SOWELA’s Vehicle Maintenance Program Receives National Accreditation

College Achieves Automotive Service Excellence After Extensive Review and On-site Evaluation

(Lake Charles, Louisiana – February 6, 2024)

The Vehicle Maintenance and Applied Technology program at SOWELA Technical Community College received Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Training Program accreditation by the ASE Education Foundation. SOWELA’s automotive program has been accredited with “Automobile Service Technology.”

“I’m extremely proud of the accomplishments of our Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (VMRE) Program,” said School of Transportation and Applied Technology Dean Robert Null. “We have an exceptional team of instructors and students who work together to maintain the standards of ASE. Our community fully supports our program and works closely with us to ensure our students are ready to work in the field upon graduation. Comments we received from employers of our graduates during the evaluation process prove that meeting or exceeding the ASE accreditation standards ensures our students are prepared for successful careers after graduation.”

SOWELA’s automotive program underwent a rigorous evaluation to achieve this recognition, including a lengthy review and an on-site assessment by the ASE Education Foundation. ASE uses nationally accepted standards of excellence in instruction, facilities and equipment. Members of SOWELA’s Vehicle Maintenance Advisory Committee, comprised of local industry representatives, helped contribute to the College’s accreditation submission.

“This is great news for automotive-minded young people and their parents,” said Michael Coley, ASE Education Foundation President. “Because this program increases cooperation between local education and industry leaders, it gives added assurance that SOWELA’s graduates will be employable entry-level technicians. As a result of the quality education provided by SOWELA, the motoring public will benefit since better repair technicians will join the work force.”

SOWELA’s two-year Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technology program prepares students to service and maintain all types of automobiles, including diagnosis of malfunctions and the repair of engines and the analysis of fuel, electrical, cooling, brake systems, drive train and suspension systems. The curriculum prepares students to test for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification. The program is available at the Main Campus in Lake Charles, LA and at the SOWELA site in Leesville, LA.

According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, the typical salary for an automotive service technician is $20/hour, and up to $54/hour for an experienced service manager. Both positions are in-demand in Southwest Louisiana.

For more information about the Vehicle Maintenance program, visit our Vehicle Maintenance and Repair page or contact SOWELA’s One Stop Enrollment Office at or (337) 421-6550.

About ASE Education Foundation

The ASE Education Foundation is a non-profit, independent organization that evaluates and accredits entry-level technician training programs against standards developed by the automotive industry.

About SOWELA Technical Community College

SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree, so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for more than 85 years.

3820 Senator J. Bennett Johnston Avenue
Lake Charles, Louisiana 70615
(337) 421-6565
(800) 256-0483

Mon-Thu: 7:45 AM to 4:15 PM
Friday: 7:45 AM to 12:00 PM
(337) 421-6550

SOWELA Technical Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person(s) have been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies:

Title IX Officer

Candy Parker

(337) 421-6510 or (800) 256-0483

3820 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

ADA Officer

Maegan Lewis

(337) 421-6952 or (800) 256-0483

3850 Sen. J. Bennett Johnston Ave. Lake Charles, LA 70615

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