The automotive training program at Bronx Community College (BCC) of The City University of New York has received master certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). To achieve this coveted recognition, the program underwent rigorous evaluation in areas such as instruction, facilities and equipment.
BCC’s automotive program has been authoritatively certified in the following areas:
– Automatic transmission and transaxle
– Engine repair
– Heating and air conditioning
– Manual drive train and axles
– Electrical and electronic systems
– Engine performance
– Suspension and steering
– Compressed natural gas maintenance
The certification is a great boost for BCC’s automotive program which has gone through significant change in recent years. NATEF is the industry organization that evaluates technician training programs against standards developed by the automotive industry and recommends qualifying programs for certification (accreditation) by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). BCC’s automotive program has applied for a grant from The City University of New York (CUNY) Workforce Development Initiative. Grant funds will be used to create a diesel training course.
BCC’s designation to lead CUNY’s sustainability efforts provided the opportunity to refocus the College’s Automotive Technology Program, in existence for nearly 16 years, to address the car and truck industry goal of manufacturing more green vehicles.
Over the last 30 months, Clement Drummond, a 36-year automotive industry veteran, has upgraded courses, facilities and equipment in the Automotive Technology Program with $1.2 million from three grants in collaboration with the Center for Sustainable Energy and the Office of Institutional Advancement.
BCC’s leading-edge training program includes state-of-the-art labs, equipment and teaching facilities; a comprehensive curriculum for an associate in applied sciences degree (A.A.S.); and the one-year automotive technician certificate program. The scope of the program’s offerings is expanded by the additional focus on alternative fuel — ethanol, biodiesel, propane, hydrogen and hybrid automobiles. Those hybrid cars presently include Ford Escape, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic, Lexus RX400H and Saturn Vue.
“This is great news for automotive-minded young people,” said Donald Seyfer, NATEF Chair. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that Bronx Community College’s graduates will be employable as entry-level technicians. As a result of the quality education provided by Bronx Community College, the motoring public will benefit since better repair technicians will join the work force.” Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that Bronx Community College be certified by ASE, a national non-profit organization that tests and certifies repair technicians, in addition to certifying automotive training programs.
“At Bronx Community College, we teach the essential integrated academic workplace skills an automotive technician needs to function successfully in an automotive service facility to effectively analyze, diagnose, service and/or repair today’s technically sophisticated automobiles,” explained Drummond.
“With technology at an ever accelerating pace, there has been a rethinking regarding the most effective methodologies for teaching math, science and communication skills. Teaching those disciplines in the context of where and how people live and work is not only gaining in acceptance, but it is deemed critical to survival in a technology-imbued environment.
“An automotive technician’s job description consists of far more than the performance of manipulative tasks required to service today’s complex motor vehicles. Today’s successful technician must possess an array of workplace skills and a unique blend of academic and technical skills,” noted Drummond.
Drummond added: “Current enrollment in Bronx Community College’s Automotive Technology Program is 186 and has been growing over the past two years. Last year admission rates grew by 27%. Our instructional facilities can accommodate up to 240 students before we need to expand. This surge in admissions is not surprising. Professional technicians can earn $60,000 or more per year. Technicians are in demand all across the nation, particularly working fleets of trucks, buses, rental cars, taxis and special equipment.”
Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association (GNYADA) said, “First, I’d like to congratulate the College for the major achievement of gaining NATEF and ASE Master Certification.
“As president of GNYADA – an organization that represents over 600 franchised new car dealers in metro New York – I can tell you that we are crying-out for well-trained enthusiastic, young people. The current economic climate is clearly impacting on every sector of the workforce, but the auto industry is one that I expect to recover quickly. Even today, we have hundreds of positions available in dealerships in our area and those numbers will grow as people start to buy new cars again,” continued Schienberg. “As the industry develops new technology to power the next generation of vehicles the profession is set to become even more important and exciting. Fuel-cell, hybrid, and electric vehicles will revolutionize the way we drive and provide lucrative jobs for the young men and women who service them,” he concluded.
For additional information, students can call Clement Drummond at (718) 289-5213 or visit the Automotive Technology website at www.bcc.cuny.edu/automotivetechnology.