• Automotive Technology Program Boasts 99% Pass Rate on ASE

    The Automotive Technology program here at Pickens Technical College is top-notch. Instructors Rolf Werner and Ed Martin have a combined 73 years of experience working in the automotive repair and technology industry. Werner and Martin both started teaching automotive technology courses at PTC 7 years ago. So far, 99% of their students have passed the Student Automotive Service Excellence Test with their help.

    The Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification test isn’t a required exam for automotive workers by state laws in the United States, but if you want to start your own auto repair garage or sign on to work at one, you’ll need ASE certification to break into the industry. Most employers require all of their workers at auto repair garages to have the ASE certification, and you can bet customers look for the telltale ASE sticker at their local garage to determine if they want to bring their car into the shop. The ASE is a nonprofit organization founded in the early 1970s to help customers find competent auto repair workers. To pass the test and earn your certification as a skilled auto worker, you’ll need two years of experience working in the auto repair industry in addition to passing the test.

    So while ASE certification isn’t required to work on cars, if you want to start a career as an auto mechanic, you’ll need to learn how to pass the Student ASE certification exam. Good thing you’re already on the PTC website. PTC’s automotive technology program is focused not only on teaching you the many skills you’ll need to work on cars for a living, but it is also focused on helping you find gainful employment after you graduate from PTC. Now, all PTC programs are focused on employment—that’s what PTC does—but in the automotive technology department, finding gainful employment means obtaining ASE certification.

    Werner and Martin focus their courses on how to fix cars (obviously), how to find a get a job in a repair shop, and prepare for ASE testing and certification. The program is certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation , which accredits education programs around the US that prepare students for ASE certification. It’s the same accreditation that all the fancy private schools have for their automotive technology programs. Werner and Martin also ensure that all of the equipment and tools they provide for their students and train them with are up-to-date in the industry, so you can jump right from the PTC workshop and classroom to a full-time job of your own. You’ll be trained and educated in the necessary skills to start a career in this field and in how to earn your ASE certification.

    The PTC Automotive Technology professors know exactly what you need to succeed in the automotive repair field. Their teaching has been proven to work with students trying to get a job in the industry. The 99% pass rate for the Student ASE certification exam is proof that students come away from the Automotive Technology program at PTC with everything they need for gainful employment in the industry.

  • Pickens Technical College Adding a Culinary Program

    If you’ve read this blog at all on Pickens Technical College’s website (which is where you are now, probably) you know that PTC offers top-notch occupational training and education for students who want to get into their dream career. Students interested in media and communication, human services, the healthcare system, transportation, engineering and more can get the education they need through hands-on training and classroom instruction to prepare them for work in their chosen field.

    One common request that many students at PTC have made is that there should be a culinary program. More students than ever are getting interested in becoming a professional chef or cook thanks to the rise of culinary shows and their parents keeping HGTV and Food Network on their television sets constantly at home. Personally, I think the rise in attention on world-class chefs on their sometimes-hokey television shows is a good thing. By highlighting the skills and the lives of people like Anthony Bourdain, more young people around the United States are discovering their own talent in the kitchen and are beginning to think of culinary as a viable, even fun career. (It’s too late for me to discover any talent whatsoever in the kitchen).

    The desire in many more young people than ever to get into professional culinary has led to a demand for more occupational training and education in cooking. And of course, PTC is here to satisfy this demand with a new culinary program. This new program will feature instruction by a highly experienced and skilled chef on the foundations of cooking and how to make it in the increasingly competitive world of professional chefs. Here are a few of these foundations you can expect to learn all about in this new professional culinary class at PTC:

    • Mise en place. Likely the first lesson you’ll learn in culinary class, this French phrase (there are many such phrases in culinary studies—the French like to cook) translates to “everything in place.” This is essentially the due diligence you’ll have to perform as a chef: organization of equipment, gathering of the right ingredients, preparing all ingredients, portioning, etc.
    • Mirepoix. This French phrase refers to the basic elements of most stocks, sauces, and flavorings… for everything. It’s a simple foundation for many dishes in French cuisine and used by chefs all over the world. Mirepoix (meer-pwa) consists of 25% carrot, 25% celery, and 50% onion. I may have just given away the first week of instruction. That’s why I’m not a professor at PTC.
    • Foundational flavors. The foundational flavors of culinary are like the Primary Colors of the culinary world. Similar to different colors complimenting each other, different foundational flavors typically go well with each other in different combinations. At PTC’s new culinary program, you’ll learn which flavors go with which and how to bring them out artistically in different dishes.

    If you want to be a professional chef or cook, start with a professional culinary class taught at PTC. Look for new class offerings in the coming semesters on PTC’s website to learn more.