NETC Awarded Funds To Pilot ‘Pathways To Diesel Technology Careers’

Northeastern Technical College was recently awarded $272,337 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to pilot the “Pathways to Diesel Technology Careers” project.
The demand for diesel technicians has increased regionally since the opening of the Inland Port in Dillon, and demand in the fields of transportation and logistics is consistently growing both locally and nationally. NETC’s program is being created to address regional workforce gaps in diesel technology, a career field that is expected to grow by 13% over the next decade.
The funding will allow NETC to create educational pathways for students, starting as early as high school, that lead to advanced certification in college, and then to careers as skilled diesel technicians. With the success anticipated, NETC’s pilot project can potentially serve as a national model for learning communities throughout the United States.
Existing high school auto technology programs and NETC’s college-level courses will be used as the foundation for the program. In 9th and 10th grade, students will focus on career awareness, and Science, Technology, Electronics, and Math (STEM) curriculum; in 11th and 12th grade, students will further develop skills through Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification programs in schools.
Following graduation from high school, students will have earned many of the credits required to earn their Associate of Science in General Technology: Transportation and Logistics degree, with a major in Diesel Technology.
“This program is a perfect example of how NETC’s stackable credential programs benefit students by getting them into high-pay, high-skill, high-demand careers fast, without wasting time or money,” said Northeastern Technical College President, Kyle Wagner. “Every class our students take through dual enrollment and traditional college programs lead to a certification, diploma, or degree.”
Wagner added that it was important for parents to know that high school students are now eligible for Pell Grant and additional funding following the completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
“NETC is the only two-year college in South Carolina that is offering high school students Pell Grants funding through the Federal Pell Grant Dual Enrollment Experiment program,” he said. “We are proud to be able to offer this to our community and make college accessible to everyone.”