Technical Institutes see record enrollment for second straight year
South Dakota’s four technical institutes are experiencing record fall enrollment for the second consecutive year and have topped more than 6,000 students for the first time ever.
After the first 10 days of classes at the technical institutes – Lake Area Tech in Watertown, Mitchell Tech, Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls and Western Dakota Tech in Rapid City – there were 6,179 students enrolled systemwide.
Lake Area and Mitchell Tech saw the biggest increases. Systemwide, the program areas that saw the biggest enrollment increases were architecture and construction; health science; information technology; and science, technology, engineering and math.
“These enrollment increases are a direct reflection of the quality of our programs, facilities and instructors,” said MTI president Greg Von Wald. “Our students know when they walk through our doors that there’s a real value in the education they’ll be obtaining here – they know that when they leave here, they’ll be well prepared to enter the workforce and able to find a job close to home in their field of study.”
Though the jump in enrollment is not the 18 percent increase seen last year, the figure is still 228 students more than last year’s enrollment, which had previously been a record-high number of students for the four institutes.
“Last year was a phenomenal year for the technical institutes,” said Secretary of Education Tom Oster. “The technical institutes know what today’s employers need, and therefore are able to provide relevant, top-notch and cutting-edge programs right here in South Dakota.”
This year’s enrollment numbers were presented to the South Dakota Board of Education during a meeting earlier today.