College's Automotive Technology Management Major Accredited

Published 12.05.2005


The automotive technology management major at Pennsylvania College of Technology already among a mere handful of such four-year programs in the country has joined similarly elite company with accreditation by the National Association of Industrial Technology.

NAIT's accrediting board recently voted in St. Louis to add Penn College to the list of approved bachelor-degree programs.

"This was an important step in the evolution of the automotive technology management major," said Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation technology. "The accreditation attests to the quality of instruction and success of the graduates and sets it apart from most of its competition nationwide."

Williamson said the major is the first at Penn College to gain NAIT accreditation, and along with Central Missouri and Indiana State universities is one of only three such accredited baccalaureate automotive programs in the nation.

Automotive bachelor's degree accredited by national boardAccording to NAIT guidelines, the decision ensures that Penn College has met a series of standards to provide industry with highly competent employees and assures graduates of an accredited program that they are receiving a marketable degree through relevant curricula. Institutions that earn accreditation from the association confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive review process.

The milestone follows a three-day site visit by a three-member NAIT accrediting team last spring, as well as hundreds of pages of documents compiled over seven years in support of 62 association curricular standards. The college's consultant was R. Brad Lawson of Indiana University, who made on-site visits in September 1998 and June 2003.

"This was the most time-consuming, labor-intensive project we have ever undertaken," Williamson said. "All aspects of the major and college were examined in great detail and documented. Ultimately, such close inspection serves to further strengthen and refine an already outstanding major."

The dean thanked the faculty, advisory committee members, staff and students who helped prepare that voluminous documentation, particularly recognizing Ronald A. Garner, an associate professor of automotive technology, with whom he co-wrote the self-study report.

Founded in 1967, the National Association of Industrial Technology is recognized as the premiere professional association responsible for promotion of industrial technology in business, industry, education and government; accreditation of industrial-technology programs in colleges, universities and technical institutes; and certification of industrial technologists and the recognition of their continued professional development.

The four-year automotive management technology major prepares students for career opportunities in corporate customer relations and technical support; automotive teaching positions; entry into graduate programs in education, training and management; dealership service- and parts department management; private business ownership within the transportation repair and service industry; service and parts sales representative; and garage or fleet-management positions.

For more information about academic majors in Penn College's School of Transportation Technology, call (570) 320-4516, send e-mail or visit online.