Efforts at student success pay off for Western Dakota Tech

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RAPID CITY, S.D. -

Western Dakota Technical Institute (WDT) in Rapid City received special honors, being invited to deliver a presentation at the convening of Minority Serving Community Colleges: Celebrating Student Success in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 14 and 15.

The school was recognized for its use of best practices to increase student satisfaction and success. School officials implemented a more pro-active approach to monitoring student achievement in 2015, allowing them to identify the early warning signs that a student may be encountering difficulty financially or academically. Now, they can intervene and offer assistance before a problem causes a student to fail or drop out of school.

The new approach has increased retention of first-year students by 6 percent, and surveys have shown that students are increasingly satisfied with their achievement and relationship with the school.

Debbie Toms and Jill Elder will represent WDT in the nation’s capital and were practicing their presentation Thursday.

“I am really honored to be able to represent Western Dakota Tech,” said Jill Elder, director of admissions and financial aid. “We have a great team atmosphere, and we constantly put students first. We’ve made a lot of changes, and we’re excited to share our story.”

Toms and Elder will leave for Washington on Monday.

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