Sep 19, 2020

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos Visits Dordt University

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos visits Dordt University on October 16.

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos visited Dordt University on Friday, October 16. During her visit, Secretary DeVos observed how Dordt’s two-year professional-technical (Pro-Tech) programs and partnerships are breaking down barriers between education and industry to help prepare students for high-skill, high-wage jobs in their communities.

Secretary DeVos saw the Pro-Tech program as creative. “It has introduced to a four-year university a two-year program that normally would take place at a separate institution,” she says. “I think Dordt has demonstrated a real creative streak by thinking about what the opportunities are to prepare students for the important and meaningful work and to do that in a new way, and how to forge new partnerships. I think it’s a really great model, and other institutions may want to study it and perhaps emulate it or do something similar.”

Part of what makes Dordt’s technical programs unique is that students spend three days a week in hands-on classes that are taught from a Christian perspective, and two days at paid internships in the local industry.

During her visit, Secretary DeVos also learned about Dordt’s innovative partnerships with the city and local schools, participated in a roundtable discussion with local education and business leaders, and viewed a demonstration of students training with equipment.

“I love to make visits like this because it gives me a first-hand look at what is happening in different parts of the country, so I can talk about it having had first-hand experience, rather than just reading about it in a book or newspaper,” says Secretary DeVos.

“We are so grateful that Secretary DeVos came to visit us,” says President Erik Hoekstra. “We talked about our Pro-Tech program about three years ago in Washington, D.C., and I gave her an open invitation to come to Dordt to see how we are innovating.” He says that to have Secretary DeVos on campus and to learn from her was a pleasure and an honor for Sioux Center and for Dordt University.

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by The Wall Street Journal,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers