|CEU student Jimmie Snyder uses a micrometer to measure a crank shaft. According to Snyder, the measurement has to be within 1,000th of an inch. Students are learning many advanced diagnostic techniques and the program has been named as the best post secondary school in the state of Utah in general mechanics.|
The College of Eastern Utah automotive technology department is beginning to be known throughout the industry for producing expertly trained technicians who know how to do a job right.
The CEU program was recently honored for having the best generic automotive program in Utah for post-secondary schools by the Automotive Industry Planning Council.
While technical automotive training has been offered at the school for some time, it is instructor Stan Martineau who is bringing the program and his students to the next level in the automotive field.
Martineau is entering his fourth year as a CEU instructor. Prior to coming to the Price college, he had taught at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo. for six years.
He said he took the job at the Price community college because he thoughthe could make a difference in the area.
Upon arriving in Carbon County, Martineau's first contribution to the area was making CEU a national test site for certification, which took over two years. Local technicians formerly had to travel to Orem or Salt Lake for a two-day program in order to re-certify. They can now do their testing right at the college.
Martineau also began involving his students in the SkillsUSA program because he said he wanted to see how they would fair against other technical students. SkillsUSA is a national organization for high school and college students and professional members enrolled in training programs in technical, skilled and service occupations.
According to the organization, it provides quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development.
Every year CEU has participated in the annual SkillsUSA competition, a student has placed first at the regional level and advanced to nationals.
Additional training in the form of evening classes has also been added to the CEU curriculum. The automotive department recently hosted a two-day seminar titled "Advanced Diagnostics and the Lab Scope" with the help of nationally recognized technical instructor Jerry Stewart.
Martineau said that by learning advanced diagnostics, technicians will be able to provide a much better service for their customers.
"Misdiagnosis is not a dishonesty thing. It's a lack of information and diagnostic skills," stated Martineau. "What I'm trying to do is teach people to give the best service possible."
According to Martineau, the event was a great success. Seven automotive instructors from Utah and surrounding states, in addition to 20 technicians from all over the region, attended the seminar. In addition, Stewart was so i
pressed with the facilities and quality of education that the CEU students were receiving, he personal offered to assist Martineau in placing graduates of the CEU program.
Martineau said he will continue to add night classes and seminars for the benefit of his students and local professionals.
The CEU program strives to teach students the best automotive skills with the newest equipment available. In addition to funds offered by the schools, students fix and sell vehicles to purchase the latest equipment and diversify their knowledge of automotive tools.
All students that complete the CEU program will also leave with a certification to do state safety inspections, another of Martineau's additions. Martineau said that by offering students safety inspection certification, they will be much more employable as they seek professional jobs.
Ultimately, Martineau said his goal is to make Carbon County and the College of Eastern Utah a hub for automotive training.
"We want to help those guys be good at what they do and we want CEU to be the regional center," Martineau indicated. "I am hoping that anyone in this area will think of CEU as the best place to update their knowledge."
Martineau will also extend his expertise in the field to assure that students at other colleges and universities are receiving the same high level of training. The CEU instructor has recently been placed on the accreditation board for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. He will assess vocational program catalogs and course descriptions in comparison to classroom work to assure that students are getting the training they are paying for.