Discover the Benefits of The AED Foundation’s Accredited College Programs

August has arrived, which means The AED Foundation is shifting topics for its brand awareness campaign to highlight its accredited college programs. Like July, which focused on AEDF’s recognized high school programs, the Foundation plans to take August to showcase all of the benefits that accredited college programs provide. Look for blog posts, social media posts and press releases that discuss everything you need to know about AEDF accredited programs all month long!  

The Foundation’s accredited college programs offer students quality education that has been thoroughly assessed and adapted to meet AEDF’s industry-recognized standards. The AED Foundation has developed this program and accredited schools across the country to ensure students have exceptional training and education. Upon completion, students receive a certificate and the title of an AEDF Certified Technician, an essential indicator for dealers that the technician has completed training that aligns with industry standards and expectations. Students in AEDF’s recognized high school programs are required to go through both classroom and hands-on training and complete the AEDF Certified Technician Test at the end of the course to prove their retention and understanding of their training.  

As part of Vision 2024, the Foundation aims to accredit 100 college programs across North America by 2024. This milestone will create more opportunities for students interested in entering the equipment industry, in turn, developing an increase in qualified and AEDF Certified Technicians within the workforce. Certified Technicians’ esteemed education and training add value to the dealership they are hired at and provide the technician with an impressive credential and refined technical skills upon graduation.  

Not only does a student enrolled in an accredited program avoid the steep costs of tuition from the typical four-year college route, but if they have graduated from an AEDF recognized high school program, they have the opportunity to apply for an AEDF scholarship. The scholarship, which has been generously granted by The Caterpillar Foundation, makes the program even more affordable for students.  

A full list of The AED Foundation’s accredited college programs is available here.  

Any questions about The AED Foundation’s accredited programs can be directed to the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org 

What are Stackable Credentials and Why do They Matter?

As the Foundation continues to encourage students to take an interest in the equipment industry, The AED Foundation (AEDF) works to deliver a new method of providing education to high school students this fall: stackable credentials.  

Stackable credentials consist of a way to educate students with online courses that build upon one another. The goal with stackable credentials is to allow students to become familiar with industry knowledge and practices early on. AEDF believes that this education will assist students in growing into highly competent industry technicians. By drawing the attention of students and showcasing the significance of quality education from early on, The AED Foundation strongly believes that this will help reduce the workforce shortage.   

The focuses for these credentials are based on the core competencies in AEDF’s technical standards.  

To put it in perspective, once a student has completed all of the courses for electrical/electronics, for example, they can move on to completing the courses for the following competency. These credentials build on each other to create a well-rounded, knowledgeable and qualified student. Stackable credentials offer students an informative introduction to the industry that provides them with a solid foundation of base knowledge.  

As these students move on from high school into either a career or one of AEDF’s accredited college programs, they will find that these credentials put them ahead of classmates or others who are new to the industry. With a familiar background in each of the core competencies, students can move confidently through an accredited college program, focusing on these competencies.  

Students who complete AEDF’s stackable credentials show employers that they take their education seriously. No matter what route students decide to choose, earning stackable credentials offers more flexibility and opportunity within their career path. Students gaining more knowledge from an early age helps them succeed while also relieving instructors of some of the stress in educating students new to the industry. In addition, dealers can benefit from hiring a student that stands out from the crowd with these credentials.  

The AED Foundation is excited to launch stackable credentials to encourage more high schoolers to enter the equipment industry. Students who receive stackable credentials will be more prepared for their future in the industry, but they display their dedication and commitment to becoming educated in the industry. 

Learn All About AEDF’s Recognized High School Programs in July!

As we move into July, The AED Foundation (AEDF) is switching focus for its brand awareness campaign to a new topic: recognized high school programs! Throughout the month, AEDF will be focusing on the critical role that recognized high schools play in bringing qualified technicians into the industry and addressing the workforce shortage. This relates to the Foundation’s Vision 2024 goal, which includes 50 recognized high school programs. Recognized high schools help students become highly educated as they transfer into an AEDF accredited college program, offering a strong background for them as they become future technicians. Students who graduate from an AEDF recognized high school and college go through a rigorous training process, ensuring that they are a top tier applicant upon graduation. 

The AED Foundation currently has six recognized high school programs, including:

These high schools have made efforts to meet all AEDF’s standards to enable their students to have a bright future as AEDF certified technicians. 

