Penn College to Host International Event for Automotive Teachers

Published 07.03.2008


The North American Council of Automotive Teachers returns to Pennsylvania College of Technology for its 35th annual conference from July 21-25.A group of North American automotive instructors will gather this month at Pennsylvania College of Technology, home to the industry's oldest continually operating, postsecondary program in the United States.

Ending three years of preparation that began with the institution's approval as the event venue, Penn College and its School of Transportation Technology will host the 35th annual conference of the North American Council of Automotive Teachers from July 21-25. It will be the first such campus get-together since the college was the site of NACAT's silver-anniversary conference in July 1998.

"The main goal is to provide quality update training for automotive teachers," said Dale E. Jaenke, assistant professor of automotive technology at Penn College and conference host. "This year's theme is "˜Energize Your Future,' and the conference will include an extensive seminar selection. The conference has 12 seminar time slots, and each has between 10 and 13 individual seminars for the delegates to choose from. In keeping with our theme, we have seminars being presented on hybrid vehicles from several manufacturers, including GM, Ford, Chrysler and Toyota."

In addition, Jaenke said, Toyota will offer presentations on development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles and is sending a fuel-cell prototype vehicle to display during the conference. Other presenters include representatives of Honda, BMW, Infiniti and Mazda; several automotive textbook authors; two full-time, one adjunct and one retired Penn College faculty member; and graduates of the college's automotive technology management bachelor-degree major, he added.

NACAT delegates visiting main campus for the first time or even for the first time in 10 years will see firsthand the ever-improving instructional space available to the college's 400-plus automotive students: more than 100,000 square feet of classroom and laboratory space, the world's largest collision repair educational lab (42,000 square feet), $4.5 million worth of automobiles and associated instructional equipment, and one of the best lab ratios in the country (one vehicle for every two students).

Steve H. Wallace, assistant dean of transportation technology at Penn College, is serving as conference coordinator.

Nearly 170 instructors have registered to date, many of whom will bring family members. A number of leisure activities are planned throughout the week to showcase local places of interest, and several social events including a barbeque and a banquet will be held during the week to complement the conference's educational aspects.

Conference sponsors include the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, the U.S. Army, Pearson Prentice Hall, Snap-on Tools, Automotive Career Development Center, Gates Corp., Mitchell 1, National Biodiesel, Robert Bosch LLC-Bosch Diagnostics and Delmar Cengage Learning.

The college also will conduct a July 23-24 trade show in the Field House featuring numerous other companies that serve the automotive and educational fields.

For more information about automotive majors in the School of Transportation Technology, visit online or call (570) 327-4516. For more about Penn College, visit on the Web , e-mail e-mail or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.