Judy Everett Ramos, 817-399-2025

When you take your car somewhere to receive service or to be repaired, do you ever wonder what is required of the staff that will work on it?

Students in HEB ISD’s automotive program are getting lots of practical experience, and the program just received national certification this month, marking the second time that the district’s auto program receives national recognition.

The automotive training program at the Technical Education Center (TEC) has received certification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The Technical Education Center’s Automotive Collision Repair program has been certified in Non-Structural Analysis/Damage Repair and Painting and Refinishing.

Eric Stevens has been the teacher for this area for the last 16 years. This is the second area of the district’s auto program to receive such certification.

In 2006, NATEF awarded certification in the area of brakes, electrical electronic systems, engine performance, and suspension and steering. The district has offered an auto program since 1971. Last year’s certification will remain effective until 2011.

To achieve this recent recognition, NATEF took the school’s automotive collision training program through a rigorous evaluation, including a visit from a NATEF team. The evaluation used nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment.

Upon completion of the evaluation, NATEF recommended that the National Institute certify the TEC Automotive Collision and Repair program for ASE, which tests and certifies repair technicians, in addition to certifying automotive training programs.

Donald Seyfer, NATEF chair, said the cooperation between industry and public education creates a winning program for everyone.

“This program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, providing added assurance that the TEC Automotive Collision and Repair’s graduates will be employable, entry-level technicians.”

Lisa Karr, director of Career and Technology Education for HEB ISD, said becoming ASE certified is coveted recognition for a school district.

“During the past few months, we have worked closely with NATEF to make certain our program would meet strict industry standards, and now we are delighted to join the ranks of the ASE certified training programs,” she said. “Students will be assured of a quality education, and shop owners will be assured of getting quality job applicants.”

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