College 'redonates' Ford equipment in outreach to high schools

Some people might frown upon “regifting” around the holidays, but four Virginia high schools are grateful for a recent donation of automotive diagnostic equipment from Pennsylvania College of Technology’s School of Transportation Technology and the Ford Motor Co.

Four Worldwide Diagnostic System analyzers were obtained and refurbished by Christopher H. Van Stavoren, an assistant professor of automotive technology in Penn College’s Ford ASSET program and a Northern Virginia native.

John R. Cuprisin, an associate professor of automotive technology in the Ford ASSET program, then traveled to the Fairfax County Public Schools on Nov. 24-25 to deliver the WDS equipment to Virginia’s Annandale High School, Annandale; Centreville High School, Clifton; South County Secondary School, Lorton; and Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria.

“Ford had gone to the next generation of diagnostics, had some extra machines available and thought we could use them to promote our programs by ‘redonating’ to the schools,” explained Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation technology. “This is part of our effort to develop a path for articulation into our class and to fill a market area, as there used to be a Ford ASSET program at NOVA (Northern Virginia Community College).”

Penn College has had ongoing discussions and a series of visits to Fairfax schools, which have a total of 13 postsecondary automotive programs.

Cuprisin also was available to Fairfax faculty members for any necessary instruction on the equipment, a leading-edge tool that helps Ford dealers keep pace technologically with the service demands of increasingly advanced vehicles.

“The opportunity to have equipment that is or is close to industry standards is one way that we prepare our students to go out and compete in the automotive industry,” South County Assistant Principal Gary M. Morris said. “It also helps to attract those students that were not aware of the amount of technology that is involved in the automotive field.”

Some Fairfax County students are not fortunate enough to have electronics programs in their respective school buildings, he said, so the automotive program becomes an alternative hands-on experience for them.

“Having equipment like the diagnostic analyzer … serves them well on multiple levels. They experience the hands-on curriculum, but also are satisfied by the amount of electrical-applications equipment (that) the analyzer and like equipment provide,” Morris said. “The analyzer also adds another layer of competency to the program, which, once again, grants our students another opportunity to compete in the workforce.”

John R. Terrien, an automotive instructor at the Hayfield school, agreed that the WDS will be a welcome learning tool for his students.

“Having worked for Ford, I know the advantages we’ll have diagnosing the Ford/Mercury and Lincoln vehicles we see,” he said. “It’s great to have some of the recent technology available for our students.”

For more about Penn College’s Ford ASSET program or other majors in the School of Transportation Technology, visit www.pct.edu/schools/tt online.

General information about Penn College is available at http://www.pct.edu, by emailing admissions@pct.edu, or calling (800) 367-9222.

 

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Last Updated March 19, 2009