September 23, 2011

By the time most people are thirty years old, their bodies are as good as they will ever be…But there is no limit to the amount of growth and development the mind can sustain. The mind does not stop growing at any particular age.

- Mortimer J. Adler

Partnering with industry and creating opportunities for lifelong education is a hallmark of Northwood University. One of the prime examples of this virtue in action is our University of the Aftermarket (U of A).

Continuing and Executive Education: Northwood’s University of the Aftermarket

The cornerstone of Continuing and Executive Education at Northwood University is our University of the Aftermarket led by Brian Cruickshank. Through the U of A, Northwood provides aftermarket-specific education for management track professionals in the motor vehicle aftermarket, at all levels of the industry.

Northwood University recognizes the importance of providing flexible learning options for lifelong learners. We accomplish this through delivering our University of the Aftermarket offerings through face-to-face and online modalities.  

Online Programming

There are currently 20 U of A webinars that we are offering. Further, we are working with the not-for-profit University of the Aftermarket Foundation to grow the course line-up. Additionally, every semester we offer a number of distance education courses through Northwood University’s Distance Education program. For the fall we are offering 18 courses and a similar number in the spring.

Face-to-Face Programming

Leadership 2.0: Leadership 2.0 is the aftermarket's formal educational mechanism to develop the aftermarket leaders of today and tomorrow. The first session, which was hosted on our Midland Campus, ran from September 11-16 and included 32 participants.

The fall classes were held at the Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies and participants stayed at NADA and enjoy Northwood catering. Leadership 2.0 faculty is a blend of Northwood full-time, adjunct and aftermarket subject matter experts. As an example, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance CEO (and 1975 Northwood Alumnus) John Washbish served as the Sunday evening keynote speaker.

Session II will be held April 15-20 on our West Palm Beach Campus.

CARQUEST School of Business: The CARQUEST School of Business is a four-day program developed specifically for CARQUEST independently owned stores and service dealers. The next program is scheduled for Nov 17-21 on our Midland Campus.

Logistically, the program is administered similarly to the Leadership 2.0 program with participants staying at NADA. Classes are held in the Sloan Building, with catering coming from NADA. Instruction is a unique blend of DeVos faculty and CARQUEST senior management.

Trade Shows

The University of the Aftermarket will once again manage the educational program for the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association during its Business Conference in late October in Las Vegas. In addition, Dr. Tim Nash will speak during the international trade show that takes place the following week, also in Las Vegas.

Custom Programs

Northwood University continues its strong tradition of partnering with industry to craft customized programs. Through advertising and marketing efforts, we are reaching out to the aftermarket industry to raise awareness of these high-impact educational options. Additionally we have plans to expand the customized education programs in the coming academic year.

“Aftermarket 101 & 102”

For the spring, we will be offering another Aftermarket 101 program for professionals new to the motor vehicle aftermarket. This was very successful last year, with a record-breaking class size in 2010. We are also working with Federal-Mogul to create a follow-up program: Aftermarket 201, which is a technical program for non-technical professionals. We hope to hold this program at the Federal Mogul Tech Center in St. Louis.

Executive Education Series

The U of A Executive Education program on Aftermarket Economics and Finance is being finalized and will be launched in early 2012. This program is a collaborative effort with the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association. We plan to follow up with programs on Leadership and Strategy.

Beyond this, we have a number of additional executive education programs in the works for this year both within and without U of A. One example of the latter is a pilot program for professional advisors to family businesses that will take place this fall.

I look forward to sharing more news with you on this front as future developments arise.

Have a great weekend.


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)