Since 1906, the school now known as Sinclair Community College in Dayton, OH, has been training tomorrow’s technicians.
And a little more than a century after its beginnings as a YMCA-sponsored school, the institution has been recognized as the top automotive program in the nation.
In October, Sinclair Community College was named the 2013 Technical School of the Year by Tomorrow’s Tech magazine and WIX Filters during a surprise ceremony at the school for 150 students and instructors of the college’s Automotive Technology program.
Sinclair Community College is the sixth recipient of the annual program created to find and name the best technician training school in the country. WIX and O’Reilly Auto Parts are title sponsors of the national award in conjunction with Tomorrow’s Tech.
Sinclair Community College, located in the city known for its aviation history and aeronautical industry, is named for David A. Sinclair, a Scottish immigrant and secretary of the Dayton YMCA (1874–1902), who founded the adult training school that eventually became Sinclair College in 1948. The name was later changed to Sinclair Community College in 1966.
“As a longtime supporter of technician education, it is encouraging to see schools like Sinclair Community College focused on student outcomes that benefit an entire industry,” said Mike Harvey, brand manager for WIX Filters. “The School of the Year program is a great opportunity for technical schools nationwide to gain exposure for their programs and recognition for their efforts in training the next generation of highly skilled technicians.”
As the recipient of the 2013 School of the Year award, Sinclair Community College’s automotive program received $2,500 from WIX Filters; professional automotive tool set and $250 from O’Reilly Auto Parts; and O’Reilly and WIX Filters merchandise.
In addition, staff from the school attended a Babcox Media recognition dinner at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in November.
Upon the announcement of the award, Justin Morgan, chairman of the Automotive Technology program at Sinclair Community College said he felt humbled that his school had been honored as having the best auto program in the nation.
“It’s great for the students, the faculty, the staff, the administration, the community — I’m very excited about it,’ Morgan said.
Although this is the program’s first time winning the award, in 2011, Sinclair’s automotive program made it as a regional finalist and in 2012, they were considered a top 20 school.
Morgan said Sinclair’s Automotive Technology Program works diligently at providing NATEF-certified training for students aspiring to become automotive service technicians.
The school offers specific corporate training in the following programs, all designed to develop technicians for their respective dealerships: General Motors ASEP (Automotive Service Education Program), Chrysler CAP (College Apprenticeship Program), Ford MLR (Maintenance and Light Repair), and American Honda PACT (Professional Automotive Career Training).
“I receive phone calls every week from dealers, manufacturers and the aftermarket industry in search of technicians trained in the advanced technologies required to service today’s high-tech, complex vehicle systems,” said Justin Morgan, (Left) chairman of the Automotive Technology program at Sinclair Community College.
“Hybrid and alternative fuel systems require a different way of thinking and that’s where the automotive training program at Sinclair Community College excels,” he said. “We provide hands-on, certified automotive training designed to ensure skilled entry-level positions with a high-paying career path. There is a very bright future ahead for the next generation of automotive technicians and we are very humbled that our efforts in this area have been recognized by the national School of the Year program.”
The school also is known for its automotive high performance program, and offers a certificate for students seeking specialization in various areas of high-performance engines and fuel induction. The program is also designed to prepare students for the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) engine machinist series.
Besides its efforts to link students with local dealerships and auto repair shops, Morgan said other top reasons students enroll in Sinclair’s automotive department is that it utilizes small class sizes to promote a positive learning environment and that its tuition is one of the lowest in the state.
“We don’t believe in burdening the students with a lot of debt when they graduate,” he said.
The School of the Year program is open to all high schools and post-secondary schools that have a subscription to Tomorrow’s Tech magazine. Of the 158 entries for the 2013 contest, 60 were from different high schools, technical schools and colleges in four geographic regions of the United States.
Twenty schools were asked to submit a video highlighting their technical programs. Judges selected the four finalists from the video entries, including Sinclair Community College as School of the Year.
“We are very pleased to acknowledge the instructors, staff and administrators of Sinclair Community College on their efforts to deliver top-notch automotive-related training and instruction to its students,” said Jeff Stankard, publisher of Tomorrow’s Tech.
“Winning the national honor of School of the Year is quite an achievement,” Stankard said. “Each year, we continue to see that the level of automotive education programs in this country continues to improve. It is our goal that we, along with the contest’s generous sponsors, highlight the skills and knowledge that the next generation of automotive service technicians are taking with them into the field.”
2013 Runners Up
This year’s three runners-up are:
• Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, Choctaw, OK.;
• Northwest Iowa Community College, Sheldon, IA; and
• Salt Lake Community College, Salt Lake City, UT.
Each runner-up will receive a professional automotive tool set and $250 gift card from O’Reilly Auto Parts.
Learn more about the school by viewing a video on the Tomorrow’s Technician YouTube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzaccy8KjWY n