Spend Summer Learning Valuable STEM and Career Skills

Jun 26, 2018 ·
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High school juniors entering their senior year around the country have the opportunity to get a jump-start on their careers this summer.

The Ignite program, held this June and July, teaches students the same skills they'd learn if they were enrolled in Universal Technical Institute's (UTI) automotive class full-time.

Summer vacation becomes a valuable learning experience with hands-on automotive, collision repair, diesel and motorcycle training experience. Those who are passionate about cars and other types of vehicles and machinery will enjoy this immersive summer experience.

“This is a tremendous opportunity, because these types of courses generally cost around $1,200,” says Mike Romano, campus president at UTI's Avondale campus. “It's an exceptional way to try something you may not have had exposure to before.”

Ignite program courses will cover:

  • Vehicle design and manufacturing processes
  • Vehicle physics and safety
  • Gasoline and diesel engine operations
  • Control systems and computer management
  • Diagnostic, maintenance and repair techniques

  • Students will also gain information on career opportunities for related fields. Whether students are simply curious about these topics or want to apply what they've learned to a future career, the Ignite program makes summer vacation more rewarding.

    UTI STEM classroom

    What Students Can Expect in the Ignite Program

    No experience is needed to enroll in one or both of the two consecutive three-week programs that are offered at UTI's participating campuses around the country.

    Each program is a mix of instructional work and lab work, including:

  • Interactive lectures
  • Training labs
  • Videos
  • Discussions and talks from graduates and working professionals

  • At the Avondale campus, students are able to participate in “dyno runs,” which enable them to test out high-performance vehicles and test top speeds, torque and vehicle curves.

    That’s just one example of the activities that students in the Ignite program get to participate in.

    Each three-week program is modeled after a similar three-week course in the full-time UTI program and presents learning in an intimate class setting.

    Upon completion of the program, students may take a Challenge Test based on what they've learned. 

    A successful score on the test enables students to apply credit from that course to a full-time UTI program if they choose to further their education. This saves them time and money and enables them to graduate and begin their professional careers more quickly.

    Throughout each three-week session, students will also take part in quizzes and evaluations for self-assessment purposes. All lessons are conducted in a relaxed, no-pressure environment.

    The objective of the program is for students to enjoy learning about the in-demand fields that are offered, in a stimulating and engaging setting.

    “This isn't your typical high school-type of class,” Romano says. “With the summer courses, we want students to get out there and have some fun.”

    The Ignite program is an ideal summer choice for students who are interested in automotive technology schools, the industries covered, or who want to get a head start on their technician education.

    The program gives students the ability to practice Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) skills in supportive and exciting surroundings.

    “There has really been a lot of cut funding for various vocational types of trade and industry learning in high schools,” Romano says. “This is the time when students would typically be able to explore vocational training. If their schools aren't able to provide that, we are. We want to invest in our communities and give these students a great place to go to learn about these subjects.”

    Summer Recreation, Future Investment

    The Ignite program is designed to help meet the need for skilled technicians in the fields covered and prepare the next generation of these in-demand professionals.

    Between 2016 to 2026, the following numbers of new jobs are expected to be added to the United States economy, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Automotive service technicians and mechanics: 45,900
  • Diesel service technicians and mechanics: 25,800
  • Automotive body and glass repairers: 14,900

  • For students who want to prepare for a career in one of those industries, the Ignite program is the perfect way to discover a potential career fit.

    “It's really fun and creative work,” Romano says. “It’s not the same thing day after day. You get to problem-solve in a lot of different areas. For people who like to work with their hands, these are fantastic industries to get into.”

    At the very least, participants in the Ignite program can have an excellent experience working with powerful machinery and getting to know the latest automotive technology.

    We're seeing a continued growth of technology in various types of cars, diagnostics systems, electronic systems and engine performance. Most people don't know where to start when they lift up the hood of a car. This starts to peel back what has become a much more complex piece of machinery, in automotive and diesel, including how they process fuel, average mile per gallon ratios, and different tools and techniques to process repairs at a faster, more cost-effective rate.

    Mike Romano, campus president at UTI's Avondale campus.


    How to Apply for the UTI Ignite Program

    Enrollment is now open for all Ignite program sessions at each UTI campus across the country. Students are able to take both three-week courses consecutively or choose one three-week course that fits their schedule. Class dates vary depending on the campus.

    Enrollment requires a mandatory student orientation for acceptance. High school juniors going into their senior year can apply for the campus program nearest to them.

    Students and parents who are interested in the Ignite program can click here and then call the number on the bottom of the page that corresponds with the school closest to you for enrollment information. If you are curious about pursuing auto technician schools, this might be the perfect opportunity for you.

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