Accepted Publications:

A Literary Review of Effective Instructional Methods and Use of Computer-aided Instruction in Post-Secondary Automotive Technical Courses
Anthony M. Heathcoat, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University


A lack of relevant literature exists on the subject of automotive technology pedagogy and the use of computer-aided instruction in post-secondary automotive technology programs. Due to this lack of information, much of automotive instruction has not changed in many years. The onset of various computer-aided instruction tools and technology, such as virtual and augmented reality, may provide instructors with the tools to reach newer generations of automotive technology students. This article serves as a literature review to determine the possible effectiveness of the use of these technologies. It looks at examples of other technical industries and professions that have implemented computer-aided instruction.

Keywords: automotive education, online technical courses, online automotive technology, computer-based learning, and computer-based technical instruction

Utilizing the 3/27 Conversion Test to Measure the Effects of
Temperature on the Base-Catalyzed Transesterification of Waste
Vegetable Oils into Fatty Acid Methyl Esters
Blaine Heisner, Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University Carbondale


Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), used as components of biodiesel, are commonly
manufactured using a base-catalyzed transesterification process. In this process, triglycerides are converted into FAME and glycerol by reacting with methanol and sodium hydroxide. Multiple factors can affect the reaction efficiency of the transesterification process, including temperature. Many home-processors of biodiesel fuel encourage the 3/27 Conversion Test as an indicator of acceptable reaction efficiency. This test recognizes the miscibility of FAME and methanol to provide a qualitative result of the transesterification process. The 3/27 Conversion Test can be used to determine if a processing variable affected the composition of the reaction product. Materials and processes used in this study were chosen from research of similar processing as well as from previous successful experiments. The processor used in the study is a version of an Appleseed, which is a commonly utilized design by individuals making biodiesel for personal use in approximate batch sizes to those tested in this study. For purposes of this study, nine-25 gallon batches of waste vegetable oil were transesterified into FAME. While all other factors of process and materials were kept continuous, preprocessing feedstock temperature was varied in three stages. Three batches were processed at 110°F, three at 130°F, and three at 150°F. After starting the reaction, samples from the processor were collected at 15-minute intervals. After 60 minutes of processing, four samples for each batch were collected. All samples were tested for completion using the 3/27 Conversion Test. Results were recorded for each temperature and interval. After analyzing the data, no proof was discovered which showed that increasing pre-reaction feedstock oil temperature between 110°F and 150°F increased the likelihood of reacted FAME to pass a 3/27 Conversion Test.

Keywords: Transesterification, biodiesel processing, 3/27 Conversion Test, Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME), Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), Appleseed processor, feedstock temperature

NAAU Enrollment Trends 2016-2019
Andrew Croxell, Assistant Professor, Automotive Technology, Southern Illinois University

Transportation and Equipment Industries have strong demand for baccalaureate program graduates that have been trained in their fields. The National Association of Automotive Universities (NAAU) is a professional association of baccalaureate level universities that provide 4-year Automotive Technology Degrees, Automotive Technology Management Degrees, and other Degrees related to transportation or equipment industries. NAAU member-school graduates, work for major automotive companies around the world and are future leaders of the automotive industry ( This article takes a look at enrollment data captured by the annual data survey that was administered to NAAU schools each year from 2016 to 2019 in order to identify the most recent trends in their enrollment. The specific NAAU enrollment data will be compared to national Bachelor’s Degree enrollment data and STEM Bachelor’s Degree enrollment data, to identify differences in trends. The NAAU enrollment data survey results are reported as yearly averages, notable percent changes, range, median, and standard deviation of enrollments. Individual school enrollment data is intentionally not reported in order to protect confidentiality.

Program Evaluation, University of Central Missouri, CTE Program
Julie A. Carter, Beth Love, Alexander Richards, Tim Wieland University of Central Missouri

A lack of career and technical education (CTE) graduates translates to a lack of teachers for the next generation of business people, farmers, engineers or technology experts. The recent shortage has been curbed by the often drastic adaptations of CTE programs and the influx of spending on career and STEM education. Despite this, recruitment remains a primary concern of faculty, staff and program coordinators in charge of CTE programs at the baccalaureate level. This qualitative program evaluation explores the challenges of recruitment from the perspective of a CTE program at a small Midwestern teaching university. It studied students, faculty, and staff, many of which recruit for the program regularly and posits an action plan for the CTE program to implement to drive further program enrollment, and focus recruitment efforts on the most effective methods.

Keywords: CTE, Career and Technical Education, Education, STEM, Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS), Agriculture, Engineering Education, Technology Education, Teachers, High School, Vocational Education, Career Training, Workforce Education, skilled trades, U.S. Education, Higher-ed, Qualitative

Perceived Employment Benefits of ASE
John Thompson, Ed.D. Associate Professor, Pittsburg State University

The roots of certification in America date back to guild-like associations similar to those in Europe but did not gain industry recognition until after World War II. Certification can help an industry elevate itself and be recognized as a stand-alone, autonomous profession, as long as there is validity in the certification process and impartial oversight by an accredited governing body. It is also a way for individuals to distinguish themselves from their peers by proving a technical aptitude or competence. It allows a prospective job candidate to signal to a potential employer that they have attained of higher body of knowledge held to national standards. Certification is generally not required in the automotive industry except for pockets of technical positions in the automotive manufacturing and service sectors. The certification agency in the automotive industry is the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence which was established in 1972 as an independent, non-profit organization charged with oversight and the administration of the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) exams. The purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the perceived benefits of earning these certifications for 4-year automotive technology graduates working in the automotive or automotive-related industry.

Keywords: Automotive Service Excellence, ASE, certification, competency, exam, perceived, benefits, credentialing, NATEF