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.”