Article by Mary Schoals, student and department assistant I, Marketing and Public Information Office
In the Automotive Technology Department, there's no such thing as a one-man or one-woman show. The department works together, and they're as efficient as, well, a well-tuned car.
Working in the far corner of campus, the instructors of the automotive department attract both students and benefactors, including major companies and corporations. Through experience, camaraderie and top-notch programming, the department's students receive the best training in the Metroplex and companies receive the best trained workers. Outside companies that benefit from the programs’ skilled workers often praise Brookhaven College Automotive Technology, according to Sandy Wyche, executive dean of the Business Studies Division.
As a result of its achievements, the department receives a surplus of cars, equipment and internships, and companies such as National Tire and Battery (NTB) and Firestone have partnered with Brookhaven College.
Jay, a current student, along with classmates Franklin, Chance, Adrian and Victor, explained the benefits of being enrolled in the automotive program as employees already of NTB. While at school, these students receive a salary, paid tuition and discounts on tool sets. But that is not all: one of the students previously attended the Universal Technical Institute automotive program, and when contrasting it to Brookhaven College, he praised the expertise of Brookhaven College’s instructors. Not only do the faculty members have experience in the field, but they also have the “team mentality,” working together to ensure his success, as well as that of all others, he said.
When these students graduate, their certificates will have two seals, one from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, ASE, and one from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, NATEF. These qualifications were made possible through the hard work of both the instructors and Susie Coffman, student development services coordinator. Students shower Susie with admiration, as she not only advises all incoming and current students, but also maintains all certifications and evaluations. Unlike some other automotive technician instructors, those at Brookhaven College are all certified twice a year (at seminars they dually attend with their students), and because of their teamwork and dedication, the whole department excels every year.
The Automotive Department curriculum is broken down into three parts: the Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program, taught by Shane Baxter and Matt Whitten; the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (ASEP), taught by Steven Hard and Marvin Johnson; and finally the Comprehensive Automotive Technology program (CAT) with David McNabb.
The Automotive Department is currently boosting female enrollment and will have more exciting additions to their programs in the way of electric cars, Sandy said. Nissan recently donated their newest all-electric car, the Nissan Leaf, which was on display at this year’s Earth Day Fest.
Thanks to Sandy and all the employees in the Automotive Technology Department for their time and patience! Next month’s issue will highlight the Business Studies Division. If you know of anyone in your department adding value to the Brookhaven College student experience, please contact Mary Catherine Schoals in the Marketing and Public Information Office.