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Excellence Drives Automotive Technology Program Forward

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Columbia College´s Automotive Technology Program was evaluated earlier this year by the National Automotive Technicians´ Education Foundation (NATEF) and was granted recertification for five years.

A branch of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), NATEF certification is no small feat. It requires a national committee site visit and review of the program, based on ten standards ranging from curriculum and facilities to instructors´ methods of student evaluations.

According to Erik Andal, coordinator of the Automotive Technology Program at the college, “the recertification means that our course offerings are in line with the national education standards, and is highly respected by many employers. We are teaching what is currently required by the automotive industry as we prepare our students to take their ASE certification tests for technicians.”

Certification by NATEF also means that the college can take advantage of ALLDATA. An online information guide, ALLDATA is a fee-based subscri tion service that provides professionals with important automotive specifications and diagrams for servicing and repairing most vehicles. “ALLDATA replaced hard-copy reference documents and is an easy way to access information quickly,” said Andal. “The price for this service is around $1,100 a year but is provided at no cost to institutions with NATEF certifications.”

Something else that´s new at the college´s Automotive Technology Department is a BAR (Bureau of Automotive Repair) 97 emissions analyzer for smog check testing. The pre-owned unit, which costs approximately $20,000 new, was acquired by the Fresno BAR Office and later donated to the college.

“In order to offer courses in smog check testing on our campus, we really needed the unit,” said Andal. “And thanks to BAR, our students can complete the required training right here at Columbia College.”

Reprinted with permission from The Sierra Mountain Times