Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (Ford ASSET)
Massive technological change involving electronic controls occurred in automobiles being manufactured in the mid-1970s. Ford Motor Company executives realized that the need for highly skilled service technicians with electronic diagnostics as well as mechanical training would be needed to properly maintain and service their new high-tech products. During the spring of 1982, a Ford Motor Company corporate office representative from Dearborn, Mich., approached Brookhaven College to propose it as the site for its second Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (Ford ASSET) program.
The Dallas/Fort Worth area, with its high concentration of progressive Ford dealerships, garnered the second investigation, and Brookhaven College was the community college chosen in 1982 to respond to dealer needs. Capitalizing on the responsiveness that Brookhaven College had demonstrated with GM, Ford saw the college as a desirable partner. The college consolidated its Auto Body program with that of Eastfield College, strengthening its Automotive Technology program and allowing for renovation of its facility to respond to Ford’s proposal.
Brookhaven College administrators and faculty worked hand-in-hand with Ford corporate office representatives and local dealers to identify key competencies; develop necessary educational materials, curriculum patterns and teaching strategies; and identify and secure new-model vehicles and tools with which to train as well as faculty professional development related to this emerging technology.
Over the past 34 years, contributions provided by Ford Motor Company and local dealers in support of this program consist of training equipment, including more than 150 Ford and Lincoln-Mercury vehicles; thousands of engines, component parts and special/diagnostic tools; more than 7,200 hours of manufacturer-specific professional development for ASSET instructors; and thousands of dealership technician mentoring hours provided to Brookhaven students during their four cooperative work experience courses required for their degree.
Additional in-kind contributions include hundreds of hours dedicated to providing Ford Motor Company ASSET program support at the corporate and regional manager levels to coordinate with dealers and college staff. In addition to corporate support, individual dealerships support students in various ways ranging from outright tool purchases for students, initial purchase with monthly payroll deduction arrangements, defrayed tuition and/or fuel costs for student travel to and from dealerships during cooperative work experiences, and varying levels of health insurance coverage.
The curriculum for the
Dealership-Sponsored Technician Associate in Applied Sciences degree was designed collaboratively by Ford Motor Company technical staff and Brookhaven College faculty. Ford-specific certifications are also embedded in the curriculum, and students are awarded with these industry-recognized credentials as a part of the program.
ASSET students attend intensive 10-week sessions of classroom lecture and laboratory exercises at the college, followed by a 10-week cooperative work experience at the student’s sponsoring Ford or Lincoln dealership. This process allows the student to apply recent classroom activities in a professional dealership environment. The total program lasts about 90 weeks, with approximately 50 weeks spent at Brookhaven College and 40 weeks at the student’s sponsoring dealership.
Since the program’s inception, more than 400 A.A.S.-degreed technicians have begun careers at Ford and Lincoln dealerships throughout North Texas. Many have advanced into supervisory and managerial roles.
“The D/FW area is lucky to have a stable program that has not only partnered with our dealers but has become the backbone of future dealer management and high-grossing senior master technicians. Brookhaven College has filled that gap for the past 30-plus years and continues to deliver top-level technicians in 21 months with an A.A.S. in Automotive Technology.”
For information on Dealership-Sponsored Auto Technician Training programs at Brookhaven College, call 972-860-4189.
For more information on workforce training and development at Brookhaven College, call 972-860-4574.