College to offer fast-track auto certificate

April 26, 2013 Latest Print Print
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A 12-month certificate degree program in automotive technology will be offered at OCCC in the fall, said Professor Richard Steere, automotive department chair.

Steere said, currently, there is the greatest shortage of auto technicians there has ever been, which is why this year-long program could not come at a more convenient time.

Steere said the current two-year General Motors associate degree graduates eight to 12 students each year with every student graduating with an employment opportunity after college.

Some dealerships in Oklahoma are offering sign-up bonuses and giving additional bonuses to employees who recruit new staff members, he said.

An average technician will make between $28,000 to $35,000 annually starting out.

OCCC’s Transportation Technology Department is one out of four programs in the U.S. selected to offer GM’s certificate of master at a faster pace as a pilot, Steere said.

He said there are about 60 GM programs across the U.S. where associate degrees are generally completed in two years. However, the upcoming certificateprogram will allow students to begin their work at car dealerships sooner than ever before, Steere said.

He said as cars and trucks become more computerized, mechanics who are up-to-date with the advancing technology are becoming harder and harder to find. Automotive guys are the new information technology guys, Steere said.

With the new GM program this fall, Steere hopes to recruit a lot more students.

“It’s a great honor to be selected for this program,” he said. “It will be a lot of hard work, but we are looking forward to it.”

For more about OCCC’s automotive programs, contact Steere at 405-682-1611, ext. 7351, or email rsteere@occc.edu.

For more about GM programs, visit www.gm.com/vision/community_education.

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