Ford Motor Company has selected Gateway Community and Technical College to offer its Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program in northern Kentucky and southwest Ohio.
“Ford approached us about offering its prestigious ASSET program in a geographic region that stretches from just south of Columbus, Ohio, to the Louisville, Ky., area,” said Sam Collier, chair of GCTC’s Transportation Technologies Division. “Ford’s decision speaks very highly of the quality of our faculty and our ability to provide automotive training to Ford’s specifications and high expectations.”
The Ford ASSET program is a 24-month associate’s degree program offered at only 39 locations across the country. Ford sets the academic guidelines necessary to confer Ford technician associate degrees.
“The academic requirements ensure that ASSET students gain the same Ford Motor Company Service Technician Specialty Training credentials that Ford technicians earn if they enroll in programs at Ford Motor Company Training Centers,” Collier said. He added the ASSET program is separate from and in addition to GCTC’s existing Automotive Technology option.
The ASSET program combines eight weeks of class lectures and labs with eight weeks of on-the-job training in a co-op experience at local Ford dealerships. “Every student must be sponsored by a dealership,” Collier said. “The students will rotate through the eight-week segments, alternating the classroom and co-op experience throughout the two-year program.”
Students must complete the associate degree to obtain the Ford ASSET credential. While most ASSET graduates secure jobs at Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealerships, graduates who pass the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification exams can seek employment with other automotive companies.
“The Ford-GCTC collaboration offers significant benefits to students and the Ford dealers who sponsor them,” Collier said. “The students receive Ford-specific training using Ford equipment on Ford vehicles. They learn the techniques Ford uses and acquire comprehensive training that enables them to be more versatile technicians.
“At the same time, the dealers benefit from greatly reduced training costs,” Collier added. “Ford has estimated the traditional approach to training costs over $61,000 per technician. At in-state tuition rates, the Gateway-Ford ASSET program is about $13,000 for tuition and books.”
The program begins Aug. 18 with the start of GCTC’s fall semester. The first co-op experience begins Oct. 13, and the projected graduation date for ASSET participants is July 2016. The program is expected to accept 15 to 20 students for the cohort entering this fall.
Ford dealers and students interested in the program should contact Collier at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.