By Isaac Tovar
East Los Angeles College automotive program graduates earned a technologically challenging certificate designed to improve their employment chances.
They were recognized at ceremony and dinner Wednesday in the auto tech building. Twelve students participated in an exam this semester that is preparatory of the industry standard Automotive Service Excellence certification tests.
These exams aren’t limited to graduates only, as instructors encourage some students to take them before graduating. However, the pricing of the actual exam can easily exceed the $100-mark. Therefore, these assessment tests, which are in the $10 range, are more cost-effective for students.
These prep tests are largely seen as the department’s program learning outcome (PLO) measure. This allows faculty to acknowledge if their program may be lacking attention in a certain curriculum.
Although these exams are not as big a step as the actual certification test, they are a good measure to see how much information students have retained. It also allows students to see what to expect in the final exams.
Though seemingly small, it is an absolute necessity for those students who are serious about becoming automotive technicians. Chair of the Auto-Tech Department Adrian Banuelos said, “In most cases I have to say we have a pretty good student population. I can tell you, most students that come here really want to learn.”
Banuelos further stated that the certificates would soon become an industry standard. The exams are available twice a year (during the fall and spring semesters) and are usually administered to 10 to 12 students.
The days of a mechanic are long past, since today’s automotive specialist is a technician, requiring an extensive amount of knowledge in mechanics and computers. “You can do a little more than check your oil when you pop the hood of today’s automobile. It’s all computers,” said Banuelos.
Technicians must do annual retraining to stay up-to-date in this fast-paced profession. The ceremony was to show recognition of the students success and appreciation for their continued hard work.
Students who passed the exam included Raul Barrera, Aaron Calderon, Brett Donahue, Leo Galido, Edgar Hernandez, Gabriel Jimenez, Khan Lam, Ji Liu, Clyde Leon, Van Nghiem, Abbas Tahmouresie and Jose Villanueva.
The graduates have a more than suitable learning environment as ELAC’s Auto-Tech Department is well-stocked with the required equipment for career training, which is even better than some shops in L.A.
The certification program is designed to give individuals their best chance for success as they transition into the workforce.