Electric Vehicle Training Program Has Costa Rican Connection

May 19, 2022

Chris McNally training instructors from Costa Rica

The growing relationship between the college and its educational partners in Costa Rica took another step forward this week as 10 instructors, one administrator and an interpreter from the Instituto CEA, an automotive technical education college in San Jose, Costa Rica, came to campus for a five-day Electric Vehicle Train-the-Trainer program.

Three years ago, President Ramsammy initiated a relationship with the Instituto CEA while on an outreach trip to the Central American country. Because of relationships developed with educational and policy leaders there, Costa Rica has become one of the college’s most active international partners.

The training program was developed by Dr. Chris McNally, the department chair for Applied Technologies. McNally and fellow faculty members are leading their Central American counterparts on an intensive course in electric vehicle diagnosis and repair. Those who receive the training will be better prepared to address the electric vehicle education needs in their home country.

“On Monday, we began our training using the college's fleet of state-of-the-art electric vehicles and diagnostic equipment,” said McNally. “I developed and am presenting the training program and Jay Deitchman is coordinating the training with the college’s Office of Workforce Development.”

Hudson Valley Community College recently began offering a new associate in occupational science degree program in Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, which is one of the first of its kind in the SUNY system. With the new degree, the college is addressing the growing need for technicians trained in electric drive trains and systems. Costa Rica, known globally for its renewable energy and sustainability efforts, also needs EV technicians as well as the faculty to train them. Hence, the college’s partnership with Instituto CEA.

The training session is one of several international partnerships underway.

The college has also entered into a partnership with the Costa Rican Ministry of Public Education and has signed a memorandum of understanding to reduce the gaps between the urban and rural educational offerings in Costa Rica. One of the first initiatives of this partnership is the college’s development of a program to provide remote English as a Foreign Language instruction to public school teachers in Costa Rica. The initial courses have been developed, approved by SUNY, and are ready to launch.

Hudson Valley has also begun discussions with Universidad Hispanoamericana and the Universidad Isaac Newton, both in Costa Rica, and in 2021, the College Foundation established an international fund, in honor of the late Dr. Greivin Arrieta Chacon, the past president of the Universidad Isaac Newton. The fund will assist Costa Rican students in accessing the online educational opportunities at Hudson Valley.

In the summer of 2020, the college began its Global Classroom High School Program, which allows high school students outside the United States to take online college-level courses at a significantly reduced cost. The program has been very successful, enrolling students from 22 countries during the summer of 2021, including 10 high schools in Costa Rica.

“One of the main goals of our international outreach efforts is to establish connections with partner schools in selected countries around the world,” said President Ramsammy. “We have been warmly welcomed by everyone we have met in Costa Rica and we see great promise in building these relationships. Ultimately, it will benefit both Hudson Valley Community College and the international partners and students we can assist.”

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