The Foundation’s goal to recognize 50 high school programs by 2024 will offer substantial benefits for students, schools and dealers. Students enrolled at an AEDF recognized high school could attend an accredited college program once they graduate, which is closely partnered with a nearby dealership, facilitating a space for dealers to oversee that the instruction meets their individual needs. In addition, students enrolled in The AED Foundation’s recognized high school programs can apply for a CAT Foundation scholarship for their education at an AEDF accredited college program. 

By recognizing more high school programs, the Foundation is adding more highly skilled technicians to the workforce. AEDF hopes to make these recognized programs widely available to provide more opportunities for young people interested in a rewarding career in the equipment industry. To learn more about the Foundation’s recognized high school programs, view the Vision 2024 Brochure.  

If you have any questions about the high school recognition process, please contact the Foundation’s Technical Program Manager, Linley Thompson, at lthompson@aednet.org. 

AED Foundation Recognizes First in Nation High School Diesel Technician Program

Leaders of The AED Foundation last week traveled to Severn, Maryland to present Anne Arundel County Public Schools Center of Applied Technology (CAT) North with a Certification of Recognition for their cutting edge diesel technician program. “We are very pleased to present this recognition to a very deserving school,” stated AED Foundation Chairman Denny Vander Molen. “Though we have 42 diesel technician programs at 32 Accredited Colleges throughout the United States and Canada, this program in conjunction with Pennsylvania College of Technology, is the only high school program that meets our rigorous standards.”

Secondary or high school technical programs become AED Foundation Recognized by meeting technical standards that: a.) are locally developed and mutually agreed to by the secondary school, the local AED Accredited college program (in this case Pennsylvania College of Technology), and industry stakeholders; b.) are derived from and a subset of AED Foundation national technical college standards, and c.) provide a rational and seamless progression from secondary to college technical education.

“The technician shortage costs the construction and heavy equipment industry $2.4 billion per year. That’s money taken off of dealers’ bottom lines and out of the pockets of the men and women who already support our businesses. That’s lost opportunity and missed chances to pursue new customers and projects. That’s investment removed from the supply chain, sending ripples across the entire economy and into every industry, “ stated AED Foundation President Robert Henderson. “That’s why it’s so important that we develop programs like this at the high school level. We simply can’t wait until college any longer,” he added.

Joining the AED Foundation Leaders at the recognition ceremony were CAT North Principal Dan Schaffhauser, Assistant Principal Lori Chearney, Diesel Power Technology Instructor Jake Kepich, local AED Member Lucas Ochmann, Marketing Director for Security Equipment Company, Dean of Transportation & National Resource Technology Justin Beishline, Pennsylvania College of Technology and Deb Albert, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Coordinator of Career and Technology Education. “We really appreciate The AED Foundation coming here to recognize our program,” Albert stated. “Our message is that every student does not need to go to a four year college and come out with a mountain of debt. There are great careers in diesel technology and we want to help students get started,” she concluded.

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AED is an international trade association representing companies involved in the distribution, rental, and support of equipment used in construction, mining, energy, forestry, power generation, agriculture, and industrial applications.  More information is available at www.aednet.org.

The AED Foundation enhances the success of member companies by encouraging continuous learning, by providing educational opportunities for today’s employees, and by improving the availability and quality of equipment industry employees in the future. More information is available at aedfoundation.org.

AED Foundation Accredits North Dakota State College of Science Diesel Programs

The AED Foundation yesterday presented Certificates of Accreditation for the Diesel Technology-Komatsu A.A.S. Degree Program and Re-Accreditation of the Diesel Technology-General and Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician A.A.S. Degree Programs at North Dakota State College of Science. “We are pleased that you have chosen to demonstrate your commitment to academic excellence and continuous improvement through the accreditation process,” stated AED Foundation President Robert Henderson.

Accreditation by The AED Foundation signifies to equipment industry stakeholders that NDSCS’ programs have met rigorous industry-specific national construction equipment technical standards. It further signifies to current and prospective students that NDSCS programs provide the best in diesel-equipment technical education as defined by the industry they serve.

The term of accreditation is five years starting from the date shown on the Certificates of Accreditation. The AED Foundation relies on the awardee to maintain the standards upon which these accreditations were granted, and continue serving students with excellence. The AED Foundation currently lists 42 diesel technician programs at 32 Accredited Colleges throughout the United States and Canada. The AED Foundation recently recognized their first High School Program in Anne Arundel County, Maryland earlier this month.

“The AED Foundation is dedicated to developing and improving construction equipment industry partnerships that meet the mutual needs of local dealers, manufacturers and technical colleges,” stated AED Foundation Chairman Denny Vander Molen. “We are proud to be affiliated with North Dakota State College of Science through these accreditations, and wish ongoing success for your fine programs.”