News and Press Releases

December 9, 2016

GCC'S AUTO PROGRAM RECEIVES NATEF RECERTIFICATION

Gogebic Community College has received recertification at the Master Automotive Service Technology level from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) through November of 2021. This is the highest level of certification that can be obtained from NATEF. GCC is the only postsecondary college in the Upper Peninsula to be certified at the Master level and one of five colleges in the state of Michigan to achieve this level.

GCC was recently evaluated for the most stringent and intensive level of certification offered which is the Master level of certification. "The MAST level of certification contains all of the content of the other two levels of NATEF certification so our students are well prepared for entry level positions in the auto industry," said Ed Gorman, GCC Automotive Instructor/Advisor.

NATEF was founded in 1983 as an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Its mission is to improve the quality of automotive technician training programs nationwide. To accomplish this, 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.

This national organization also works with students to increase career awareness opportunities in the automotive repair industry. There are three levels of certification status that NATEF uses under the 2014 certification standards. They include: 540 hours of maintenance and light repair, 840 hours of automobile service technology and 1200 hours of master automobile service technology. These hours are obtained through combined classroom and lab/shop instructional activities.

Also offered through NATEF are over 107 individual online General Motors Training modules that students can pursue if they choose to do so as well as training modules from BMW and Volkswagen. This is a benefit to aligning with these standards.

One of the most important benefits is NATEF's Student Certification Testing Program. Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the national certification agency for automotive technicians, has partnered with NATEF to award a two-year ASE Student Certification to students taking and passing the exams. "This allows students to work in the field with a valid ASE certification so that they can gain the requisite skills and time required to pass the full length ASE certification Exams. It's a win-win scenario both for students and instructors because students can work and accumulate the extra 1000 hours needed to qualify for certification and learn from other ASE professionals," said Gorman.

GCC currently offers a Certificate and an Associate of Applied Technology program in Automotive. The certificate program covers the theory, diagnosis, and repair of the automobile. It is designed for those students who want to gain the skills to become automotive repair technicians. It also opens the door to several related employment possibilities in heavy equipment, marine, trucking, and aircraft industries with the some additional training. The Associate Degree includes all of the elements of the certificate program with the addition of general education requirements that include management, communications, supervisory, computer, and math skills. This program allows for additional employment options in automotive management and business, as well as transfer options to four-year universities.

In both programs, lab skills are practiced using the latest equipment and procedures to test, diagnose, and repair problems on late model cars and light trucks. GCC's automotive lab is outfitted with a host of modern repair equipment comparable to that found in today's most advanced service facilities. Some of the courses include: Automotive Industry Fundamentals, Electrical/Electronic Systems, Engine Repair, Suspension, Steering and Wheel Alignment, Brakes and Braking Systems, Heating/Air Conditioning, Transmissions, Transaxles and Introduction to Hybrid Vehicles to name a few.

To learn more about the Auto programs at GCC, please contact the Admissions Office for more information at (906) 307-1207 or visit our website at gogebic.edu.