Dr. Kayla Westra joined Southeast Tech as the Dean of Curriculum and Instruction in fall 2020. She oversees the Business department, Engineering Technology department, Human Services department, Media Communications department, Information Technology department and Mechatronics department.
Originally from Delvan, Minn., Dr. Westra has worked in higher education for 20 years, most recently serving as the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness and Liberal Arts at Minnesota West Community & Technical College, where she was responsible for liberal arts, K-12 partnerships, accreditation, academic support services, and information technology. She also served as an English instructor at the college.
Prior to working in education, Dr. Westra was a technical communications manager for an engineering company in Kansas City and also taught high school and junior high English while living in Illinois. She has served on the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partners (NACEP) Board of Directors as a board member and interim president.
Dr. Westra has presented at a number of national and regional conferences on effective teaching, online learning, academic technology, and equity in educational opportunities. She focused her doctoral research on student and faculty perceptions of effective online learning environments and is the co-author of "Great Wartime Escapes and Rescues."
She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership from Minnesota State University-Mankato, a master’s in English: Technical Communication from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Minnesota State University-Mankato. She also earned a graduate certificate in history.