A community college in Texas is launching a continuing education course in car audio with plans to expand it into an Associate’s Degree program in Automotive Technology, OE integration.
Bryan Piper of Resonance Auto Craft, Corpus Christi, TX is teaching the class at Del Mar Community College. The 31 week course in Automotive Integration is held four days a week after work hours (4 hours a night) starting October 15 through June 25.
“The goal of the school is to turn this into an Associate’s degree program where you can graduate with an Associates Degree in Automotive Technologies, specializing in OE Integration. That’s not available anywhere in the world,” said Piper, a 30-year industry veteran.
At a time when there’s a shortage of qualified car audio installers, the program is all the more significant. “The local shops will benefit first, but as we turn this into a degree program, we can reach out nationally to students. Then they can get scholarships, loans, grants and they can use their GI bill if they are in the military. As the program develops, we’ll go into adding day time classes with full 8 hour days that will cut the program length in half,” he said.
The course uses MECP text books and also offers hands on training and certification. It carries a fee $3,800 but each student receives a multimeter, a phase detectors, two D’Amore tools DD-1 and CC-1 and in the last module they receive an Easy Fabrication Tools template.
“Being in the industry a long time, traveling to different shops…people are always complaining they can’t find qualified techs and those they find aren’t as qualified as they’d hoped. On the other hand, technicians are asking for training and there’s not much available on the stuff techs need to know on a day to day basis.”
Piper said he was originally approached by Del Mar to teach carpentry, but he sold them on OE integration. “They loved the idea,” he said.
He noted that industry members including Andy Wehmeyer of Audiofrog, Jay Kent formerly of JL Audio and Ken Ward of Educar Training and MusicarNW and Mike Abeita of ADS idatalink have all stepped forward to provide information for the course. “It’s surprising how many people want to see this happen,” Piper said.