Automotive Program Shows Record Growth

Monday, September 30, 2019

Corporate sponsorships are fueling record growth in Gateway Community College’s automotive program. 

Daniel Fuller, professor and department chair of automotive technology at GCC, said that enrollment is up 12 percenMeet-Prez-North-Haven.JPGt this year and shot up 80 percent in the last 5 years.  He noted that enrollment increases are driven primarily by growth in corporate-sponsored programs, including the General Motors Automotive Service Education Program (GM ASEP) and American Honda Professional Automotive Career Training (PACT), which lead to an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences.   

GCC also has a Comprehensive Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) program, which provides a broad-based learning experience, creating a pathway to other automobile manufacturers and independent service facilities.  Fuller noted that while the corporate sponsored programs are extremely popular, the largest number of students still opt for the CARS program.   

The GM ASEP program received word on September 26 that it continues to meet the requirements for Master Automobile Service Technology Accreditation, the highest level of program accreditation recognized by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). On September 18, GCC President Paul Broadie II met with students to hear their thoughts about the College and received many positive comments about the automotive program, faculty and resources available.  One student noted that the connections that professors have in the field, particularly with GM, have been invaluable.   

GM ASEP was specially designed through collaboration between GCC and GM.  The program trains students for careers in GM and AC Delco sponsored automotive repair facilities.  Students attend classes and labs at GCC’s Auto Tech campus in North Haven and work full-time at a sponsoring GM or AC Delco garage.  They benefit from state-of-the-art instruction on GM products. 

Three years ago, another promising partnership was announced between American Honda, Inc. and GCC.  Designed by American Honda, the PACT program prepares students in the latest industry standards and specializations.  Besides classroom instruction in technologies incorporated into American Honda vehicles, students receive hands-on training with late model Honda and Acura cars provided to GCC by the manufacturer.  Students also intern with Honda and Acura dealerships, where they gain industry experience.   

The GCC Automotive Program is the only college program in the state that is sponsored and supported by multiple automotive manufacturers.  The GM ASEP and American Honda PACT received national certification from ASE, the national standard for automotive technician certification.