Rend Lake College’s Automobile Technician Training program has earned certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence.
RLC’s program underwent rigorous evaluation by NATEF to achieve the coveted recognition. Nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities and equipment were used.
“This is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents,” said Donald Seyfer, NATEF Chair. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that Rend Lake College’s graduates will be employable entry-level technicians.
“As a result of the quality education provided by RLC, the motoring public will benefit because better repair technicians will join the work force,” Seyfer added.
Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended RLC be certified by ASE, a non-profit organization which tests and certifies repair technicians in addition to certifying automotive training programs.
Dr. Sarah Bond, Applied Science and Technology Division Chair at RLC, said, “During the past few months, we have worked closely with NATEF to make certain our program would meet strict industry standards, and now we are delighted to join the ranks of the ASE-certified training programs. Students will be assured of a quality education, and shop owners will be assured of getting quality job applicants.”
The evaluation process involves two major steps: an extensive self-evaluation followed by an on-site evaluation. Program instructors, administrators and advisory committee members rate the program on 10 standards: purpose, administration, learning resources, finances, student services, instruction, equipment, facilities, instructional staff and cooperative work agreements.
The evaluation helps target areas which are outstanding and those which need improvement according to national standards identified by representatives of the automotive industry. Programs then submit their applications and self-evaluation materials to the NATEF office.
The on-site evaluation is conducted by an Evaluation Team Leader and local technicians who agree to serve as team members. The ETL is an educator who also has earned ASE Certified Master Technician designation and has been trained by NATEF to lead the evaluation. The evaluation team submits its final report to NATEF and ASE grants certification if the program meets all the standards. Programs must recertify every five years.
The Automotive Technology program at Rend Lake College is a two-year program which leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree. This curriculum is based on ASE standards designed to prepare the student for certification in the automotive industry. The Automotive Technology program qualifies for Master Certification from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. Upon completion, the student has the option to capstone into a participating four-year institution.
RLC’s program also carries with it the option to obtain several occupational certificates, including Transmission, Electrical, Brake, Suspension and Steering, Air Conditioning, and Engine Repair.
The concept for NATEF began in 1978 with the Industry Planning Council at the American Vocational Association Convention. The IPC, composed of representatives from the automotive industry and vocational education, was concerned about the quality of automotive education nationwide. They directed a multi-year study, which developed a task list, tools and equipment list, and program standards.
By 1982 the IPC was in search of an organization to develop and administer an evaluation plan for automotive training programs. ASE was chosen for that function and NATEF was set up to administer the evaluation process.
For more information about the certification, contact Bond at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1260. For more about RLC’s Automotive Technology programs, contact Automotive Technology Professor Nigel Thompson at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1806, or Associate Professor Shannon Perkins at Ext. 1784.