It's a very positive program.
At Alfred State, autobody students are turning classroom theory into hands-on expertise, thanks to the innovative wreck/rebuild program supported by the Education Foundation of Alfred, Inc. This unique educational initiative offers students a real-world experience in automobile repair and restoration, enhancing their skills and preparing them for future careers in collision shops.
Under the guidance of instructors CJ Tremper and Brad Smith, the students in the autobody repair major have the opportunity to work on actual wrecked vehicles. These cars, purchased through funds provided by the Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., are transformed from damaged wrecks to fully functional vehicles, mirroring the challenges and tasks students will encounter in professional settings.
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc., a private foundation committed to enriching the learning environment at Alfred State, plays a crucial role in this program. With a New York State automobile dealer’s license, the foundation acquires wrecked cars from auto salvage auctions. These cars then serve as practical projects for students, with the foundation covering the costs of purchase, parts, and materials needed for repair.
The program recently saw the students successfully repair a 2014 Dodge Avenger. This car presented a series of challenges typical of a collision shop, including a wrecked front end, deployed airbags, and damaged radiator and air conditioning systems. Students undertook tasks ranging from panel replacement and painting to the installation of new airbags and mechanical repairs. They even conducted a complete vehicle inspection, leading to the replacement of brake pads, rotors, and a front-end alignment.
Tremper notes, “These cars are great learning tools for our students,” emphasizing the real-life relevance of the skills being developed. “Challenges like this force our students to step up their skills and reinforces what they have learned during their time in this program.”
The Educational Foundation of Alfred, Inc. is governed by a board of directors, comprising alumni, College Council members, faculty, staff, and friends of the college. This foundation not only facilitates hands-on learning experiences through projects like the wreck/rebuild program but also supports Alfred State students through scholarships and community service projects.
The wreck/rebuild program represents more than just vehicle restoration; it’s a bridge connecting classroom learning to real-world application, ensuring Alfred State autobody students are well-prepared for their future careers in the automotive repair industry.