HCC Automotive Technician Program Nationally Certified — AGAIN
Highland Community College announces that its automotive technician program has been re-certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).
NATEF is a non-profit foundation within the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) organization. NATEF’s mission is to improve the quality of automotive technician training programs through certification.
In the automotive industry, ASE certification and NATEF accreditation are paramount achievements. In addition to re-affirming that Highland’s automotive program meets and/or exceeds national industry-wide standards of excellence, this ranking carries other perks as well. For example, the Daimler-Chrysler Corporation donated cars to Highland’s program because of its ASE certification and NATEF accreditation. According to Scott Anderson, dean of the business and technology division, this was possible only because Highland is ASE-certified.
Benefits to Students
Today’s high-tech automotive industry demands technicians who are skilled in automotive and mechanical systems, electronics and computers. NATEF certification ensures that students are receiving the best training possible in all of these areas. As nationally-certified, ASE-trained technicians, Highland’s automotive program graduates are often more employable. “Our students may not realize the benefits of being enrolled in an ASE-certified program while they are students, but this credential definitely helps them once they graduate. Employers know exactly what skills our students have mastered,” says Anderson.
ASE Certification Process
ASE certification is a two-part process: a self evaluation and an on-site inspection. Palmer submitted a self-evaluation in January. The purpose of the self-evaluation is to compare Highland’s program with national standards, to determine if the program warrants an on-site inspection. Following the self-evaluation, an ASE-certified, NATEF-trained evaluation team visited the Highland campus.
The review process took approximately eight-weeks to complete and included a comprehensive examination of curriculum, facilities, equipment and budget. Although the review process was extensive, it was well worth the effort. “This is a great way to assess our program and ensure quality,” says Anderson. ASE certification is good for five years; Highland’s program is ASE certified through 2013.
Palmer and Anderson are planning on implementing several initiatives based on the recommendations from the on-site visit. One recommendation is for Highland students to compete against their peers in Skills-USA Competitions, which showcases the best career and technical students in the state and nation.
Highland’s automotive technology program received full NATEF accreditation in 2003.
For additional information about Highland’s certified automotive programs and its ASE- certified instructors, go to highland.edu or contact the Business and Technology Division at 815.599.3478.
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