The top automotive training programs in the United States and South Korea are now on the same page, literally.
The presidents of Shoreline Community College, home of the Professional Automotive Training Center, and Ajou Motor College, South Korea’s only automobile-specialized college, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The agreement extends a relationship that has been growing in importance over the past five years.
Shoreline and Ajou now host summer exchange visits of each college’s students. A group of Ajou students are in Shoreline now for a two-week stay. The MOU is intended to promote closer ties, greater understanding and mutual benefit. Some possible areas of cooperation include faculty exchanges and student exchanges for short term educational programs. Officials from both colleges may also explore additional opportunities.
“We are honored to extend and enhance our relationship with Ajou Motor College,” Shoreline President Daryl Campbell said. “Both Shoreline and Ajou are leaders in automotive education and training. It makes sense that we would cooperate to benefit our students.”
Shoreline’s Professional Automotive Training Center (PATC) houses four manufacturer-specific programs – Toyota, Honda, General Motors and Chrysler – that offer students a two-year college degree, manufacturer certifications and virtually assured job placement. The center offers a more general one-year program that also has a high employment-placement rate. In addition to those programs, thousands of currently employed workers come through the center every year for skill-upgrade training.
The PATC, which is also home to the offices of the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association, regularly hosts visitors from around the world who come to see in action the formula of combining education, dealers, manufacturers and other industry-support firms like Snap-On tools and Hunter Engineering.
Ajou is in the city of Boryeong, on the west coast of South Korea. Established in 1995 as Daecheon Technical College by Daewoo Educational Foundation, the college changed to the current name in 2004. Ajou offers seven majors and focuses on practical education and on- site training. In addition to Shoreline, Ajou participates in exchange programs with Penshaw University in Canada, Newcastle University in England, Harbin Engineering University in China and Hokkaido University in Japan.
Ajou President Jong-hwa Lee holds a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Seoul National University and was the Hyundai Visiting researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Lee taught Engineering Mechanics at Ajou and was appointed president in 2010.
Joining President Lee for the signing was Ajou Prof. Myoung Seok Jie, who holds a Ph.D in Mechanical Design from ChungNam University in South Korea. Jie spent nine years at Hyundai’s north Lee Institute on the gas-engines research team and another three on the new car/new technology education team. Since 2000, Jie has been the director of the Automotive Research Center at Ajou.