K-12 Education 

Rapid City has an excellent school system with both public and private options available.   Rapid City Area School District 51-4 services an approximate student population of 13,915 in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. With 1,037 full-time classroom teachers, the district’s overall student/teacher ratio is 13.4. There are 26 schools associated with the agency, which is classified as being in or near a mid-sized city having a population less than 250,000 (Rapid City, SD).

Rapid City Area School District
Ranking: 2013 ACT Scores
National Average 20.90
South Dakota Average 21.90
Rapid City Schools Average 21.95

2015 Schools Grades Enrolled
Elementary 16 K-5 6,840
Middle 5 6-8 3,105
High School 5 9-12 3,970
Private 12 K-12 1,500

Student/Staff Ratio 13.4
Annual Enrollment 13,915
Graduates 846

Post Secondary Education

Educational facilities in the area are considered top-notch with excellent opportunities for traditional and non-traditional students. Rapid City and the surrounding Rushmore Region is home to several colleges and a technical school. There are also several trade schools and training programs that teach skills in construction, cosmetology, hot rod building, welding, and more.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology – a 4-year degree college specializing in engineering and related fields. SDSM&T is a top 5 Engineering School in the country.

National American University – Private university providing 2- and 4– year degrees in business and other fields.

Western Dakota Technical Institute – provides vocational training in areas such as drafting and computers.

Black Hills State University – Rapid City – Higher education center representing programs from all 6 South Dakota Board of Regent institutions.

Black Hills State University – a 4-year degree college specializing in education, business and tourism.

SDSU, West River Graduate Center – Agricultural Extension Center for West River, South Dakota.

Other educational facilities include:

  • Oglala Lakota College
  • United Tribes Technical College
  • Career Learning Center
  • SDSU College of Nursing 
  • USD Department of Nursing

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