MCPHERSON, Kan. — McPherson College will partner with the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) — considered the most respected research source in the automotive industry — on a study exploring the future of transportation and mobility to create a new engineering, design, and mobility program building on its existing Automotive Restoration program. Creating a national center for the future of engineering, design, and mobility is one of the key initiatives supported by the college's $500 million double-match estate commitment.
The CAR study will examine a wide range of approaches to the future of mobility, including electrification, mobility ecosystem, urban planning, roadway design, and more, to create a dynamic curriculum for the new program.
"For decades, the Auto Restoration program at McPherson College has been offering a one-of-a-kind experience for students interested in the history and hands-on restoration of classic cars," President Michael Schneider said. "We want to build from this unique program and offer students more opportunities based on what the future looks like for transportation and mobility. CAR will help ensure we move in the right direction."
CAR, a non-profit organization based in Ann Arbor, Mich., is focused on the future direction of the global automotive industry. Its mission is to inform and advise through independent research, education, and dialogue, enabling a more viable and sustainable automotive ecosystem. CAR maintains close collaboration and relationships with automakers, suppliers, industry associations, government, non-profit, labor organizations, and educational institutions to provide leading, thought-provoking, and impactful research.
CAR specializes in connecting the automotive industry's needs to what academic curriculums require to match those needs. This includes analyzing degree programs, evaluating student preparedness, and assessing facilities, classrooms, and equipment.
"CAR engages with academic institutions, automotive industry leaders, and municipal organizations to understand the required skills and competencies of the future workforce," said Alan Amici, President and CEO of CAR. "Our findings will enable McPherson to create an academic program that meets the needs of students and employers in a rapidly changing environment. Today, there is a strong need for students to be involved with a company or project that benefits society. McPherson College recognizes this and values strong community engagement. We are excited to work with McPherson College to bring all these components together in developing this new program."
The Auto Restoration program at McPherson College is 45 years old and recognized as the only program of its kind in the nation. It offers a bachelor's degree in technology with an emphasis on automotive history, restoration management, automotive communications, restoration design, and automotive restoration technology. Students are immersed in the automotive industry through hands-on experiences and internships across the country and around the globe. Current students are restoring a 1953 Mercedes Benz 300 S Cabriolet to compete at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in August.
The CAR study will include benchmarking existing engineering programs at other colleges and universities, analyzing the engineering skills needed to succeed and lead in the future mobility ecosystem, and making recommendations for curriculum. CAR will also consider additional certification programs to supplement and enhance the new program. McPherson College will receive a final report at the end of May 2023.
To date, the college has raised close to $150 million of the $250 million needed to secure the $500 million match, including a $50 million commitment from Californian philanthropists and car enthusiasts Melanie and Richard Lundquist. To learn more about the $500 million two-for-one match applied to endowment donations and estate gift commitments made to McPherson College, visit www.mcpherson.edu/500match.