Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Not prepared for the Hybrid

Cerritos College is ill-prepared to fully utilize the Ford Escape Hybrid, donated by Ford in an effort to bring Ford Automotive Student Service Program students up to speed on the new technology.

Jon Bender is one of two instructors for the Ford A.S.S.E.T. program.

He plans on introducing the hybrid vehicle to his students in the spring, though there is no hybrid curriculum offered as of yet.

“We have our alternative fuels curriculum. I don’t think we offer any hybrid training for Ford, but we’re working on that.

“We can go and use it, and we want to introduce the students to it, maybe for a show-and-tell for an auto 100 class.”

Auto 100 is an Automotive Maintenance and Operation course.

Bender, who has been teaching the Ford program for 22 years, is not completely familiar with the hybrid system.

“Not 100 percent. I’ve read about them but I haven’t had any specific training myself. So far, we haven’t seen a hybrid class that Ford said they would want to do that I was anticipating for our A.S.S.E.T. program, but it’s not on the curriculum yet,” he said.

He believes interest in the Ford A.S.S.E.T. program will increase with the introduction of a hybrid-training course.

“Just today, I had a couple of students ask me if there was any specific classes on hybrids and I said not yet but we’re working on it,” he said. “And I think a couple of the other colleges nearby actually do have some introductory classes, but we haven’t done that yet, but we should.”

Steve Berklite, the Interim Instructional Dean of Technology could not be reached for comment.

Janet Malig, Director of the Advanced Transportation Technologies and Energies Department understands there is no specific hybrid training for the Ford A.S.S.E.T. Program as of yet.

She encourages anyone seeking training in this new technology to get involved in Cerritos College’s Alternative Fuels Program starting in the spring.

“We have two courses, we have one specifically for electric vehicles, but if you’re looking for a course for hybrid itself, it’s part of our Alternative Fuels Program.’ Malig added. “We had the course offered in the Fall, but we didn’t get enough students to sign up for it.”

John Lee, service adviser at Cerritos Ford boasts his hybrid technician, Robert Toscan, who is a graduate of the Ford A.S.S.E.T. Program at Cerritos College, is in fact, “a real asset to our service department and our company.”

Lee adds, “He’s actually one of our few master-certified technicians. He’s also our hybrid and diesel technician.”

Robert “Woody” Toscan received his hybrid training through the Ford Training Center in Santa Fe Springs.

The certification course took two days. Toscan remains in contact with the staff at the Ford A.S.S.E.T. Program.

Toscan said, “I love that program. If I can look back and see who had the biggest single influence on my life, it’s the A.S.S.E.T. Program.”

Toscan believes the Ford A.S.S.E.T. Program would benefit with the introduction of hybrid training.

“I think any training the students get before they graduate will be a great benefit, especially hybrid and diesel in particular. Those are the things I see getting bigger in the industry and for Ford. Having that knowledge when they come out, it’s more beneficial for the dealership to hire them. It’s beneficial for themselves to be more familiar with it. Everybody wins.”

Toscan also offers a helping hand to Cerritos College. “If you guys need somebody to talk about the hybrid, I have my own safety equipment, I have my own scan-tool. Anything I can do to help out the A.S.S.E.T. Program, I’m there for you guys.”

The Ford A.S.S.E.T. Program is a two-year automotive program design to upgrade the technical competency and professionalism of the incoming dealership technician.

The curriculum is designed by Ford and Cerritos College, and leads to an Associate Degree.

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Not prepared for the Hybrid