Delaware Technical Community College’s Automotive Technology Program recently unveiled a new academic program – a Diesel Technology Associate of Applied Science degree. The program is taught in the Georgetown campus’ new Automotive Center of Excellence, which had a soft opening in fall 2020. A dedication for the building will be held when it is safe to do so.
The program was created in response to research and industry requests for qualified auto/diesel technicians, with the first cohort beginning in January 2021. It will provide training to meet industry hiring needs in the areas of sales, quick-lube, service advisor, and automotive and diesel technicians.
Automotive Technology Department Chair Mark E. Swarbrick, M.Ed. said the training offered by Delaware Tech is unique to the region. “There is no other diesel training available nearby, and the demand is tremendous,” said Swarbrick. “We are an all-purpose program in that we are not partial to one brand. With the training students gain at Delaware Tech, they should be able to do work on big trucks, medium trucks, or in the agricultural field on tractors and heavy equipment, with starting salaries of $41,000 -$58,000 and growing to six figures.”
Jennifer Suter-Powell is a student in the diesel program. A former Delaware Tech Automotive program graduate, Suter-Powell was working as an equipment mechanic, where she had the opportunity to work with heavy diesel equipment. She wanted to learn more, so she enrolled in Delaware Tech’s diesel program. “My experience has been very positive,” she said. “The new building and equipment are impressive. The engine training platforms are comparable to what I have experienced in the field. In addition, the instructors and department chair are very supportive and go to great efforts to get whatever is needed for the students.”
In the future, Suter-Powell is interested in how electric and autonomous vehicle technology is being integrated into the heavy equipment field. She would also like to be trained to work on the full electric Tesla semi-truck.
Students who are interested in the diesel program should contact Mark Swarbrick at [email protected] or (302) 259-6451 for more information. A new cohort of students will begin in fall 2021.
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