Education //
June 11, 2020

Ford ACE/ASSET Programs

By Chris Hadfield
Director
Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence

We are kicking off a series of articles focused on OE manufactures and their specific education partnership programs. This month, we are featuring the Ford ACE and ASSET programs. The Ford ASSET program is located only at Hennepin Technical College. There are multiple Ford ACE programs located all across the state.

Ford’s Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) is a partnership program between Ford Motor Company, Ford/Lincoln dealerships, and secondary and post-secondary educational institutions. The intent of the program is to raise awareness and increase interest in career opportunities within the automotive industry, ultimately as a service technician.

There are no fees to educational institutions to participate in the Ford ACE program. The only requirement for a school to participate is to be sponsored by a local Ford/Lincoln dealership. Students attending a Ford ACE partnership school can obtain valuable knowledge of Ford/Lincoln vehicle systems by completing Web-Based Training (WBT) via the Learning Management System (LMS). These courses are a subset of the same courses taken by current dealership technicians. By completing these WBT courses, the students are one step closer towards a career in the automotive industry, beginning as an entry level automotive service technician at a Ford/Lincoln dealership.

Students will have their own independent log in and profiles so that they may access courses 24/7 as assigned or of their own free will. Once a student is hired in a Ford/Lincoln dealership their courses will transfer into the Ford STARS system and apply towards their certifications.

Ford is donating vehicles, engines & transmissions to schools that are utilizing the curriculum. Partnering dealers agree to support the school by becoming members of the school advisory board, presenting to students during in-class visits twice a year, hosting events on site at the dealership, and offering job shadowing opportunities. Since inception of the program 2 years ago students across the country have completed over 126,453 high school ACE courses and 27,261 college ACE courses.

Ford takes education seriously, and they have people like Christopher Seebeck, the Regional Technical Talent Placement Specialist for the Twin Cities Market Region, working to ensure that students and schools get the support that they need. Chris’ role is to help Ford/Lincoln dealers connect to high school and college automotive programs to sponsor and foster a relationship using a “Grass Roots” approach to educate, support and prepare students for a rewarding career path as an automotive technician.  Chris can be reached by e-mail at cseebeck@ford.com.

The Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program is a 24 month six-semester college program leading to an Associate in Applied Science Degree (AAS) in Automotive Technology. It is a joint effort of three organizations: Ford Motor Company/Lincoln Motor Company, Ford and Lincoln dealerships, and Hennepin Technical College.

The Ford ASSET program differs slightly from the ACE program in that the technical training is at a higher level. The additional education and training in the Ford ASSET program fully prepares a student to enter a Ford dealership as an entry-level technician and quickly progress to a full technician. Students train on Ford vehicles and components that have the newest developments in engine repair, diesel, automotive electrical and electronic engine control systems, brakes, front end, automatic and manual transmissions, fuel systems, and emission control systems. In addition to the technical curriculum, courses will be offered in areas such as mathematics, communications, ethics and human relations to provide students with the background necessary for effective communication of ideas and to enhance future opportunities for career advancement.

Hennepin Technical College uses a cooperative model in the ASSET program. This system allows the student to apply, in a real world setting, what he or she has learned during the previous classroom session. In addition, the student becomes familiar with the dealership environment, its organizational structure, and the competencies that are expected of a professional automotive technician.

Students in the program are in a unique and proven curriculum design that utilizes a half semester of classroom work alternating with a half semester of full-time work experience at a Ford or Lincoln dealership. Since students earn while they learn, a considerable portion of the costs involved in the program are offset.

To connect with this program, learn more, or get involved please contact the Ford ASSET instructors Brian Friede and Drew Goddard, brian.friede@hennepintech.edu and drew.goddard@hennepintech.edu. For more information about Ford’s education partnership programs, please visit their website.