Lake Area Technical Institute
|Motto||"It's Your World"|
|President||Col. Michael Cartney (USAF, Ret.)|
|Location||Watertown, South Dakota|
Lake Area Technical Institute is a technical school located in Watertown, South Dakota. The campus covers 40 acres and serves an area of 18,000 square miles. Founded in 1965, Lake Area Tech was the first technical school to be established in South Dakota, followed by schools in Mitchell, Sioux Falls and Rapid City.
Lake Area Technical Institute is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, which is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The fall of 2015 marked 12 consecutive years of enrollment growth for Lake Area Technical Institute. Due to the increasing number of students, the school began a four-phase campus expansion project in the fall of 2008. The project includes a new Diesel, Energy, and Welding facility, a new Automotive and Health Science Facility, a centralized Student Center, and a new Agriculture facility. The school has developed new programs including High Performance Engine Machining, Heavy Equipment Operator, and Law Enforcement.
Lake Area Tech has 28 programs, 12 e-degrees and serves more than 2,000 full-time, part-time and online students. Some of the school's longstanding programs include Agriculture, Welding, Cosmetology, Diesel, Aviation Maintenance, and Nursing. The school has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio and a 99% graduate placement rate.
Lake Area Tech's programs rely on advisory boards of industry owners and professionals, who also supply training equipment and internships. For example, Diesel, Auto, HPEM, and Agriculture students have access to a truck chassis dynamometer for hands-on training. LATI also has a cadaver lab. Examples of LATI business partners include Butler CAT Corporation, Prairie Lakes Health Care System, Titan Machinery, South Dakota Wheatgrowers, Cenex/Harvest States, Building Products Inc, Missouri River Energy, Ottertail Power, Watertown Municipal Utilities, Valley Queen Cheese, Horton Manufacturing, First Bank and Trust, and the Watertown Community Foundation.
Lake Area Tech was named one of the Top 3 two-year colleges in the nation and a finalist-with-distinction for the 2015 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. The Prize was awarded in March 2015 in Washington, D.C. following an intense data collection process by Aspen officials that included a rigorous review of critical elements of student success including learning, completion, and employment after college. This is the third consecutive Aspen Prize LATI has earned. In 2011, Lake Area Tech was named one of the top five two-year community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute and in 2013, LATI was named one of the top four two-year community colleges in the nation.
According to Aspen's research, LATI has one of the best graduation rates in America. The school has also been applauded for providing degrees that lead directly to employment. "From the moment students enroll, Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) is structured so that students have a great chance of both completing their degrees and gaining the hands-on skills needed to land a good job,” said Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “With clear, rigorous programs aligned to available jobs, LATI shows the way to not just high graduation rates, but degrees with high value for both students and employers alike.”
LATI has been recognized as "Fastest Growing 2 Year College" (2007), a "Great College to Work For" the past six years in a row by the Chronicle of Higher Education, a member of the President's Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, and a Military Friendly School.
- "President Obama to deliver 2015 commencement speech at Lake Area Tech". KSFY. April 13, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015.