Ashby and other students will soon get to use new equipment to work on in labs. TSTC's Auto Collision Technology program recently received for the first time a $50,000 Collision Repair Education Foundation Makeover Grant.
"It's a great idea to have this equipment in the shop," he said.
Money for the grant was made possible by Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Caliber Collision, GEICO, Herb's Collision and Nationwide Insurance. Faculty members put together a wishlist of the program's equipment needs which will be delivered soon.
"The faculty will be able to continue to sharpen our own skills and then pass that knowledge on to the students," said Ranson Bandy, an Auto Collision Technology instructor. "The better we learn the better we will be able to teach."
Second-year student Robert Lee Pecina Jr., 36, grew up in Marlin and remembered watching his grandfather run his own paint and body shop. In high school he toured TSTC and saw the Auto Collision Technology labs. Now living and studying for an associate degree in Auto Collision and Management Technology - Refinishing Specialization in Waco, Pecina said is looking forward to using new air dryer guns.
The program has applied for the grant in recent years and though it did not win the top award before now, it still received gifts in kind such as two wrecked vehicles for students to repair. Through the grant initiative, the program has also received an aluminum repair kit and laptops for instructors to use in class.
"We received several welders that our budget would not allow us to buy," said Clint Campbell, Auto Collision Technology's program chair. "We were able to move toward aluminum welding with the equipment."
Campbell said faculty are planning to apply for the grant again.
"We need to keep our name out there and the work the program does," Campbell said.
Students can earn associate degrees in Auto Collision and Management Technology - Refinishing Specialization or Repair Specialization. Students can also earn a certificate in Auto Body Refinishing or a Certificate 2 in Auto Collision Repair. The program also offers an enhanced skills certificate in Sheet Metal Fabrication and advanced technical certificates in Auto Body Refinishing and Auto Collision Repair.
The College Preview at TSTC will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2. For more information go to www.tstc.edu/openhouse
Apply today at www.tstc.edu Registration for summer and fall semesters begins Monday, April 4.