Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Mines Joins Board of Regents, SD Department of Education, in New Website to Build Workforce

Samuel Barnes, a high school student, spent the summer of 2022 doing research at Mines on the manufacturing of nanofiber filaments thanks to funding from the US Army Education Outreach Program. Barnes is just one example of Mines outreach to high school students in an effort to build the future STEM workforce of the United States.

South Dakota Mines is one of the institutions of higher education in the state featured on a new website launched by the South Dakota Board of Regents (BOR) and the South Dakota Department of Education (DOE). The site, OurDakotaDreams.com, offers resources to help students planning to pursue higher education.

The long-term effort will help Mines meet a need for skilled workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). These workers play a vital role in the economic and social wellbeing of everyone.

“Our state and nation are facing STEM workforce shortages in coming years,” says Mines president Jim Rankin. “This means everyone – from skilled medical professionals who take care of our seniors to mining engineers who help ensure the supply of critical minerals needed for renewable energy to computer scientists and engineers who are advancing areas like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence and robotics. Mines is proud to train the next generation of innovators across these fields and many more.”

The comprehensive goal of the new site OurDakotaDreams.com is to provide information and opportunities for students, parents and educators.

South Dakota Mines plays an active role in supporting high school students in their college exploration and readiness journey. The university hosts seasonal Go to Mines open house events alongside on-campus learning opportunities throughout the year, including events like Engineers Week, Women in Science Day, the West River Math Contest, a wide range of STEM summer camps, the Arts and Engineering Program with weekly events in the campus foundry and glassblowing laboratory, and much more.

Mines also offers a range of dual credit courses that help high school students get a jump start on their college career, and a summer Research and Engineering Apprenticeship (REAP) program that gives high school students a chance to do real laboratory research on campus with the support of the Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP). The Mines Makerspace also hosts a number of community events on campus that are open to high school students like the Techstars Startup Weekend Rapid City. This event runs alongside the annual CEO Business Plan Competition, which is open to high school students to inspire high-tech innovation and business creation.

South Dakota Mines is providing the workforce that makes up the backbone of the high-tech economy in the state. The most recent data shows 39% of 2022 Mines graduates stayed in South Dakota, either attending graduate school or working at 58 different companies located in 15 cities. This includes 47 graduates working for 39 companies in the Black Hills region.

Mines graduates also receive the best return on investment (ROI) in the state and one of the best in the country. The average starting salary for recent graduates of South Dakota Mines is now $70,036. Mines graduates also enjoy a 98% placement rate in their field of study or graduate school. A study by Georgetown University in 2022 ranked South Dakota Mines as the top four-year public university in the state with 40-year lifetime average earnings of over $1.52 million. This number is nearly half a million dollars more than the second South Dakota school on the list. The Georgetown study also ranks Mines in the top 27 out of 4,500 colleges in the nation for a lifetime return on investment. South Dakota Mines topped other public schools on the list such as Rutgers, Purdue, Texas A&M and the University of Minnesota.

To see more on the new website, OurDakotaDreams.com, view this press release from the BOR.



About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,493 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 98 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $70,036. For these reasons  South Dakota Mines is ranked among the best engineering schools in the country for return on investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram, and Snapchat.

Contact: Mike Ray, 605-394-6082, mike.ray@sdsmt.edu

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