An interview with ASE Education Foundation Leaders
In this exclusive interview, ALLDATA’s Rich Diegle talks with ASE Education Foundation President Mike Coley and Vice President George Arrants about the launch of ALLDATA’s Instructor Toolkit, a first-of-its kind training resource for auto repair educational institutions.
Editor’s note: The ASE Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that evaluates and accredits entry-level automotive technology education programs against standards developed by the automotive service industry. It also develops career-readiness education for students which fuse local partnerships, rigorous standard-based education, workplace experience, and mentorship together.
ALLDATA: As you know, ALLDATA is about to launch the Instructor Toolkit. It's an education resource that was developed in partnership with the ASE Education Foundation. First, I’d like to extend a big thanks to you and everyone at ASE for the guidance and input through the planning stages and creation of this project.
Based on your conversations with instructors at the recent ASE Instructor Training Conference last summer, do you feel that a turnkey classroom resource that's aligned with the ASE standard guide is something that they’re looking for?
GEORGE ARRANTS: Not only are they looking for it, but up until now, it really didn't exist. My hat's completely off to you guys. We know this is an important skill for students to learn, but it's always been very difficult for the instructors to put it into motion on a regular basis, and with consistency. The scenarios that you've created in each one of the lessons is directly related to the ASE’s standard guide tasks. You’ve given them a solution in a box, and it is over-the-top awesome.
The scenarios that you've created in each one of the lessons is directly related to the ASE’s standard guide tasks. You’ve given them a solution in a box, and it is over-the-top awesome.
MIKE COLEY: I'd say that the ability to plug in and understand a scan tool and the ability to look up and use service information are basic skills that techs must be able to do.
The beauty of the ALLDATA Instructor Toolkit is, by aligning it with the ASE Education Foundation’s standards guide task list, which is necessary for accreditation, instructors can verify that they’re teaching every task on the list. By you providing that information to them, it just makes it dramatically easier for them to verify that they have everything covered. It's beautiful.
ALLDATA: I’m so glad to hear it. The ALLDATA team put a lot of thought into creating a resource that is truly useful to instructors.
MIKE COLEY: It should be second nature that each time a tech is getting ready to service a vehicle, they review the service information. You never know if there may be some wrinkle, some warning, or some precaution about that particular vehicle. If you didn't know any better, you might put yourself or a coworker in harm's way. And you know ASE’s rule is always safety first.
Being able to efficiently access service information so you know everything about the vehicle you’re working on is critical. So, we really thank you and the folks at ALLDATA for putting that together, I think it'll be a great resource for the schools.
GEORGE ARRANTS: Don’t forget that the ALLDATA Toolkit can also be used by collision instructors. If they've got to take something apart, they need reliable service information. Even something as simple as a removing and replacing a door panel can a very intricate procedure. Service information shows them how to do it correctly and not damage the panel. The collision folks are often starting with a worse situation than we are on the automotive side. You know what I mean?
ALLDATA: Oh, absolutely. It amazes me what those guys can do. They are so talented. I've seen them take a car completely apart to do a repair – down to the bare metal – then they put all it back together and everything works, including the electronics.
MIKE COLEY: And they’re working with dissimilar metals and dissimilar plastics. A collision tech can't assume or go by rule of thumb. Materials change all the time so they must look it up to make a safe and effective repair.
ALLDATA: Each example set in the ALLDATA Toolkit is made up of a domestic vehicle, an Asian vehicle, and a Euro vehicle, so there is something for everyone. It also illustrates the beauty of ALLDATA’s hierarchy concept. The pathway to the information is similar, regardless of manufacturer.
GEORGE ARRANTS: I totally agree. That consistent format makes it easier to find information.
ALLDATA: What do you feel is the primary benefit of offering the Instructor Toolkit to the automotive service training programs?
GEORGE ARRANTS: It's huge because the toolkit is a solution in a box. Instructors don't have to create it. You’ve provided real-world scenarios that students can look up and then the student can be graded on their level of proficiency. And we know that some are going to grab it quickly and some are going to struggle. But through these lessons and activities, instructors can really help the student attain that skillset.
Also, when employers come in as guest speakers, they are going to talk about the importance of looking up service information. That will reinforce how valued this exercise is and not just something the instructor wants them to do.
ALLDATA: That’s so true. So, what do you see as the benefit of the ALLDATA toolkit to students?
Making the student more competent, more productive and a more valuable employee gives them a lot of confidence as an entry level technician. The value to the student is enormous.
GEORGE ARRANTS: I was just thinking that instructors could have students look up service information on their car or their family's car. That would be something they could directly relate to; even if it was looking up basic information like a maintenance schedule, tire pressure or fluid capacities. Making it relevant to their lives would make it fun and build a great foundation. They’ll be excited to look more things up.
MIKE COLEY: How about looking up the cars in the teachers' parking lot to see how many recalls there are?
ALLDATA: Yeah, they would get a kick out of that.
MIKE COLEY: Another value to the students is, when they walk into a shop, the boss is going to expect them to be able to look up service information on any vehicle. They need to know how to quickly drill down to the information. In the real world, time is money – they can't be fumbling around for hours. Making the student more competent, more productive and a more valuable employee gives them a lot of confidence as an entry level technician. The value to the student is enormous.
GEORGE ARRANTS: And if the instructor integrates service information look ups with the school’s shop management system, the students are going to get a preview of what they're going to see in the real world. When students look up service information and the labor time, then perform the procedures, they can see how those activities turn into a paycheck.
ALLDATA: And they need to make sure to document everything they did to the vehicle.
GEORGE ARRANTS: That’s right. If you don't write it down, it didn't happen, and you don't get paid.
ALLDATA: That’s especially true when doing warranty work. Documentation is so important.
MIKE COLEY: That's it.
ALLDATA: Thank you both so much for taking time out of your busy days to talk about the new ALLDATA Instructor Toolkit. It was a pleasure as always talking to you.
About the author
Rich Diegle, has over 35 years of experience as a master automotive technician, marketing and public relations manager, senior automotive editor, and instructor.
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NEW INSTRUCTOR TOOLKIT
Now automotive and collision career and technical education programs can easily create curriculum that integrates ALLDATA’s OEM repair information and meets ASE Education Foundation accreditation standards.
- Developed in partnership with ASE Education Foundation
- 100% aligned with the ASE Standards Guide format, using the same task names and numbers
- Helps prime students for success in the automotive service marketplace by teaching the #1 choice for OEM repair information software
The Instructor Toolkit is included free with educational subscriptions to ALLDATA Repair. Coming soon, toolkits for ALLDATA Collision and ALLDATA Shop Manager.