National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium member school Rio Hondo College was recently named as one of 15 California community colleges granted approval to offer a four-year degree as part of a historic statewide pilot program.
Thirty-four campuses sought approval of degrees in the program, which hopes to train a new generation of graduates for high-demand technical jobs that increasingly require bachelor degrees.
“We are proud and humbled to be considered among those helping to lead this innovative new educational program,” said Superintendent/President Teresa Dreyfuss. “Our selection is a testament to the strength of Rio Hondo’s career technical programs, especially our automotive technology program.”
Rio Hondo College will create a Bachelor of Science degree in Automotive Technology that will position students for jobs in the automotive field and comparable posts at sea and rail transit companies.
The degree will equip graduates for a variety of positions with auto manufacturers, car dealers or aftermarket companies that modify vehicles. This includes companies that typically demand four-year college degrees when hiring but still often have to train new employees because of the lack of comprehensive technical degree programs.
Rio Hondo College will begin enrollment in the Bachelor of Science degree program in the fall of 2016.
Rio Hondo College has also been awarded a National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant to create and evaluate work-based training tools for alternative-fuels automotive technology students as a way of diversifying and strengthening the auto industry’s workforce.
The three-year grant specifies training in high-performance electronics, computer management and advanced diagnostic skills within the College’s fledgling Associate of Science degree in Alternative Fuels/Second Degree Battery/Electric/Hybrid/Fuel Cell Technology.
The effort is expected to build on the expertise and partnerships Rio Hondo College has developed with area schools, companies, Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs), the state Employment Development Department, Governor’s Green Team, and the California Energy Commission.
Rio Hondo College has been an NAFTC consortium member since 2004.