Alfred State is pleased to announce that the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has granted its automotive service technician program a five-year reaccreditation at the highest level NATEF offers – Master Automobile Service Technology.
The mission of NATEF, according to its website, natef.org, is “to improve the quality of automotive technician training programs nationwide at secondary and postsecondary, public and proprietary schools. To accomplish this mission, NATEF examines the structure, resources, and quality of training programs, and evaluates them against standards established by the industry. These standards reflect the skills that students must master to be successful in the industry.”
Some of the benefits to accreditation, the website states, are increasing the potential for funding from public and corporate sources, identifying program excellence, providing assurance of a higher-quality education, ensuring a pool of highly trained entry-level technicians, and increasing the level of professionalism in the industry.
Achieving accreditation or reaccreditation requires a five-step process: 1. Downloading accreditation documents 2. An extensive program self-evaluation 3. A review of the application by NATEF 4. An on-site evaluation by NATEF and 5. Program accreditation, which is achieved once industry requirements are met. The program then becomes NATEF-accredited for a five-year period from the date of the accreditation.
According to Eric Wilmot, chair of Alfred State’s Automotive Trades Department, the process of being reaccredited is quite rigorous, with compiling and organizing the data alone taking about six months to complete. The on-site visit takes about one or two days, in which a team of four evaluates course materials, facilities, and equipment based on technology and safety standards.
In the end, however, all of the hard work put forth by the faculty and students is well worth it.
“Overall, the importance of NATEF accreditation ensures respect in the automotive industry – respect from students, parents, other institutions, and employers,” Wilmot said. “The entire automotive service industry can be confident that, with this major being a NATEF Master Automobile Service Technology program, we will produce top-quality technicians.”
Students in Alfred State’s masonry program have been hard at work cooking up something special for the School of Applied Technology, particularly the Culinary Arts Department.
Recently, the students completed the first phase of a three-phase project to build an outdoor kitchen area behind the bakery lab facility on the Wellsville campus.
According to Stephen Richard, associate professor in the Building Trades Department, the space, which is about 450 square feet, will enhance the culinary and baking curricula; students will experience hosting and catering special events and creating specialty food in the setting of the outdoor kitchen.
When completed, the space will include a wood-fired pizza oven and smoker, as well as countertop grills and prep space. This equipment will allow culinary and culinary arts: baking, production and management students to bake various breads, and to smoke fish, meats, and poultry in a different setting.
“At our College of Applied Technology, we feature a project-based learning environment,” Richard said. “The students’ educational process includes lectures, but predominantly student projects that the students build, make, fabricate, repair, fix, restore, weld, etc. These projects can be temporary mock-ups, or built-in-place structures. So in masonry, we are always looking for the ‘right’ projects to build, such as this one.”
This project reflects the awareness of industry trends to prepare masonry, culinary, and baking students for success in their careers. Outdoor gathering spaces with patios, fire pits, pizza ovens, and full kitchens have become increasingly popular.
Furthermore, the culinary and baking industry has seen a higher demand for more natural ways of preparing food — including curing and fabricating meat — as well as catering, staging, and food cart and truck services. With the opportunity to work on such projects, students are able to gain relevant, hands-on learning experiences without having to venture offsite.
When in use during daytime classes, the space will accommodate 15 to 20 students for lab activities. There are future plans for the outdoor kitchen to be a location for hosting special events.
“We're excited to add the outdoor kitchen area as another valuable hands-on learning opportunity for our students,” said Deb Burch, chair of the Culinary Arts Department. “The masonry students and professors have done an amazing job creating this new space, and we cannot wait to see this project come to fruition.”
The second phase of the project will consist of laying paver brick in the outdoor kitchen area, scheduled to be completed by masonry students during this semester. The final phase, relocating the dumpster and building outdoor countertops with grills and cold storage will be completed in fall 2018.
From Sunday, Feb. 4, until the end of the month, the Hinkle Memorial Library Gallery will be hosting the exhibit “Fibers Are Us,” a collection of work from a group of “fiber aficionados”— artisans such as weavers, knitters, and spinners.
Established in 1986, this group, known as the Southern Tier Fiberarts Guild, is a local nonprofit organization. The 40 men and women of the Guild are knitters, spinners, tatters, book-artists, paper-crafters, quilters, braiders, weavers, dyers, needle-workers, and felters. They come from as far as Cuba and Olean and even Bradford, PA to celebrate and create fiber arts.
The exhibit will showcase about 30 items of different sizes and types, including fiber collage, doll arts, tatting, altered books and book arts, rug-hooking, and braiding. During a reception for the exhibit on Wednesday, Feb. 7, from 4-6 p.m., Guild members will demonstrate various techniques used to create their works and answer questions about fiber arts. Light refreshments will be served.
“We hope that folks look at fiber art as more than just the usual knitting and crocheting; fiber arts include many more areas that we often don't think about, and in fiber there is great room for personal creativity,” said Carlyn Yanda, a representative of the Guild.
The Southern Tier Fiberarts Guild is involved with local arts and crafts events such as Dye Day in September, a silent auction in December, and various public demonstrations. The artisans meet almost every first Saturday of the month at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wellsville. For more information, visit the Southern Tier Fiberarts Guild Facebook page.
The exhibit will be open for viewing during normal library hours. To inquire about exhibiting your work in the Hinkle Gallery, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 607-587-4313.
Motorcycle and power sports technology students now have access to the same training and certification programs offered to Polaris dealers.
According to Program Coordinator and Professor Kent Johnson, the program was recently awarded a dealer number by Polaris, meaning it is recognized by the company as a dealer, with respect to access to its University of Polaris system. As a result, students will be able to take online classes and certification tests toward earning Bronze and Silver certifications exclusively through Polaris Industries, one of the largest power sports companies in the world.
“The students will learn Polaris-specific diagnosis and repair techniques on the latest equipment offered by the company,” Johnson said. “This access will also benefit them by giving them access to repair manuals and specifications that will help them complete lab projects while still in school.”
These resources will allow students to earn certifications that will make graduates of the program extremely valuable to Polaris dealers. Manufacturer-specific certifications offer not only enhanced curricula, but additional employment opportunities for graduates, as well.
The Polaris training will provide information about a number of vehicle makes and models. Aided with both company-specific and general industry-related knowledge, students will be well-versed and better-suited for careers in motorcycle and power sports technology.