Two high school diesel technology programs accredited by The AED Foundation are teaching their students valuable skills and enabling them to learn from and network with industry professionals.
Students enrolled in the diesel power technology program at Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ Center of Applied Technology North, located in Maryland, are learning how to “service and repair a wide variety of diesel-powered vehicles and equipment,” wrote Jerry Kepich, the program’s instructor. More specifically, the students receive training in diesel engines, brakes, suspensions and steering, electrical/electronic systems, hydraulic systems and others, Kepich reported.
Obtaining AED Foundation accreditation has helped the program to stay up to date with the changing technology and requirements of industry and employers, noted Kepich.
The Canyons School District’s Canyons Technical Education Center, located in Utah, offers a heavy-duty diesel class accredited by The AED Foundation. In the class, students learn the principles of steering and suspension, as well as “how to repair everything from tie rods to kingpins,” according to instructor Gary Snow. Other areas covered by the class include brakes, hydraulics, air conditioning and electrical systems. But overhauling engines is the students’ favorite subject, Snow reported. Moreover, he said, students in the program are taught “how to be professional.”
The AED Foundation is providing Canyons Technical Education Center instructors with additional training and has enabled it to partner with companies in the industry, Snow noted. In conjunction with these partnerships, companies have provided Canyons with surplus equipment. And, said Snow, the accreditation will give Canyons’ graduates “additional clout” and make them more attractive to employers.
He added that AED Foundation accreditation has given his program tools that will help it meet its goal of preparing students “to be successful in postsecondary education or career settings.”
Canyons Technical Education Center partners with and is affiliated with Salt Lake Community College, or SLCC. Snow noted that obtaining AED Foundation accreditation has enabled Canyons to become better partners with SLCC.
Along with the partnership with SLCC, Canyons participates in the Utah Diesel Technician Pathways program. Created by the state of Utah to prepare high school and college students to join the workforce and provide industry with skilled employees, the program’s participants include high schools, colleges and companies. Through the program, Canyons students “tour shops and work with technicians” in the diesel industry, Snow reported. In addition to obtaining a greater understanding of the qualities that companies are looking for in employees, students are encouraged to talk with companies about career paths, job expectations, and internships.
Meanwhile, students in the Center of Applied Technology North’s diesel technology program have the opportunity to obtain credit from Pennsylvania College of Technology, the University of Northwestern Ohio and the Universal Technical Institute. In general, the center’s goal is to prepare all of its students to “be both college and career ready,” according to its website.
Center of Applied Technology North students have the opportunity to gain work experience and participate in internships. They also visit local diesel service businesses, noted instructor Kepich, who added that “every local diesel service business we visit has at least one or two former graduates employed at their facility.”
One of the Center of Applied Technology North’s graduates, Ross Froat, earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Frostburg University and is now the director of engineering and information technology at the American Trucking Association. Another alumnus, Briana Baierlein, completed a diesel certificate program at Universal Technical Institute in Exton, Pennsylvania, and is currently working as a diesel technician for Penske Truck Leasing. Finally, Will and Ben Hild, who are father and son, both graduated from the program and “own a successful marine service company, Hild’s Marine Service,” Kepich reported.
Shouldn’t every high school diesel equipment program be eager to keep up with new trends and give its students more networking opportunities and clout with employers? If you work in such a program and you’re interested in obtaining these important benefits, please contact AED at 800-388-0650.