(WACO, Texas) – Thomas Breshears, an instructor in Texas State Technical College’s Automotive Technology program in Waco, was recently named a recipient of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) World Class Technician award.
The award is presented in partnership with the Auto Care Association and ASE. The award honors automotive technicians who have met ASE requirements in more than 20 areas in the last calendar year.
“I am very proud of Thomas obtaining that distinction,” said Rudy Cervantez, TSTC’s statewide department chair for Automotive Technology. “I have always known he was a well-rounded technician, whether it be automotive, medium and heavy truck, or auto body.”
Breshears will celebrate six years of teaching at TSTC this fall.
“I like the interaction with the students,” he said.
Breshears is excited about the program’s shift to a performance-based learning model starting this fall. Students will work with the program’s enrollment coaches to develop a schedule in two-hour time blocks. Students will utilize lectures, videos and other online content through a learning management system and do labs on campus. Some students with professional experience can test out of selected lessons.
“It’s not going to cheat them,” Breshears said. “We will be able to spend more time with them (the students).”
Breshears said he and the program’s faculty must stay current on changes in the automotive industry for the students. He said the automotive technicians of today are vastly different from the workers in shops in the 1970s and 1980s. He said when vehicles began being installed with computers, the industry and the kind of workers pursuing the field changed.
Breshears’ exposure to automotive technology began when he was young and working in a family-owned small-engine repair shop in Temple. He also was in the Army and Army Reserve for eight years.
Before coming to TSTC, Breshears owned an automotive repair business for several years in Gatesville and Waco. He experienced the challenge of finding good automotive technicians who can evolve with the industry, which is one of the reasons that he decided to pursue teaching.
Rodrigo Coronado, of Valley Mills, is one of Breshears’ students this semester. Coronado’s career plans are similar to what Breshears did earlier in his career: working in an automotive repair shop and then opening a business.
“It’s nice,” Coronado said about studying with Breshears. “When we have questions, he helps us understand better.”
For more information, go to tstc.edu.