Kettering & SAE offer certificate in Automotive Systems

Feb 28, 2003

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In an effort to enhance the skills, knowledge and educational experience of automotive engineering professionals throughout the country, Kettering University's Continuing Education (CE) program and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) announce the creation of a joint certificate program in Automotive Systems.

This two-phase program gives engineering professionals seeking to increase their knowledge and technical skills in automotive engineering an efficient and practical means to obtain certification from SAE and apply SAE coursework to formal graduate level credentials.

The certificate, which offers participants exposure to the latest in course offerings from a selection of SAE-approved classes, also allows individuals accepted into the Kettering Graduate Program to count five courses toward the University's graduate degree in Mechanical Engineering. As a result, engineers only need to enroll in five additional graduate courses in Kettering's graduate degree program to earn their master's of science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

The certificate program provides students the opportunity to use eight continuing education units (CEU)s from SAE-approved courses and transfer them to Kettering, then engage in three four-credit graduate courses in Mechanical Engineering to earn the certificate in Automotive Systems. Currently, students may select course work from more than 100 classes and choose a concentration in Automotive Systems or cognate in Mechanical Engineering. All SAE courses are reviewed and approved by Kettering faculty and three industry technical reviewers to ensure the high academic integrity established by both SAE and the University.

Dr. David Strubler, associate vice president of Graduate Studies at Kettering and an associate professor of Business and Management, believes this type of certificate program provides an enriched educational experience for engineering professionals who want to increase their skills and knowledge of the latest industry trends in automotive systems engineering.

"All of us at Kettering are thrilled and excited about intensifying our relationship with SAE to help serve the engineering community more effectively," he explained. "This certificate partnership represents a new avenue to increase graduate enrollments at Kettering and enhance our relationship with one of the world's prestigious engineering societies while serving adiverse student population." Strubler also said that this kind of partnership might allow the University to place additional students inco-op positions.

Dr. Richard Stanley, an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering and one of the faculty program directors for Kettering's part of this certificate program is also happy with this opportunity. As a professor and advocate of the SAE, Stanley believes the partnership between Kettering and SAE "is a natural and positive progression in the educational process," he explained.

"When SAE approached Kettering with the idea of this partnership, we were overwhelmed with the possibilities. An automotive university collaborating with the highly respected Society of Automotive Engineers will reinforce the notion that theory and practice go hand-in-hand. A well-rounded education by both educators and industry experts is a critical part of the educational process."

SAE is also excited to engage in this endeavor and looks forward to the national impact this certificate program may have on scores of engineering professionals.

"The Kettering alliance gives our courses instant credibility and enables our customers to use SAE's highly focused, practical courses to not only stay current, but also apply those courses to formal graduate level credentials with a highly reputable engineering institution," explained Kevin Perry, managing director of the SAE Professional Development Dept. at the organization's world headquarters in Warrendale, Penn.

To qualify for the certificate program, students must have a four-year bachelor's degree in an engineering discipline from a U.S. regionally accredited university or foreign equivalent. This degree must be engineering-related and not in a technology discipline.

Kettering and SAE expect to formally announce this program at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress and Exposition March 3-6, 2003, at Cobo Arena in Detroit. Kettering evening classes will begin July 2003 at both the SAE Troy Automotive Headquarters and on the campus of Kettering University in Flint, Mich. In the future, Kettering expects to utilize the University's exceptional distance learning mechanisms to provide the program and students an additional, practical and efficient means to engage in class work from the convenience of their home or office. SAE courses are offered regularly at their Automotive Headquarters education facility in Troy.

The Society for Automotive Engineers is an organization comprised of more than 83,000 engineers, business executives, educators and students from more than 97 countries around the world. SAE is dedicated to advancing mobility technology to better serve humanity. The engineers and scientists who comprise SAE membership develop technical information on all forms of self-propelled vehicles including automobiles, trucks and buses, off-highway equipment, aircraft, aerospace vehicles, marine, rail, and transit systems. SAE disseminates this information through its meetings, books, technical papers, magazines, standards,reports, professional development programs, and electronic databases.

Kettering University, formerly General Motors Institute, has been providing professional co-op experience for its students for more than 80 years. Kettering's career-based scientific and engineering programs have given the school an international reputation in the industrial world that the new "Insider's Guide to the 320 Most Interesting Colleges" calls "superb!" Kettering offers its 2,500 students nine bachelor's degree programs that combine on-campus classroom and laboratory experience and meaningful, relevant, paid employment with more than 700 corporate partners. At the graduate level, students can structure their academic studies around work schedules and earn their master's degree through distance-learning options.

To learn more about this new certificate program and the growing partnership between Kettering University and SAE, contact Kettering's Office of Continuing Education at (810) 762-9682, or visit or

Written by Gary J. Erwin