The Automotive Body Technology program at Arkansas State University-Searcy, a technical campus of ASU-Beebe, has received accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).
The accreditation affirms that a technician’s credentials will be recognized as being from an institution that meets the highest level of national standards for automotive technology programs.
To achieve this coveted recognition, the Automotive Body Technology program, held at the Searcy campus and the Regional Career Center at Lonoke, underwent rigorous evaluation by NATEF. Nationally accepted standards of excellence in areas such as instruction, facilities, and equipment were used.
Preston Haynie, director of the ASU-Searcy Regional Career Center, stated, “During the past few months, we have worked closely with NATEF to make certain that our program would meet strict industry standards, and now we are delighted to join the ranks of the ASE accredited training programs. Students will be assured of a quality education, and shop owners will be assured of getting quality job applicants.”
According to the Automotive Service Technician and Mechanics industry, the median wages for a technician is $19.70 an hour or $40,970 annual salary, and projects a 9% to 13% increase in demand for technicians, with an estimated 48,100 job openings within the next ten years.
“This is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents,” said Donald Seyfer, former NATEF chair. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that student certification will result in an increase in employable entry-level technicians.”
Arkansas State University-Beebe is an operationally separate, two-year institution of the Arkansas State University System. With campuses located in Beebe, Heber Springs, Searcy, and Little Rock Air Force Base, the university offers associate degrees, certificates, and non-credit training for business and industry. The Beebe campus also collaborates with Arkansas State, a four-year university in Jonesboro, to offer baccalaureate and graduate degrees on the Beebe campus.