National Coalition of Certification Centers
Grown from a Strong Partnership
NC3 is the outgrowth of the relationship between Gateway Technical College and Snap-on Inc. Snap-on has been an active proponent of technical education dating back to the 1960s. The company’s work in diagnostics, the study of electrical systems in vehicles, spurred development of training alliances around the country. In 2007 Snap-on teamed-up with Gateway to create a diagnostics training and certification center. Gateway and Oklahoma-based Francis Tuttle Technology Center were early contributors to the certification center model which started as the “Snap-on Network of Colleges”, which has evolved to NC3-National Coalition of Certification Centers.
The launch of the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) represented a move forward for public/private training partnerships into a new model of technical training in the U.S. What started as collaboration between one manufacturer and a single technical college today incorporates 40 advanced technical education centers, community colleges and manufacturer-sponsored training programs.
NC3 was established to facilitate the development of partnerships between industry and educational institutions. In that capacity the organization provides comprehensive curriculum development and access to skill-standard certifications. The curriculum is developed collaboratively with industry experts and educators; the certifications validate skill sets required to meet performance standards.
NC3 works with associations to develop industry-specific training. The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is an example of such a connection. The Stevens Point, Wis.-based organization is working with NC3 to develop training for a myriad of “green” skills from installation of solar panels and small wind turbines on homes to creating programs to teach the techniques necessary for structural assessment.
Current certification curriculum includes diagnostics, diesel engines, wheel service and vehicle information management, multimeters, hybrid safety, tool control, and torque technology. Additional curriculum being developed includes advanced propulsion systems, aviation, renewable energy and manufacturing.
The NC3 strategy provides the platform for members’ schools to work with other educators, industry partners, and organizations in their geographical area.
The “train-the-trainer” effort is designed to provide standardized training and guidance to new and existing organizations. The organization is designed to foster improved communication and idea sharing across the network at all levels from student to instructor to administrators.