Technical Institutes boast high job placement rates
South Dakota’s four technical institutes boasted high job-placement rates again this year, with a combined graduate placement rate of 96 percent. The placement report for the 2009-2010 school year was presented to the South Dakota Board of Education during a meeting earlier today.
Of the 1,708 graduates responding, 96 percent reported either being employed, continuing their education or entering the military. The survey response rate was 89 percent and 86 percent of all those responding said they were not only employed, they were also employed in a training-related career field.
“All across the board, we saw some really excellent numbers,” said Mark Wilson, director of the Department of Education’s Office of Curriculum, Career and Technical Education. “And the response rate was terrific, too, which makes the placement rates themselves even more impressive.”
Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown had the highest total placement rate for all of its programs, with 98 percent of respondents either employed or continuing their education. Graduates of the medical lab tech, aviation maintenance and diesel technology programs all reported back at a rate of 100 percent as being employed in their chosen career fields. The average starting wage for aviation maintenance graduates was $17.10 per hour.
“These numbers demonstrate a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” said LATI President Deb Shephard. “They are a testament to the quality of our students, instructors and programs. But most of all, these numbers reinforce the importance of industry partnerships and responses to workforce demands.”
LATI was not the only institute with high numbers. All the technical institutes had particularly strong numbers in their health programs. Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls had a 100 percent placement rate among its licensed practical nursing graduates, with 98 percent employed in the field. At Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City, 100 percent of eligible respondents graduating from the surgical technology program reported back as being employed in the field.
Mitchell Technical Institute, which also had a very high placement rate overall, reported 100 percent as employed and 94 percent employed in the field for its agricultural technology program.
During the meeting, the Board of Education approved a tuition increase of $5 per credit at the technical institutes. Some other fees also will increase slightly, bringing the total cost per credit to $118, up $9 from a year ago.
MTI was also granted a new electrical utilities and substation technology program to complement the already strong energy programs there, and WDT will expand its health information management to include a coding specialist option.