Friday, February 21, 2014
Lansing, Mich.—Five Michigan community colleges have joined together to create a pilot program that will allow students in automotive technology programs to transfer among the schools with no loss of credits or repetition of course work as they pursue their certifications and degrees.
“Michigan’s auto industry is roaring back, and now more than ever our state’s future and economic vitality depend on a workforce with the necessary talents and training for the jobs of today and tomorrow,” said Nigel Francis, senior vice president of the Automotive Office at the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and senior automotive adviser for the state of Michigan. “This agreement is both a great start in providing Michigan’s automotive tech students with the best possible path for success, and a stellar example of the public, private and academic collaborations that are vital to having the workforce we need to drive Michigan’s auto industry forward.”
The Automotive Technology Articulation Agreement, signed by all participating college presidents, will allow students in automotive technology programs to transfer among Delta College, Grand Rapids Community College, Lansing Community College, Montcalm Community College and Mott Community College. Automotive technology programs were chosen for the pilot because they already adhere to nationally recognized automotive technician training standards.
“Students attending community colleges at times face employment and life changes that require them to move to other areas of the state, creating barriers to successful completion of their education. The cooperation among these five schools will enable automotive technology students who need to relocate to continue their education, and have a seamless transition, in this high-demand field,” said Michigan Workforce Development Agency Director Christine Quinn. “Our goal is that this program will serve as a model for other fields of study, and that more community colleges in the state will participate, with the common focus on supporting student success.”
The colleges reviewed the National Automotive Technician’s Education Foundation (NATEF) standards, instructional materials, assessments, and training equipment in the Automotive Labs to determine course equivalencies. This extensive process ensures that students will be successful in their program, and will produce the talent that the Michigan auto industry demands over the next five to 10 years.
As a result of the successful completion of the articulation agreement, the colleges will develop a manual that may be used by other colleges to develop similar program agreements. The manual is expected to be completed by September 2014.
“We want students to stay in Michigan, complete their degrees, and work here,” said President of the Michigan Occupational Deans Administrative Council Dr. Fiona Hert. “This is just one way we can try as community colleges to make students’ lives easier.”
For more information on the Automotive Technology Articulation Agreement, visit http://www.michigan.gov/wda.
The Workforce Development Agency promotes a flexible, innovative, and effective workforce system within the State of Michigan. The WDA and the Michigan Works! system provide services to employers and job seekers to train and place skilled workers in good jobs across Michigan.
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