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The Warwick Area Career-Technical Center.

The Warwick Area Career-Technical Center had already won both local and national awards when it was honored with a 2004 Award for Excellence in Automotive Technology. The award is a joint effort of ACTE, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), and the Automotive Industry Planning Council (AIPC), and is presented in recognition of programs in automotive service that exemplify high standards for career preparation.

A 2005 graduate of Warwick, John Washburn, won the gold medal at this year's SkillsUSA competition. He and partner Jason Marley, another 2005 graduate, also competed in the national Ford/AAA student auto skills contest placing 11th. The Warwick team also had the second highest written ASE test score in the USA in the Ford/AAA contest.

Located in Warwick, Rhode Island, the school recruits students from five different area high schools for its programs, which include instruction in eight ASE and National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) areas. In the 2004-2005 school year, Warwick added the Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES) program. Through the program, juniors are linked with a dealer for the summer for full-time mentoring with a master technician, and during the school year, the students continue to work aider school for the dealer. After graduation, they become hill-time employees.

Entrance to the program is open to 10th, 11th and 12th grade students, but the popular program usually has a waiting list of 40 to 45 students.

The students receive instruction in specialty areas such as fuel systems, electrical systems, brakes, engine electronics, suspension and alignment, cooling systems, and engine overhaul, and there is a heavy emphasis on theory classes. The curriculum includes the repair of automobiles and light trucks with importance given to the use of accepted trade methods and practices, and all major tests are modeled in accordance with current ASE testing techniques.

The Warwick Area Career-Technical Center has a tradition based on progressive technological advancement, and its purpose is to prepare students for entry into the workforce with competencies and skills that will help them in the workplace or in furthering their education. Warwick's philosophy also includes "the realization that education is a lifelong learning process" and that education that prepares students "for life in a complex society requires an academic base that supports and enhances career-technical skills."

The automotive technology program aligns with the school's philosophy of continuing education through its three articulation agreements that help the students transition into postsecondary education. The agreements are with Northwestern College, Universal Technical Institute and New England Tech.

Businesses in the community are benefiting from the training offered at the Warwick Area Career-Technical Center. One local dealer notes that about 50 percent of his service technicians are graduates of the program and adds that, as employees, these former students "demonstrate a strong foundation of skills and a strong emphasis on safety."

For more information about the Warwick Area Career-Technical Center, visit www.warwickschools.org/career/index.htm.

Explore More

Here are some places to turn for more information about education and training as an automotive service technician.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence

ASE is the preeminent organization for measuring the standards of knowledge and skills for automotive service technicians. www.ase.com

Automotive Youth Educational Systems

AYES is a partnership among participating automotive manufacturers, participating local dealers and selected high schools and technical schools. www.ayes.org

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation

NATEF evaluates technician training programs against automotive industry standards and evaluates the providers of in-service technician training programs. www.natef.org

The Automotive Industry Planning Council

AIPC is a national advisory group of industry leaders, career tech educators and educational policymakers. www.autoipc.org

The Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair

CCAR is a nonprofit partnership of industry, education and government. www.ccar-greenlink.org

SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a national organization of high school and college students and professional members who are enrolled in training programs that include automotive service technology. www.skillsusa.org

Manufacturer-Supported Training Programs

The manufacturer-supported education and training programs include DaimlerChrysler College Automotive Program (www.daimlerchrysler.com); Toyota Technical Education Network (www.toyota.com); Ford ASSET (www.ford.com), and the General Motors Automotive Service Educational Program (www.gm.com).
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Title Annotation:SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT
Publication:Techniques
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2005
Words:697
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