The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 4, 2014

Penn College’s Celebrated Automotive Program Adds Mopar Major

The Daily Item

— WILLIAMSPORT — Already observing its milestone status as home to one of the nation’s oldest continuous automotive programs, Pennsylvania College of Technology has another reason to celebrate this year: a new partnership that will prepare students as entry-level service technicians for the far-reaching Chrysler family of dealerships.

Beginning with the fall semester, the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies will add a two-year major — automotive technology: Mopar CAP emphasis — to its curricular offerings. Students will alternate eight-week periods in the on-campus lab and at their respective dealerships, totaling 40 weeks at each before earning an associate degree.

Specialized courses prepare students for advancement at dealerships, with an emphasis on developing diagnostic, service and repair skills for Chrysler vehicles and systems. The major also prepares students to take written certification examinations (such as the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence examinations), vehicle safety inspection and Chrysler Group certifications.

“It is estimated that 100 new technicians are needed each year due to turnover in just the Mid-Atlantic Region alone,” said Colin W. Williamson, school dean. “Especially fortunate for our students, Chrysler kept a lot of its rural dealerships when it reorganized several years ago – many of them in the smaller towns from which our students come.”

That “100” figure is especially fitting in 2014, when Penn College and its automotive program both observe their centennial. The college has scheduled a full year of activities to mark the occasion, and an April 25 automotive event will celebrate the program through the decades.

The addition of Chrysler (which broadens placement options through its inclusion of RAM Truck, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat), gives Penn College students access to three of the top five automobile manufacturers in the country. A fully equipped, air-conditioned 9,000-square-foot lab in the Parkes Automotive Technology Center will house the Mopar CAP program, joining similar facilities dedicated to the Ford ASSET and Honda PACT emphases.

Automotive instructors Christopher A. Trapani and Chad H. Rudloff, both Chrysler-certified, will teach the new program, which like many in the college’s curricular portfolio, can lead to a bachelor’s degree in technology management.

For more information about Penn College’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, visit or call (570) 327-4516.