Central Texas College (CTC) recently announced its Industrial Technology diesel program is ranked as the 19th best school program in the United States and Canada by Daimler Truck North America (DTNA) – up from last year’s number 34 ranking. The company’s Get Ahead training program rated nearly 260 schools in North America this past year. The rankings also saw CTC improve from fifth place last year to the fourth best diesel program in the state of Texas among the state’s 22 participating schools.

CTC diesel instructor William Kirshner believes the improved ranking is due in part to the school’s hands-on component. “We have been able to enhance the online training by safely continuing our face-to-face labs and hands-on testing during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kirshner. “I think this played a key role in our improvement in the Get Ahead program rankings. By following the COVID safety protocols established by CTC, our students are able to better apply any online learning with actual application of the training within our labs and equipment.”

Currently, students’ hands-on training involves a skid steer model. “We are instructing the students on every facet of the skid steer from how to drive and operate it, to how the diesel engine inside works,” said Kirshner. “This provides them a much better understanding of the logistics of the machine, troubleshooting possible engine troubles and quite simply, a better understanding of how these diesel-type machines work.”

DTNA’s Get Ahead program is a nationwide cooperative effort between DTNA, participating diesel schools and DTNA service network locations. The two-fold program is designed to teach new technicians industry standards and also prepare experienced technicians for advancement within the industry. Once students complete the training, they become system certified for any company who completes warranty work on Daimler products such as Freightliner, Detroit Diesel, Western Star and Thomas Bus.

“The CTC diesel program instructs students on the same standards required by Daimler technicians,” said Kirshner. “And because our program is following these standards and guidance, our students will have a higher employment opportunity than those colleges not using the industry standards.”

CTC’s Diesel program offers a diesel engine technician associate degree and diesel technician, diesel system specialist and basic diesel technician certificates of completion. It provides entry-level, industry-validated, hands-on training in diesel service and repair using the latest technologies in diesel systems, tools and equipment. Studies include shop operations, tools and equipment, engine fundamentals, electrical and electronic systems, mechanical and electronic fuel systems, auxiliary systems, power trains (automatic and standard), hydraulics, engine rebuild, cylinder head service, diagnostics and tune-up, brake systems (air and ABS), steering and suspension, welding and A/C systems.

CTC’s Diesel program is one of several open-entry industrial technology programs which allow students to enroll at any time and start classes almost immediately. The open-entry classes are offered in a clock-hour format so students can attend class around their work or family schedule. Information is available by emailing the CTC Career and Technology Education Center at cate.center@ctcd.edu.