RAPID CITY, S.D, (KOTA TV) - Three colleges are deciding to team up, rather than compete with each other, by creating collaborative programs for students.
South Dakota School of Mines, Black Hills State University and Western Dakota Tech are partnering up to create collaboration programs.
Students will be able to transfer credits among the schools easily to gain the benefits each school has to offer.
"So Western Dakota Tech actually has like trade school abilities so if I want to do like electrician work or hands on classes I can get that experience that I can't necessarily get here," says School of Mines and Technology student Anna Haydock.
One student says just the idea of having options is important.
"The change of scenery is necessary sometimes. You know sometimes being at one place is not for everybody. You may want to try other options and I believe that all three schools coming together like that is gonna be good for students who want to explore other options outside the School of Mines," says School of Mines and Technology student Bryan Akunna.
Western Dakota Tech will be offering a new collaborative mechanician program.
A blending of mining training and technician skills.
It will teach students cutting edge skills to help them earn a higher salary of about 100,000 dollars.
"Western South Dakota had a little bit of a reputation for maybe not being as advanced in technical skill expectations for employees and I think this partnership shows that, that reputation is A, not true and B, definitely a thing in the past," says Western Dakota Tech President Ann Bolman.
The mechanician program plans to be up and running by March. The school is still determining how long the mechanician program will be. But plans to have 2019 graduates ready to start searching for a job.