Mike Cartney is President of Lake Area Technical Institute, Watertown SD, this year’s recipient of the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence. Lake Area Tech’s work in student success and advocating the value of community colleges has been acknowledged in Forbes, New York Times and TIME Magazine. They were one of four colleges featured in the Aspen Institute’s publication “Structural Equity: Big-Picture Thinking & Partnerships That Improve Community College Student Outcomes.” Their success drew President Obama to be their graduation commencement speaker in 2015, and most recently
President Cartney was invited to testify to the US Senate Commerce Committee on how the United States can address the skilled workforce gap and make the country more competitive. President Cartney, a retired Air Force Colonel, is a 30-year Military career officer who has been with Lake Area Tech since 2007. He holds a BS in Computer Science from the US Air Force Academy, a MSc in Numerical Analysis for Automated Data Processing (ADP) from Purdue University, attended numerous national and international military schools, and was a National Fellow to Harvard University’s Program on Information Resources Policy.