UNI-SELECT Partnership for Automotive Parts Technology Program Reviewed

The School of Applied Technology at Alfred State College is pleased to announce that the relatively new automotive parts technology curriculum, begun in fall 2007, will be offered in an online format beginning fall 2008. This new format was approved at a recent partnership meeting with ASC and UNI-SELECT.

Initially, UNI-SELECT agreed to support the auto parts technology program with financial support of $50,000 per year for the first three years of the program. The two groups are now discussing how the industry can support construction of a new state-of-the-art parts store on campus in the near future.

The automotive parts technology program is a two-year AAS (associate in applied science) program complementing the existing automotive trades curriculums which include degree programs in automotive service technician, autobody repair, heavy equipment: truck and diesel technician, and motorsports technology. Its objective is to supply automotive parts stores with entry-level employees. There is currently no college-level automotive parts technology curriculum in the state that fills that need, according to college officials. The new online offerings will provide the ability for Alfred State College to offer the program nationwide.

"There is a great demand from industry for entry-level counter people with the technical skills to advance as managers," noted Cyril ("Skip") Merrick, associate professor and chair, Automotive Trades Department. "Moving the new automotive parts technology program to an online format will allow us to greatly expand the ability to develop in students the necessary skills to succeed in the broad area of automotive parts store operation."

Fred Roberts Auto Plus, a division of UNI-SELECT, currently runs an active auto parts store on the Applied Technology Campus in Wellsville, where students are regularly exposed to its operation.

The partnership was developed with the vision of creating a two-year automotive parts technology program for the industry. This hands-on program and its courses have been developed based upon input from experts in the automotive parts store industry.

James E. Buzzard, executive vice president, UNI-SELECT USA, notes that Alfred State College's "continued commitment to excellence in education and desire to expand the program offering and degree level" make this partnership possible. "This [program] will give our industry and company the future employees with the needed technical and business training."

Craig R. Clark, executive director of the Wellsville Campus and dean of the School of Applied Technology, concurs: "The auto parts technology program is a great example of how industry and education can work together to develop and then support a program," he noted. "The initial $50,000 per year commitment is being used for scholarships up to $4,000 to students accepted into the program. We are very excited to begin discussing how we can expand the program online now and construct a new facility for the program in the near future."

The knowledge and skills areas include basic computer operation, communication, business operation, automotive parts management, automotive parts identification, pricing strategies, and inventory control. Instruction is based upon the hands-on modular format that has been successful on the campus for more than 40 years. The program has also been designed to allow its graduates to articulate easily with Alfred State's technology management (BBA) degree which allows students who earn an associate's degree in a technical or professional area to complete a bachelor's degree using a 2 + 2 format. While Alfred State has a strong reputation for graduating students with outstanding technical skills, these two-year students have lacked management and business training, which is crucial for future entrepreneurs. Technology management fills that need, college officials said.

Graduates of the program will find employment in automotive parts stores, automotive dealerships, and larger fleet operations at construction companies or municipalities as well as at larger institutions that have their own fleets and maintenance organizations.

Alfred State College's automotive trades programs boast one of the largest automotive-related college-level enrollments in New York State. Currently, the automotive trades programs serve some 260 students with 16 faculty and over 80,000 square feet of facilities to provide hands-on learning.

Award-Winning Programs

  • The automotive service technician program was awarded #1 Post-secondary Automotive Program in New York State by the Industry Planning Council for 1996, 1998, and 2006, and was national runner-up for 1998 and national winner in 2000.
  • The heavy equipment: truck & diesel program is one of nine national Association of Diesel Specialists (ADS) TechSmart programs.
  • Three program areas-automotive service technician, heavy equipment: truck and diesel technician, and autobody repair-are all National Automotive Technician Foundation Master Certified. Few colleges have master certification in all three areas. Alfred State was one of the first programs to be certified in the nation.

For more information, contact the Alfred State College Automotive Trades Department at (607) 587-3117. The Alfred State Admissions Department can be reached by calling 1-800-4-ALFRED.

UNI-SELECT Partnership for Automotive Parts Technology Program ReviewedPictured here, following the decision to offer the automotive parts technology program online, are, l-r: Dr. John M. Anderson, president, Alfred State College; Cyril Merrick, associate professor and chair, ASC Automotive Trades Department; Carmen Capriotto, ASC class of 1972, executive vice president, Corporate Stores, UNI-SELECT; Craig R. Clark, executive director of the Wellsville Campus and dean, School of Applied Technology; Gerry Ives, assistant professor, ASC Automotive Trades Department; James E. Buzzard, executive vice president, Automotive Group, US, UNI-SELECT; and Al Mosher, ASC class of 1973, Alfred State partnership manager, division stores manager, UNI-SELECT.