Techniques Magazine Techniques March 2011 : Page 35

f LeArning According to ACC Automotive Service Technology Director Jerry Viola, the program has recently received several im-pressive honors, including being featured in the national publication, Tomorrow’s Technician , and being recognized by a special guest from Washington, D.C. “Last April, Dr. Jill Biden visited our program and recognized it as one of the premier training programs in the coun-try,” says Viola. Each class in the program requires five credits and 45 additional hours of hands-on and/or Web-based training in addition to scheduled class hours. The program is organized into five tracks: • ASEP (General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program) • CAP (Chrysler College Apprenticeship Program) • Nissan (Nissan Denver Technician Apprenticeship Program) • ATEC (the general apprenticeship program for professional automotive technicians) • PACT (Honda apprenticeship program) Since the corporate-sponsored ap-prenticeship programs require the student to obtain and maintain an apprenticeship position at a manufacturer dealership for the duration of the program, the ACC program faculty assists the students in finding suitable placement. In addition, “Apprenticeships have long been an important element of career and technical education (CTE), where they traditionally incorporate systematic programs of on-the-job training led by skilled professionals, along with classroom and laboratory instruction.” students take Web-based manufacturer technician training courses, and their sponsoring dealerships receive training credit for the students upon their gradua-tion with the associate degree. Viola sees the apprenticeship com -ponent of the program as invaluable in making students what he calls “real-world savvy.” As he explains, “Some things you just don’t find in books, so observational education is just as important to long-standing success.” The ATEC program allows students to obtain an apprenticeship position with any dealership or independent automotive repair facility. This track also requires students to maintain an apprenticeship position in automotive repair for the duration of the program, and is a degree program only. ACC’s Automotive Service Manage-ment Certificate program is designed as an apprenticeship program for those interested in a job as an automotive service writer/consultant. ACC notes that dealerships are particularly interested in female service writers, since women are underrepresented in the automotive service field. The Advanced Automotive Electrical/Electronics Certificate is de -signed as an apprenticeship program for those interested in a job as an advanced drivability specialist or those who would like to further their knowledge and train-ing in advanced engine performance. According to ACC, dealers are particu-larly interested in this specialty due to the advances in technology on current model vehicles with increasing electrical/ electronics devices. Most of the major automotive manu-facturers have donated to the more than $1 million in vehicles and technology that have kept the ACC training current. The automobile companies benefit from having a pipeline of technicians who come into the workforce well prepared on today’s technology, and the students graduate with the ability to work on the latest models of vehicles. Another huge bo-March 2011 Techniques 35

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