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MTI reports bump in enrollment for 2018

Mitchell Technical Institute in Mitchell. (Republic file photo)

After a dip in fall 2017, enrollment is climbing once again at Mitchell Technical Institute this fall.

The school reported Friday that it has 1,224 total students, compared with 1,208 students in fall 2017.

MTI says the school has seen the largest growth in its Construction and Manufacturing division. That was despite a planned 20 percent reduction in the Power Line Construction and Maintenance program for the 2018-19 school year. The reduction was deemed necessary after careful study of recent placement data for graduates from the program, the school said.

Showing the greatest gain in enrollment this year is the Construction and Manufacturing division. Electrical Construction and Maintenance is now the largest MTI program by enrollment with 95 students and is a popular option with plentiful jobs in the region. Ag-related programs also show strong enrollment trends this fall.

"We have noticed that we've had a great deal of interest in the construction and manufacturing fields that we have to offer," MTI Associate to the President Julie Brookbank said. "Building trades, electrical, heating and cooling, welding and manufacturing. In this part of the world, there's a lot of job opportunities in this area of work."

MTI had about 10 years of consistent growth in enrollment before a roughly 4 percent drop last year.

"The students we have looking at technical education and at MTI, they're pretty savvy consumers," she said. "They've done their research and they know what they want to look at in a program."

MTI has more than 100 students attending school either by the full-ride Build Dakota scholarship program or the companion Double Edge program, which is bolstered by employers. The school is celebrating its 50th year and more than 18,000 students have graduated from the school since its opening.

Placement data indicates that 98 percent of the Class of 2017 found employment or were continuing their education within six months of graduating and 81 percent of those opted to remain in South Dakota, the school said.