Thomasville Times Enterprise

January 29, 2014

Automotive program reaccredited

Staff report

THOMASVILLE — Southwest Georgia Technical College’s Automotive Technology (Auto Tech) program was recently awarded full re-accreditation as a Master Automobile Service Technology program through the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation, or NATEF.

“Kudos, and congratulations to Thomas Graham and the Automotive Technology Department for continuing to meet the requirements for the highest level of NATEF accreditation. Preparing for an accreditation, or re-accreditation, is quite a meticulous process; it is not only time-consuming, but also takes much attention to detail and perseverance. SWGTC is very proud of this achievement,” said Dr. Craig Wentworth, SWGTC president.

The NATEF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure and improve the quality of post-secondary automotive technology programs through accrediting qualifying programs on a national level. In order to achieve this coveted accreditation, the NATEF examines the prospective program’s structure, resources and quality, while evaluating these facets against standards established by industry professionals. SWGTC’s Auto Tech program gained its initial accreditation back in 1988, but, like all NATEF accredited programs, must undergo a comprehensive re-accreditation process every five years.

“The NATEF accreditation brings credibility and recognition to our program. It also illustrates our continued dedication to keep the program current with industry standard. Our mission has always been to be proactive in making any changes, upgrades, or adjustments necessary to keep the program up-to-date; this accreditation helps us stay on track with that goal while also serving as a means for measuring our success,” said Thomas Graham, SWGTC Automotive Technology instructor.

The re-accreditation process entailed a one-day site visit by a NATEF evaluation committee comprised of four industry professionals. This team reviewed curriculum, toured the automotive facility, interviewed students, evaluated instructors, and much more.

Graham, who has been teaching SWGTC’s Auto Tech program for more than 28 years, said, “The NATEF accreditation standards are developed by current industry professionals like those on our evaluation committee; these individuals are equipped with the most up-to-date knowledge on what skills, tasks, tools, etc. our students need to know to be qualified technicians. We create our curriculum based on those standards, and doing so gives me confidence that upon graduation my students are well-equipped to enter the workforce.”

SWGTC’s Auto Tech program is a sequence of courses designed to prepare students for careers in the automotive service and repair profession. Learning opportunities enable students to develop academic, technical and professional knowledge and skills required for job acquisition, retention, and advancement. The program emphasizes a combination of automotive mechanics theory and practical application necessary for successful employment. Program graduates receive an Automotive Technology diploma that qualifies them as entry-level technicians.

For more information on SWGTC’s Automotive Technology program, please contact Thomas Graham at (229) 225-5085 or

SWGTC offers more than 80 certificate, diploma, and degree programs. Many of these programs provide training for some of the nation’s fastest-growing career fields including nursing, automotive technology, clinical laboratory technology, and emergency medical technology. More information may be obtained by calling 229-225-4096 or by logging onto

Summer semester begins May 19.

SWGTC  is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.