The automotive service pathway provides students with extensive education in automotive systems, diagnostic testing and repairs, engine performance and electrical systems. Through high school- and college-level coursework and related electives, students have access to career-related activities, a paid youth apprenticeship and workbased learning experiences. The pathway also offers 11 high school certificates and five industry certificates through Harper and Triton College.
District 214 offers automotive service classes not only for students planning to pursue a career in this area but also for those who want to learn the basics every automotive consumer should know.
The Automotive Service Pathway starts with the Automotive Systems Course. This class is designed to introduce future automotive consumers to automotive systems, preventative maintenance and what to expect while owning and driving a vehicle. They also get hands-on experience working on cars.
Students who want to pursue a career in this area then take Diagnostic Testing and Repair. College level courses are offered in the third and fourth years of the pathway, with opportunities to earn college credits and numerous industry certifications. The District also works with students to set up apprenticeships to give them get real-life experience working with master technicians at local auto shops and dealerships.
District 214 set up the Youth Apprenticeship program to establish student apprenticeships with local employers. It is one of the first apprenticeship programs in the country to be created and managed by a school district rather than bringing in external organizations to run the program, according to Jobs for the Future, a leading workforce research organization.
Apprentices are selected for the program in their junior year of high school. They get 20 to 30 hours a month of paid job training during the second semester in addition to college coursework and mentoring. During the summer, they work up to 28 hours a week to expand their skills. At the end of the program, students receive either a federally registered apprenticeship certification or a youth apprenticeship certification in addition to up to a year of college credits.
During the program’s pilot year, the District opted to use its own facilities for job placements in cybersecurity, HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) and automotive services to streamline the process.
Apply for an Automotive Services Apprenticeship [link to apply214.org]
Work Based Learning Experiences in Automotive Service
Student interns have completed a variety of tasks in the Automotive field, including, but not limited to:
- Researching vehicle service information, including fluid type, vehicle service history, service precautions, and technical service bulletins.
- Learning and utilizing construction software platform
- Identifying and addressing the needs of all customers, providing helpful, courteous and knowledgeable service and advice as needed.