Best of class

ECTC auto/diesel program named tops in Kentucky

By KELLY RICHARDSON

Sunday, January 13, 2008 6:02 PM CST

ELIZABETHTOWN — Students in Elizabethtown Community and Technical College’s auto/diesel program can claim once again to be part of an award-winning program.

ECTC was named state winner by the Automotive Industry Planning Council in December. The council picks national winners and then picks a winner for each state, said Jerry Clemons, an associate professor in auto/diesel technology.

A previous national winner, ECTC has been picked as a winner every year since 1997, Clemons said. ECTC competes in the post-secondary non-manufacturer affiliated category, meaning the program isn’t associated with one manufacturer.

“It makes me have a lot of pride in our program,” he said.
The AIPC look at several aspects of the programs that are illustrated in a portfolio each program submits for consideration. The council considers facilities, equipment, faculty credentials, tools, technology, teaching methods, training aids and student achievements, Clemons said.

“It’s comparing our program to other programs in the state and the United States,” he said.

Several students have excelled in competitions, including Justin Hughes of Lawrenceburg, who placed first in state and 17th nationally in the SkillsUSA competition.

The AIPC is made up of industry professionals, educators in the field and education policymakers, who work to better automotive training programs, an ECTC news release said.
ECTC received a $500 certificate from Snap-On tools and a paid membership to the Automotive Service Association, the release said.

Clemons said several factors led to the success of the auto/diesel program, including its advisory committee, which is made up of local business people, and monetary support from the administration and donors. Technical programs are expensive, since they have to continually update equipment to stay current.

Jim Engler, assistant director of vehicle maintenance at Jefferson County Public Schools, is on the advisory committee and has hired several students from ECTC.

“They have a great resource there,” he said.
He said faculty work to keep themselves updated on what students need to learn, so students are prepared for jobs.

Mary Jo King, ECTC’s public relations director, said she thinks the auto/diesel faculty works well together, and Clemons agreed.

“We synergize our efforts to make our program improve,” he said.

The technical program open house is 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 21, where visitors can learn more about the programs.

Kelly Richardson can be reached at 505-1740, or at krichardson@thenewsenterprise.com.

This story, written by Kelly Richardson, was provided to One Knox courtesy of The News Enterprise. Read more stories from The News Enterprise at www.thenewsenterprise.com.