Dunwoody’s hands-on NATEF-accredited Automotive Department offers training in five manufacturer programs. Discover the Difference in an automotive education from Dunwoody today!
Latest offerings boost Dunwoody’s number of manufacturer programs to five.
As the need for Automotive technicians continues to rise, so does Dunwoody’s list of program offerings.
Dunwoody will soon offer online, add-on credentials for students interested in working on both Subaru and Audi vehicles.
Audi is the College’s first European manufacturer program, which means Dunwoody is now recognized as a Premium Plus – Audi Education Partnership Program (AEP) College. The two new programs will join the already impressive spread of manufacture-specific programs at Dunwoody, which include Honda, Mopar, and Toyota.
“We are very fortunate in that we now have five manufacturer programs,” said Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean. “Many colleges don’t have a single one.”
Online training to complement student’s campus training, boost job opportunities
The add-on credentials aim to complement the training students will already be receiving on campus. Reinarts explained that when a student is studying engines in class, they will also study engines specific to either Subaru or Audi online. The online training as well as all course materials come directly from the manufacturer, ensuring students are learning the most up-to-date information.
Upon completion of the training, students receive an Audi or Subaru General Skill Level certificate, which allows them to work at any Audi or Subaru dealer in the country. Combined with the student’s associate’s degrees, hands-on training, and internship or job experience, the additional certification aims to place students at the top of the resume pile.
Auto department to receive brand new Audi and Subaru equipment, vehicles
But the training doesn’t just benefit those who take it, Reinarts explained. “The entire Automotive department as a whole benefits from these programs.
“Because of these manufacturer programs, the Auto department is donated tools, equipment, vehicles—all of which are brand new,” Reinarts said. “So, all of our students get exposed to brand new service information and the latest and greatest of everything.
“These programs also benefit our new students because we can offer them all kinds of options,” Reinarts continued. “Some students love to work on just one type of vehicle, others like to learn and train on a wide variety of vehicles. We have opportunities for both.”
The College’s Subaru training option is available now. Audi training will most likely be available starting fall 2017.
Discover the Dunwoody Difference
For the past two decades or so, Dunwoody’s Automotive Department has celebrated the holiday season in a memorable way. The Warren Building is festively decorated; long banquet tables are packed with crock-pot treats; Toys for Tots donations are collected; and students celebrate the end of their final exams and presentations.
This year, however, the annual holiday potluck was even more special than usual as students, staff and faculty bid farewell to Automotive Dean Jon Kukachka who is set to retire January 15.
Kukachka leaves Dunwoody with fond memories
“The holiday potlucks are definitely something that Automotive graduates remember about their time here,” Kukachka said. “I am going to miss events like these. The students have always been very special to me.”
Kukachka–who has provided the College with over 30 years of service–has been the program’s dean since 2010.
“I have tried to be the kind of dean that students would not be afraid to talk to,” he said. “I wanted students to know that they could come to me about anything—good or bad—whatever was on their mind,” he said.
Faculty applaud student’s Toys for Tots donation
While the farewell was bittersweet, Kukachka was pleased to learn that the Automotive department did well in another Toys for Tots fundraiser.
“The department has been donating to Toys for Tots ever since Dunwoody got involved with the program in the late ‘80s or early ‘90s,” Kukachka said. “It has become a tradition that the Auto Department does well so every year we try to instill that drive into our students.”
This year a friendly competition was implemented throughout the College with a first place prize of $150 awarded to the department who raised the most dollars and/or collected the most toys.
During the potluck, Automotive donations were totaled, revealing a grand total of about $2,000 in cash and toys—more than any other department.
Program faculty decided to continue the season of giving by also donating their $150 winnings to the toy drive.
Kukachka says that this is the most the Automotive department has ever raised, making it a department—and quite possibly a Dunwoody—record.
Dunwoody College wishes Kukachka all the best
“This year’s potluck was very special to me,” Kukachka said.
“I will miss the people—both students and coworkers. I came here in 1980 wondering if I had made the right decision to change occupations. I know now that yes, I made the right decision to work at Dunwoody.”
On behalf of Dunwoody’s students, faculty and staff, the College wishes Kukachka all the best on his retirement.
A 2013 electric Tesla P85 Model S pulling into the Warren Building sparked the interest of Automotive students Wednesday morning.
The luxury car visit was made possible by two Dunwoody alumni who work at the new Tesla Motors dealership in Eden Prairie. Todd Teele, who graduated from the automotive program in 1997, is the service manager and 2012 graduate Noe Cardenas is a Tesla technician.
Teele and Cardenas showed students and faculty the Model S and answered questions about its state-of-the-art technology.
