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John Deere Teams With Thomas Technical Institute

Wed October 18, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Barbie Perkins-Cooper

Thomas Technical Institute, located in historical Thomasville, GA, and John Deere and Company recently established one of the first Construction Equipment Technology Associate Degree programs.

The Construction Equipment Technology Program will consist of an educational cooperative training joint venture between John Deere construction equipment dealers and Thomas Technical Institute. The program is intended to increase the technical expertise and skills of construction equipment technicians.

The curriculum for the Construction Equipment Technology Program will commence in the fall quarter of the academic year.

Students will participate in seven quarters of classroom and laboratory work on campus, followed by three internships at a John Deere dealership. Subjects related to the curriculum are specialized in the classroom. Laboratory work will allow the students to comprehend the basics and then expand to the latest developments in the John Deere line of construction equipment and products.

Students attending the program will exchange between classroom/lab at Thomas Technical Institute and paid internships from the dealership sponsoring the student. Because students are able to spend an abundance of time at the dealership during their internships, the Construction Equipment Technology Program requires the student to have a John Deere dealer sponsor. Responsibility of the dealer ship is to supply the student with on the job training during the internship quarter.

Thomas Technical Institute will provide the facility and supplies to accommodate the program. John Deere Construction Equipment Company will make available the funding for students to learn the latest construction equipment, special tools needed to maintain and repair units, and the specific manuals for construction machinery and components.

John Deere will provide the training for Thomas Technical Institute’s instructors, similar to what they do for their own employees.

During the course of the program, students will attend three internships at a sponsoring dealer of John Deere. While completing the internships, students will learn to diagnose, service and repair the latest construction equipment.

After students complete the curriculum, they will graduate with an Associate of Applied Technology Degree.

To apply for admittance to the Construction Equipment Technology program, a student must complete the admissions application, submit an official high school transcript with official high school graduation date, or provide a GED, with scores to the admissions office. The student is responsible for finding a John Deere dealership sponsor themselves.

Students are encouraged to file for financial aid as soon as possible. Students interested in the program can apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Non-traditional students are encouraged to apply for acceptance. Non-traditional students are defined as a student who is over the age of 24, pursuing higher education. At Thomas Technical Institute, approximately 53 percent of the student body enrolled are non-traditional, 25 years of age or older.

Another financial incentive for qualified students of the Construction Equipment Technology program is the Job Training Placement Act (JTPA). Qualified students who meet the guidelines of JTPA may receive assistance with tuition and fees, books, tools, equipment and other financial needs to further educational pursuits.

All John Deere construction equipment dealers can sponsor a student. Current sponsors include Flint Equipment Company, Albany, GA; Metrac, Atlanta and North Georgia locations; Industrial Equipment, North Florida area; and Reliable of Tifton, GA.

Students from Florida, Georgia, and Connecticut have been accepted to the Associate of Applied Technology Degree Program in Construction Equipment Technology, beginning in the fall quarter of 2000. Thomas Technical Institute is busily preparing classrooms for the members of the first class.

Students with the equivalent of technical level experience and learning can apply for advanced placement, allowing an advanced placement student to receive course credit based on personal experience, and training.

During the first quarter, the course load will include an introduction to parts and safety, diesel engines, English composition and rhetoric and the use of microcomputers.

The second quarter will be comprised of the dealer internship.

During the third quarter, the student will learn drive systems, air conditioning, hydraulics, diesel engines II, and take part in English Composition and Rhetoric II.

In the fourth quarter, the student will learn electrical I, drive systems II, hydraulics II, contemporary mathematics, and fundamentals of speech. The fifth quarter consists of another dealer internship.

Sixth quarter academics include hydraulics III, advanced diagnostics, introductory psychology, and welding.

Seventh quarter is the final quarter and also will be a dealer internship.

Thomas Technical Institute is an accredited institution, accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education, Atlanta, GA.

To contact Thomas Technical Institute about the Construction Equipment Technology Program, phone the campus at 912/225-5060, or visit

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