Earn Credit Toward Your Post-Secondary Education— At No Cost

May 7, 2019 ·
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Are you gearing up to start your senior year of high school?

The summer before your senior year is a great time to learn about potential career paths and get a head start on your post-secondary education. Graduation is right around the corner, and it’s not too soon to explore your options.

Through Universal Technical Institute’s 3-week, no-cost Ignite program, you can test drive an education from UTI while learning in-demand, real-world skills used in today’s transportation industry. Whether pursuing a career in the transportation industry has always been a dream of yours or is something you’ve recently considered, the Ignite program is for you. Keep reading to find out what you can expect from this year’s program:

Ignite: UTI’s Program for Incoming High School Seniors

UTI’s Ignite program gives incoming high school seniors an exclusive firsthand look at rewarding, high-tech careers in the transportation industry.1 Using industry tools and technology in the same tech schools as our full-time students, you’ll have the opportunity to train in automotive, motorcycle and collision repair technologies. The skills taught are the same as those included in some UTI courses — but at no cost to you.2

By enrolling in the Ignite program, you can follow your passion while learning from UTI graduates and local employers about the demand for trained technicians. Upon successful completion of the program, you can receive credit toward your education if you choose to attend UTI after high school.3 You’ll be one step closer to post-graduation training for a career as a skilled technician!

Quick Facts:

  • Who: Incoming high school seniors
  • What: 3-week, no-cost technical training program
  • When: Summer 2019
  • Where: UTI’s 13 campuses nationwide
  • Why: Kick-start your technician training and explore exciting careers in the skilled trades

The Value of Getting Ahead Of the Curve

The future is expected to be bright for technicians. The industry needs skilled techs, and as a high school student, getting a head start on your training now can give you a glimpse of what could be your career.

According to James Carver, Tolleson Union High School’s Automotive Technology Instructor, attending a program like Ignite can be an enlightening experience. “Instead of just learning the basics, it’s broken down in a more complex way, which gives students an understanding that there is often more to solving problems than what meets the eye,” he says.

Immersing themselves in a program like Ignite can teach students to be problem solvers and forward thinkers, which, according to Mr. Carver, are essential traits of a successful technician.

As a high school automotive instructor, Mr. Carver has taught several students who have attended Ignite throughout the last few years. He describes these students as the “backbone” of his class, as they are reliable, have initiative and are able to build upon the knowledge they’ve gained from Ignite in class. In fact, an Ignite grad is a senior who is the current shop foreman for Mr. Carver’s class. That means he’s in charge of 30 students assigned various duties related to working on cars based in the shop and belonging to local community members.

Also this year, one of Mr. Carver’s students who attended Ignite in 2018 and another who is enrolled to attend this summer were winners in UTI’s Top Tech Challenge. The competition lets two-person teams of high school students compete in hands-on and written automotive testing on vehicle parts, diagnostics, brakes and electrical systems. First-, second- and third-place winners are awarded scholarships to support their attending UTI.

An image of a Universal Technical Institute instructor with students from the Top Tech challenge


What To Expect From Ignite 2019

Whether you’ve grown up working on cars or never picked up a tool, you can find a place at Ignite. The program teaches students in demand skills from the ground up. It offers students an immersive experience to learn in a hands-on environment using industry tools and technology.

In addition to learning the mechanics, students in the 2019 Ignite program can expect to have opportunities to connect with local employers on campus. According to Jennifer Pritchard, UTI’s Long Beach Employment Services Director, providing students with opportunities to meet employers will be a key focus in this year’s program.

Program topics vary from campus to campus. However, all courses count as one introductory course of a UTI education upon successful completion of the Ignite program. As you go through the 3-week program, you’ll be given a sample of the automotive, collision repair or motorcycle training completed by full-time UTI students. Program topics may include:

  • How vehicles are designed and manufactured
  • How gasoline and diesel engines work
  • Fundamental diagnostic, maintenance and repair skills
  • Exciting technologies including computer management and control systems
  • Steps to safely service hydraulic brakes
  • Fundamental collision repair and welding skills
  • Information on career opportunities for qualified technicians

How Ignite Can Benefit High School Students

The Ignite curriculum emphasizes a career-focused education that prepares students for the high-tech, ever-evolving transportation industry of the future. According to Mrs. Pritchard, “The Ignite program really exposes students to how exciting a career in the transportation industry can be.”

Additionally, Ignite teaches curriculum that sharpens students’ science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills. The core principles of STEM are integrated throughout the Ignite program as students learn about technical systems and mechanics. Students in the program have the opportunity put this knowledge into action by working on cars, trucks and motorcycles.

Knowledge is power, and according to Mrs. Pritchard, “Taking the Ignite program can build students’ confidence in this field and in their own ability to succeed in school because of the way the curriculum is structured.” Through hands-on learning, students can really get a feel if this is the right path for them, and they can walk away knowing this is an excellent possibility for the future before they even graduate high school.

Last but certainly not least, the Ignite program is fun! As a student, you can build community by meeting other students with similar interests while learning in-demand skills in a fun, upbeat atmosphere. There’s never a dull moment at Ignite!

How To Apply

Sessions will fill on a first come, first served basis, so be sure to reserve your spot as soon as possible! Visit to learn more information and register today.

3Summer Ignite participants must satisfy standard eligibility criteria prior to acceptance into UTI. For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program, and to review the applicable Gainful Employment disclosure, visit

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