I-CAR launches Professional Development Program Education Edition
SALT LAKE CITY, July 21, 2011—I-CAR on Wednesday introduced a new program developed to align the curriculum of its Professional Development Program with the course curriculum taught at 1,400 secondary and post-secondary collision repair programs throughout the country.
The new offering is called the Professional Development Program Education Edition. Prior to its development, I-CAR surveyed 400 professionals from various industry segments to find out what the current needs are, so students could be equipped with the proper skills to successfully work in the industry after graduation.
“Schools said they need relevant course content, alignment with the Professional Development Program, and recognition for achievement within the Professional Development Program,” said Bill Stage, director of marketing and distribution for I-CAR. “And employers said they need graduates with basic knowledge levels, validation of skills, a focus on non-structural and refinish technicians, and employees who can start working effectively in the shop right away.”
The Professional Development Program Education Edition, which will focus on the non-structural and refinish roles, offers school programs:
• Fundamentals of collision repair curriculum
• Professional Development Program role-specific curriculum
• Instructor qualification
• Student “career tracker”: Students will be able to receive I-CAR certificates and track their training records throughout their lifetime.
Schools will also receive ready-to-use lesson plans and tools for instructors, including how-to manuals, student handouts, activities, demonstrations, objective worksheets, quizzes, course tests, final exams, welding qualification and skills validation.
Stage said I-CAR would also provide schools with a Collision Career Awareness program to help create student awareness of jobs that exist within the collision repair industry. It will utilize a website, collisioncareers.com, to provide videos, testimonials, and shop tours that collision instructors can use in coaching students for their careers. That website has not yet gone live.
“This program will give students a depth of competency for roles in the shop,” Stage said. “It will allow students to be qualified to work in industry immediately after graduation.”
In addition to curriculum enhancements, I-CAR also launched other tools for collision repair educators:
• An annual I-CAR subscription that will provide curriculum updates;
• A collision Educator’s Support Center website;
• A new instructor role within the Professional Development Program;
• A platinum individuals recognition.
Stage said the program is scheduled to fully launch in time for the 2012-2013 academic school year.
“This role-based training will tailor school curriculum to meet the current needs of employers in today’s market,” said Scott Kruger, executive director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation. “Schools need to teach students how to do things right. Then employers can teach them how to do it fast.”