ASE calls for industry support to maintain accreditation standards in automotive programs

In a letter to the industry, ASE President and CEO Dave Johnson says accreditation ensures that students are equipped with the essential skills sought by employers, enhancing their employability and safety in the workplace.

The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is urging industry professionals to support the maintenance of accreditation standards in automotive service technology programs.

In a letter to the industry, ASE President and CEO Dave Johnson says accreditation ensures that students are equipped with the essential skills sought by employers, enhancing their employability and safety in the workplace.

ASE, as an independent third party, is dedicated to upholding high standards in automotive service and repair through rigorous assessment, certification and credentialing of current and future professionals. The organization conducts thorough reviews of automotive service technology programs, accrediting those that meet the industry’s instructional standards.

“Accreditation of automotive programs ensures that students are taught the important skills that employers are looking for when hiring entry-level automotive service professionals,” Johnson says. “A lack of accreditation puts to question the employability of students, may jeopardize their safety in shop bays, and does not guarantee that the tasks they learn align with local employers’ needs or incorporates use of the types of tools and equipment used in local employers’ businesses.

“Accredited programs have instructors that are current in their field, knowledgeable about the latest vehicle technologies and teach students employable skills in addition to important ‘soft’ skills of being a good employee, such as safe shop practices, being on time and in attendance, and working with coworkers and customers, all of which are emphasized in accredited programs,” Johnson continued. “The quality of ASE accredited automotive programs have always been considered some of the finest in the country and that is because of the stringent guidelines under which these programs have operated, and there is a long history of high school and college automotive students successfully graduating from these programs and being hired upon graduation.”

Johnson emphasized the collaborative nature of the ASE accreditation process, highlighting the importance of interaction between educators, industry experts, students and the community. He noted that strong advisory committees are crucial in bridging the gap between classroom learning and real-world application.

“Collaboration is at the core of the ASE accreditation process as we believe that successful programs are built on a healthy exchange between educators, experts, students and community,” he said. “A strong advisory committee helps support each program successfully bridge the gap between real world needs and classroom activities.”

The ASE Education Foundation works closely with career technical education (CTE) and transportation directors across states to ensure programs remain accredited. However, some states are reconsidering the necessity of accreditation, a move that Johnson believes undermines confidence in the training received by students entering the automotive workforce from unaccredited programs.

“Unfortunately, some states are reevaluating the need for accreditation,” Johnson warned. “We believe that the elimination of this requirement sends a message to employers and vehicle owners alike that they can no longer have confidence that students entering the automotive workforce from unaccredited programs will have received the training required to properly service and repair vehicles.”

ASE encourages industry professionals to identify and assist in accrediting programs within their communities. “We would like to encourage all industry members to get involved with the automotive, collision and truck automotive programs in their communities,” Johnson urged. “If you need help finding a program in your area or if you learn a program is not accredited, the ASE Education Foundation and ASE field managers can help.”


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