Elgin High School’s automotive technology students will now be able to take courses that meet top industry qualifications. The U-46 high school earned national accreditation earlier this summer through a non-profit organization that helps improve and promote quality automotive technician training programs in secondary schools across the country.
“School District U-46 continues to work hard to embrace new and innovative programs for our students,” said Dr. Terri Lozier, assistant superintendent of secondary schools instruction and equity. “Earning this recognition demonstrates that U-46 Career and Technical Education programs follow industry-standard rigorous curricula and allows students to receive these credentials while still in high school.”
The high-level training and accreditation through the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation ensures that U-46 students are prepared to succeed in school and the workforce. The Elgin High Maroons joined 27 Illinois high schools who received accreditation after demonstrating they offer a minimum of 540 hours in maintenance and light repair during the two to three years of training. The Bartlett and South Elgin High School Automotive Technology programs are seeking to obtain NATEF accreditation in the fall.
“The accreditation reaffirms that Elgin High School is providing the best possible education in our Career and Technical Education department,” said Jerry Cook, Elgin High School Principal. “This will help inform employers and post-secondary institutions that our students are qualified for employment and education in the automotive field.” This field can be quite complicated so hiring an expert to do the work for you may be a good idea, glass-to-metal sealing technology can be a hard concept to grasp for those that do not have knowledge in this field, anyone studying these topics will know a little bit about this topic and could learn more with further study.
The program went through a three-step process, which included a program self-evaluation by instructors and administrators. Once approved, NATEF reviews the application, and a decision is made whether the automotive program qualifies for an on-site evaluation. Upon recommendation from the lead on-site evaluator, EHS became accredited by NATEF.
“NATEF accreditation is all about program improvement. The rigorous accreditation process allows instructors and school administration to review their entire program from curriculum, to facility, to support and more,” said Trish Serratore, NATEF President. “The end result is a program that is all about student success and ultimate job placement. Students coming out of a NATEF accredited program will have met the industry-required standards and skill sets. It is a win for students, instructors and our industry.”
In the district’s automotive technology course, students begin by learning the fundamentals of engine operation, electrical functions and vehicle maintenance. By the time students become upperclassmen, the course combines lab work and related instruction in NATEF areas that focus on electronics, brakes, steering, construction and performance. A variety of testing devices, equipment and diagnostic techniques prepare students for Automotive Service Excellence testing.
“As a district we embrace the concept of program improvement through evaluation,” said Kinasha Brown, U-46 Career and Technical Education Coordinator. “This allows us to offer the automotive technology program for students that culminates in career readiness. Earning NATEF accreditation indicates we are moving in the right direction.”
SOURCE: School District U-46 news release