Snap-on and Mason City, Iowa-based North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) have embarked on a new, collaborative approach to technical education that aims to train and certify students on the proper use of tools and equipment for automotive-focused industries.
The Snap-on program brings turn-key courses such as torque, multimeter, precision measuring and automotive diagnostics into NIACC classrooms. These four modules are implemented into the school’s existing coursework and are taught to students by NIACC instructors.
Prior to instituting the modules at the college, NIACC instructors attended Snap-on’s Train the Trainer Program. This week-long course provides instructors with hands-on experience and an in-depth understanding of the certification curriculum, so they in turn can go back to their students and properly provide the training.
Upon successfully completing the modules in NIACC classrooms and passing a test of their knowledge and skill, students become certified in the proper use of the related tools and/or equipment – making them more productive and well-rounded professionals. These certifications provide conformity and an across-the-board standard for NIACC to provide in-depth instruction on tool use, as well as theory and application.
To help facilitate these certifications, Snap-on has partnered with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), a network of education providers and corporations that support and validate new and emerging technology skills within several transportation and industrial markets.
“One of the phrases we often use regarding NC3 and Snap-on is ‘we’re partners with education collaborating with industry,’ and collaborating with industry is particularly important because we need to bring real-life scenarios and tasks into the education industry, so these students are more educated, more employable and set up for success,” said Daniel Prather, education division account manager at Snap-on.
“We’ve been teaching all of these certification courses to our students, and that’s why they fit so well with what we’re doing,” said Rob Heimbuch, automotive instructor at NIACC. “We’ve always taught torque, we’ve always taught multimeters. Now, we have a third-party certification to go along with it, and that’s going to benefit students when they attempt to land their first job.”
NIACC students can also purchase their own set of tools when they join the Snap-on Student Excellence Program. These tools can be purchased with special student pricing through the school’s bookstore using financial aid.
“It’s very important to me to get these tools at a discount,” said Alec Schmidt, a student at NIACC. “They’re way more affordable than if I was buying them at regular retail prices. And the quality of the tools for the price I’m getting them at is great.”
NIACC is taking the Snap-on program a step further by working closely with 19 local high schools to offer certifications to those students, as well. This effort is helping to recruit new students to NIACC to continue their post-secondary education.
“The certifications with NC3 and Snap-on are extremely valuable,” said Mike Lester, industrial technology teacher at Iowa-based Clear Lake High School. “We’ve been teaching multimeter and precision measuring, but not to the high level or rigor that NC3 and Snap-on have set. For our graduates to have that certification in hand, that says they went through the curriculum, sets them apart from anybody.”
“This model of collaboration between NIACC and local high schools provides exactly the type of preparedness and clear educational pathways that are needed across the country to help meet the needs of 21st century employers,” added Dan Ramirez, associate director, NC3.
Article provided by Snap-on. For more information about the Snap-on certification, visit snapon.com/Industrial-Certification. For more information about the Snap-on Student Excellence Program, visit snapon.com/Industrial-Education.