Penn College’s Celebrated Automotive Program Adds Mopar Major

Published 04.03.2014

School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies News

Already observing its milestone status as home to one of the nation's oldest continuous automotive programs, Pennsylvania College of Technology has another reason to celebrate this year: a new partnership that will prepare students as entry-level service technicians for the far-reaching Chrysler family of dealerships.

Beginning with the fall semester, the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies will add a two-year major – automotive technology: Mopar CAP emphasis – to its curricular offerings. Students will alternate eight-week periods in the on-campus lab and at their respective dealerships, totaling 40 weeks at each before earning an associate degree.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Penn College, which has all the stuff to be an excellent addition to the network of Mopar College Automotive Programs,” said Andrew M. Croxell, Chrysler's national manager of vocational education. “PCT has the personnel, facilities and a well-earned reputation for quality training and successful graduates.

“In addition to operating a high-quality automotive training program, its school model will also be able to place interns and graduates of Mopar CAP into a large geographic area of Chrysler Group dealerships – something these employers are eagerly looking forward to.”

Penn College automotive instructors Chad H. Rudloff (left) and Christopher A. Trapani with a 2012 Chrysler 300, one of the first two vehicles donated by the automaker to the new Mopar CAP major.Specialized courses prepare students for advancement at dealerships, with an emphasis on developing diagnostic, service and repair skills for Chrysler vehicles and systems. The major also prepares students to take written certification examinations (such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence examinations), vehicle safety inspection and Chrysler Group certifications.

“It is estimated that 100 new technicians are needed each year due to turnover in just the Mid-Atlantic Region alone,” said Colin W. Williamson, school dean. “Especially fortunate for our students, Chrysler kept a lot of its rural dealerships when it reorganized several years ago – many of them in the smaller towns from which our students come.”

That “100” figure is especially fitting in 2014, when Penn College and its automotive program both observe their centennial. The college has scheduled a full year of activities to mark the occasion, and an April 25 automotive event will celebrate the program through the decades.

The addition of Chrysler (which broadens placement options through its inclusion of RAM Truck, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat), gives Penn College students access to three of the top five automobile manufacturers in the country. A fully equipped, air-conditioned 9,000-square-foot lab in the Parkes Automotive Technology Center will house the Mopar CAP program, joining similar facilities dedicated to the Ford ASSET and Honda PACT emphases.

Automotive instructors Christopher A. Trapani and Chad H. Rudloff, both Chrysler-certified, will teach the new program, which like many in the college’s curricular portfolio, can lead to a bachelor’s degree in technology management.

For more information about Penn College’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, call 570-327-4516.

For more about the college, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.