Fall 2020 enrollment in South Dakota’s technical college system has increased by 55 students over last fall, to a total headcount of 7,177. This number includes all full-time and part-time students, as well as participants in the high school dual-credit program.
The system includes Lake Area Technical College in Watertown, Mitchell Technical College in Mitchell, Southeast Technical College in Sioux Falls, and Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City.
South Dakota’s technical colleges have experienced steady enrollment increases over the past five years, growing from a total headcount of 6,569 in the fall of 2016. The growth can be partially attributed to increased enrollment in programs related to construction, health sciences, and marketing.
“Given the impact of COVID-19 on post-secondary education, steady overall enrollment with some increases in high-demand areas is good news for the technical colleges in South Dakota,” said Nick Wendell, executive director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education. “This promising start to the fall of 2020 is a credit to the diligence and innovation of our faculty, staff, and administrators. It is also points to the faith South Dakota students and their families have in the quality of our technical education system.”
Lake Area Technical College showed a decrease of eleven students, Mitchell Tech dropped seven students, Southeast Tech in Sioux Falls has the largest drop of 30 students. The only increase in the state was Western Dakota Technical College in Rapid City which showed an increase of 103 students.
The Board of Technical Education will discuss the fall 2020 enrollment report and other topics when they convene on the campus of Lake Area Technical College in Watertown on Thursday, October 8, 2020.