Students in the Glen Oaks Community College Automotive program are raising the bar when it comes to Automotive Service Excellence. Over a two year period, the CTE auto program has risen from the bottom 10 percent of the schools in the state into the top third, based on student test scores for the Maintenance and Light Repair (MLR) exam — a testament to the hard work and dedication of instructors Jim Deroshia and Tim Freehling.

“The MLR/ASE Certification is the first step in building a career as a service professional in the automotive industry,” said Deroshia, who heads the Automotive Department at the college and is lead instructor for the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District Career and Technical Education Automotive Program. “Although there is no “work experience” requirement, students must perform lab work and meet hands-on proficiencies in the lab as part of the test. ASE student certifications are valid for two years and are not renewable.”

The student success pass rate for the MLR/ASE during Deroshia’s first year (2016-2017) was 74.3 percent with an average score of 61.7 percent. Deroshia  anticipates continued increases in student scores as his tenure in automotive education grows. The number of students passing and corresponding scores improved during the 2017-2018 school year.

“Initial indications are that 100 percent of the morning class students had passed,” said Deroshia, “The average scores between morning/afternoon classes showed an improvement in student success to 75.8 percent with the test scores rising to 66 percent.

“The CTE Auto program tested in the bottom 10 percent of schools in the State of Michigan when the state first began using the ASE Maintenance and Light Repair certification as its skills assessment for Automotive Service Tech programs,” said Deroshia.  Deroshia and Tim Freehling, assistant instructor, were hired to lead the program two years ago, and today the program ranks in the top third of schools in the state.

Deroshia has 25 years of experience in the automotive field, and he is the sole proprietor of DEROSHIA MOTORSPORTS Inc. where he worked for many years prior to coming to the college/ISD.  Deroshia assumed his current position for the 2016-2017 school year, and continued on for the 2017-2018 school year with both Glen Oaks and CTE Automotive programs.  He teaches many courses through the college, but the CTE program focus is on maintenance and light repair.

Freehling, a 25-year Navy veteran, was an instructor for part of his Navy career. He obtained his Automotive Service and Automotive Technician Certificates from Glen Oaks Community College where Deroshia was his primary instructor and mentor.