(BELLE GLADE, Fla. – Feb. 2, 2018) Palm Beach State College’s Heavy Equipment Mechanics program, based on the Belle Glade campus, has received ASE Training Program accreditation by the ASE Education Foundation. The foundation is affiliated with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), the industry’s leading certifier of automotive and diesel professionals.

Heavy Equipment Mechanics lab on PBSC’s Belle Glade campus

To achieve this coveted recognition, the program underwent rigorous evaluation by the ASE Education Foundation, previously known as the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). ASE Training Program accreditation signifies that a program has met strict national standards in areas such as instruction, facilities and equipment. The Heavy Equipment Mechanics program qualified in all possible areas of training evaluation: brakes, diesel engines, drive train, electrical/electronic systems, heating and air conditioning, hydraulics, preventive maintenance inspection, and suspension and steering.

“This was a major accomplishment for our team, our instructors and for our community,” said program director Gloria McAllister, Ph.D. “Our community partners have supported us with major equipment donations to make our program state-of-the-art. We are very pleased to bring this high level of excellence to the Glades.”

Everglades Agricultural Area business partners have supported the Heavy Equipment Mechanics program for several years and rely on the program to provide quality job candidates. In the past three years, the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, Everglades Farm Equipment, and Florida Crystals Corporation have donated nearly $150,000 worth of equipment to the program. The infusion of real farm equipment such as a harvester, dump truck and tractors, plus the involvement of industry professionals in shaping the program, helped the College demonstrate it had met the ASE Education Foundation standards.

Heavy Equipment Mechanics is the third PBSC program to achieve this accreditation. The College’s Automotive Service Technology program based on the Lake Worth campus has been ASE-accredited since 2006. The Lake Worth campus’ Diesel Service Technology program received ASE Training Program accreditation in 2011.

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Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.