The Shoreline Community College Automotive Program has made a name for itself with students coming from all over the country to enroll; actually, they come from all over the world. This year marks year four for students from Ajou Motor College, located in Boryeong, South Korea, to spend time at Shoreline.
“Hosting is just one example of Shoreline’s commitment to internationalizing our institution,” Thalia Saplad, Executive Director of International Programs.
On July 2, 16 students (all male, but one) traveled more than 5,000 miles to Shoreline to complete a custom program designed specifically for them by International Programs and the Automotive Program. The
two-week program provides instruction on the history of electronic scan tool diagnostics, hands-on application on live vehicles, electronic fuel injection and an overview of industry career pathways.
“It’s really inspiring to see the energy these students bring; the excitement about being here and experiencing not only something new in the automotive field, but having the opportunity to learn more about SCC as well as American culture. And in the process, it provides a learning opportunity for our campus as well.” Pollie McCloskey, Assistant Director of International Education, International Programs
Honda PACT instructor and Interim Director of Automotive, Bob Biesiedzinski taught the automotive classes. “The students really enjoyed the classes. At home they are studying car design and car modeling,” Biesiedzinski said. “Here they are doing something completely different.”
The students also had the opportunity to increase their English skills in conversational classes led by ESL instructor, Daina Smuidrins as well as interact with different groups across campus, including students in the GST Program, Japan Hospitality and Tourism College and ESL students.
Ajou Motor College Director of International Affairs and Automotive Professor Myoung-Seok Jie said that he thinks the experience motivated the South Korean students. “I think they begin to dream,” he said Friday morning before boarding the bus to head for the airport.
During their stay in northwest Washington, the visitors enjoyed trips to Tillicum Village, the LeMay Car Museum, Paccar Kenworth plant, Boeing, the Museum of Flight and a walking tour around Seattle.
SCC hosted a Farewell and Recognition Lunch on Thursday, July 15th to mark the successful completion of the program. Vice President Tonya Drake gave remarks and Executive Director, International Programs Thalia Saplad welcomed the students at a luncheon held in the showroom of the Automotive Training Center on Thursday. Vice President John Backes and Dean Susan Hoyne presented the students with certificates of completion. Two of the students shared some of their highlights from their experience and graciously thanked everyone at SCC who helped make their time hear a wonderful learning experience.
Prof. Jie said that many of the students wanted to return to Shoreline Community College to study. Jeonga (Judy) Lee, the one female student in the group said that she is going to tell her boyfriend (who is also a student at Ajou) that he HAS to come next year. “I never had the chance to touch a car before, the car design student said. “I got so much new knowledge and experience.” Lee is one of only three females in the program.
The college’s association with Ajou began in 2006 when the institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support educational exchanges, with the first exchange occurring in the summer of 2007 when 19 students came to Shoreline. In 2008, 15 students from SCC’s automotive program participated in a similar training program at Ajou.
See photos by Prof. Jie.