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Automotive Training Center

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Automotive Training Center (ATC) has a rich history as it was established as a division of Spring Garden College in Philadelphia, PA back in 1917. More than 80 years later they were awarded the National Winner of the Award for Excellence in Automotive Training by the Automotive Industry Planning Council (AIPC) and ASE. In 2001, Ford Motor Company partnered with ATC to provide maintenance and light repair training for their students. Most recently, ATC was recognized as a School of Excellence in the 2013-2014 year.

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The Good

  • Job Placement
  • Financial Aid

Job Placement

Automotive Training Center thrives in one particular area and that is in their Career Services Department. ATC's secret is that they have an alliance with the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia (ADAGP) which provides ATC graduates with employment opportunities at hundreds of new car and truck franchises in the area. Not only this, but the school also has several different relationships with privately owned and independent repair facilities. Relationships are made in multiple industries as well including, collision, diesel, automotive, marine industries, hi-performance, and more. The ATC Career Department will go extensive lengths to help their students. They will not only inform them of job opportunities, but they also conduct seminars to teach resume building, cover letter writing, interview skills, and even write recommendation letters. Their services and resources go beyond any other college we've seen. Students at the automotive training center has endless opportunities to find the job they want after their graduation. ATC's career program is proven to be a standout because their job placement rate averages 89% among all of their programs. This shows that resources and connections truly are effective. Only a couple of other trade colleges has better job placement rates than Automatic Training Center which means ATC is one of the best in this criteria.

Financial Aid

Another great part of Automotive Training Center is that they qualify for federal financial aid programs (Title IV Programs). With this, students can get Pell Grants and Federal Direct Loans such as subsidize and unsubsidized Stafford Loans. Parents can apply for the PLUS loans. The more options for financial assistance, the better.
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The Bad

  • Number of Programs
  • Missing Information
  • Graduation Rate

Number of Programs

Since Automotive Training Center is very specialized in what they do, they only offer six types of courses: automotive technology, automotive and hi-performance technology, automotive and diesel technology, automotive technology-evening, collision reconditioning technology, and marine service technology. Having a select number of programs in a trade college has its benefits and weaknesses. It can be a good thing because they are so focused on those few programs that they have the ability to really refine the curriculum and make it great. On the other hand, it's really nice to give students plenty of options if they find themselves in a bind in one program and want to try something else. This can prevent students from having to jump from school to school because they have enough options to choose from. Unfortunately, ATC does not have this benefit since they only focus on automotive specialties.

Missing Information

It's always hard to compare one college to another when you can't find important details on a school. Automotive Technology Center currently does not disclose information regarding their tuition, their ability to obtain federal work-study programs, and loan repayment default rates. Not having these details readily available makes researching harder for potential students. Colleges that do not disclose these criteria points will lose out on partial or full points.

Graduation Rate

Automotive Training Center's graduation rate comes in at 64% which isn't the greatest rate we've seen with other trade colleges, but it's not completely terrible either. We have found that the schools that score really well are the ones that also have great graduation rates. With how high ATC's job placement rate is, we hope that students are only leaving school because they have great career opportunities.
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The Bottom Line

Automotive Training Center still has plenty of areas to improve on. Most importantly on their graduation rate and offering important pieces of information on their website which is listed above. Although, we do believe that ATC has a great and successful program which is proven by their impressively high job placement rate. But if ATC wants to outshine the best trade schools in the country, then they need to be more transparent especially with their cost of tuition which is a big factor to potential students.
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