Instructor Michael Shepherd (right) works with a student in his Diesel & Heavy Truck Mechanics program.

     Applying for an industry accreditation is a time-consuming process but it pays off in the education Pickaway-Ross Career & Technology Center can offer its students.

     The career center’s Diesel & Heavy Truck Mechanics program, taught by Michael Shepherd, recently was accredited by the ASE Education Foundation in inspection, maintenance and minor repair.

     ASE Education Foundation is a nonprofit organization that evaluates and accredits entry-level automotive technology education programs against standards developed by the automotive service industry. 

     Dana Anderson, supervisor for the school’s transportation programs, said this is the first time Diesel & Heavy Truck Mechanics has received the accreditation. The program now joins Auto Collision Repair and Automotive Technologies in being accredited.

     Dana said a traditionally extensive process was made more so because of last spring’s shutdown and COVID protocols this year.

     “It's a very rigid process to inspect the lab, inspect the instructional materials, monitor the teacher’s credentials and make sure that they themselves are credentialed through ASE,” Dana said.

     Mike, who agreed the accreditation process was time-consuming, said he’s pleased with what it will offer his students and the school. And Dana said the hard work is worth it.

     “The ASE accreditation is a widely recognized credential with employers in the automotive field. Students can take five assessment tests for which they can receive credentials, depending on what program they're in.”

     Those credentials result in higher starting wages for students, Dana said.

     “It helps the students when they go into the workforce. It shows that they are ready for that particular field and the employers recognize that and give them a boost on their starting pay because of the credential.”