owners and managers who know what works. We’re excited about the opportunities this program will create for students.”

The Precision Technology program at MTI will focus on the growing industry of precision technologies, such as GPS, GIS and geospatial mapping. Precision Technology is commonly used in agriculture when determining planting cycles and yields, in utilities and infrastructure development and maintenance, as well as in architecture, construction and urban planning.

“This is an exploding industry right now, and we feel it will complement several of the programs we already have established,” said MTI President Greg Von Wald.

Students will be able to specialize in one of several areas by taking elective courses in other MTI programs, such as Power Line Technology, Propane and Natural Gas, Agricultural Technology, Architectural Design and Building Construction, Wind Turbine Technology and Automation Controls/Supervisory Control & Data Acquisition, or SCADA.

The board also heard informational updates on the technical institutes’ systemwide retention rates and facilities planning. The state’s other two technical institutes are Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls and Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City.