The Model S is 100 percent electric and features a 17-inch touch screen display, which Teele says are just a few of the features that make it unique.
“Our students just love new technology, “ said Senior Instructor Lee Frisvold. “It’s not often they get to see and touch a $120,000 vehicle.”
Teele and Cardenas encouraged students to sharpen their electronic skills to keep up with advancements in automotive technology.
“The automotive industry is changing,” Teele said. “You need to be a strong person with electronics because you’re basically going to be a computer technician.”
Cardenas’ advice to current automotive students is:
- Be punctual.
- Go above and beyond.
- Learn more than just the fundamentals.
- Listen to your instructors.
Dunwoody students performed well again this year in the SkillsUSA Minnesota Contest held last weekend at various locations in the Twin Cities, including the Dunwoody campus.
The Collision students, advised by Bruce Graffunder and Bob Brandon, made a complete sweep of the awards, taking first through fourth place in the contest. Kevin Wendt advised two teams for the Web Design contest, and they placed first and second.
Overall, 16 Dunwoody students competed in seven contests, including Collision, Automotive Refinishing, HVAC, Computer Programming, Computer Maintenance, Web Design, and Internetworking. The students medaled in five of the contests with three in first place, two in second place, three in third place, and two in fourth place. The full results are:
Collision Repair– Advisors: Bruce Graffunder and Bob Brandon
1st: Erik Campion
2nd: Trevor Multhaup
3rd: Huey Lewis
4th: Andy LaRue
Internetworking – Advisors: Rob Bentz and Dave Mansheffer
1st: Donald Geer
Computer Web Design –Advisor: Kevin Wendt
1st Place Team: Joe Packer and Brett Lidfors
2nd Place Team: Martin Sheeks and Brady Skaurad
Automotive Refinishing – Advisors: Bruce Graffunder and Bob Brandon
3rd: Erik Campion
4th: Huey Lewis
Computer Maintenance – Advisor: Dave Mansheffer
3rd: Lee Reiners
The first place winners are eligible to compete at the national SkillsUSA competition in Kansas City, Mo., June 24–28.
Kevin Wendt and Bruce Graffunder will be attending the national competition as advisors for the contests. Four Dunwoody faculty members are going to the national competition to judge: Lonny Lunn and Dave Duval for the Automotive competition, Heather Gay for the Teamworks competition, and Polly Friendshuh for the Electrical Construction Wiring competition.
For more information about SkillsUSA Minnesota, visit www.mnskillsusa.org.
SkillsUSA Minnesota is part of a national organization that serves over a quarter million student members annually, organized into more than 14,700 chapters and 54 state and territorial associations (including Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands). The Minnesota Association has offered leadership opportunities to over 200,000 student members since 1967, with a current annual membership of over 3,000. There are chapters in 29 technical colleges and 50 high schools or cooperative centers, with potential to serve many more. SkillsUSA is governed by a Board of Directors, elected from teachers that advise local chapters, and representing both the high school and college divisions and industry representatives. All programs are offered as integral to the curriculum.
Remember the 1998 Minnesota State Fair? Ryan Stumpf does. He had his photo taken at the Dunwoody booth and received a personalized calendar. And, apparently, even back then he did see himself in a rewarding career — Ryan has enrolled in the Automotive Service Technology program and will be starting classes when Dunwoody begins its academic year next week. Congratulations Ryan! Welcome to Dunwoody!
And while it’s been a few years since Dunwoody has been at the State Fair, we hope to get back as soon as next year.
Gail Rosenblum’s Star Tribune column today featured Kofi Law, who graduated from Dunwoody’s Automotive program. The column focused on his journey from citizen of Togo to Minnesota resident (and Dunwoody student) to American citizen and U.S. serviceman. It also featured comments from Student Services Advisor Molly Malone.
Law, 28, had dreamed of becoming a U.S. citizen since he was a boy. He moved to Minneapolis in January 2003 from Togo (where the average daily temperature is 80 degrees), taught himself English, graduated from Dunwoody College of Technology and gathered the required paperwork to become a new American.
A few days after a joyful citizenship celebration at Bethel University in Arden Hills in August, Law headed to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin for premobilization training.
Later she reports on a conversation she had with Molly:
Molly Malone Docken, student services adviser at Dunwoody, calls him “the nicest guy in the whole world,” and a model student to boot. “He would come early and stay late,” she said. “Whenever he had questions, he would ask. When he got nervous, he’d seek tutoring. Deadlines looming? He never missed one. Then he would follow up. We would love to clone him.”
For more, click here to read the full column on the Star Tribune website.
Senior Auto Instructor Steve Reinarts talks to WCCO-TV about handling cars in cold weather http://twurl.nl/0l22uv