Program gets accreditation


By MARC PAMPLONA, Staff Reporter |

The automotive technology program at Amarillo College has received accreditation from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). The ASE accreditation is a way for the industry to see that a program is training students to be prepared for the future in the automotive field. 

It shows employers that their curriculum is dedicated to the program and to the industry by having the accreditation, Isaac Bernal, interim automotive program coordinator, said.

Bernal said he believes that earning a degree from an ASE certified program will give students a sense of pride. “In the end it would help the students to attain a job in the field,” Bernal said. 

He added that the accreditation ensures that AC has a curriculum that is aligned with the ASE’s required student skill set upon their graduation. 

“That would be how to diagnose a vehicle; how to use the tools properly; primarily to diagnose and identify the concerns of the vehicle and repair them properly,” Bernal said.

The program started the process of getting accredited a year ago and just received accreditation this January.

The process of gaining ASE certification is complicated, said Rebecca Archer, executive secretary for the automotive and diesel departments. 

“First, we have to look at the program ourselves, and then we have to get people of the outside come in and evaluate us and then we have team come that sat for two days and looked over every tool, every room, every instructor and all of our proof before they could recommend us for accreditation,” she explained. 

Archer said that the accreditation will last until February 2024. “So then, we have to go through the whole process again just before it lapses so we can keep it.” 

Becky Burton, the dean of academic outreach and support services, said she thinks that the certification will attract more students, especially if it is marketed properly.

“When marketing this to high school students, we can show them that it is an accredited program. It is on the same scale as all those other accredited programs across the nation and that gives it a lot of validity,” Burton said. 

Claudia Arnold, the senior adviser for the East Campus, said that getting accreditation will get more students interested in the program. “The advertisement of that would just bring students in.”

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