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william parker 372x451 - TSTC instructor’s experience to benefit future auto mechanics

(SWEETWATER, Texas) – William Parker will bring his professional experience in the automotive shop to Texas State Technical College this fall.

Parker, who will be an Automotive Technology instructor at TSTC’s Sweetwater campus, is no stranger to teaching. In addition to his 30 years of working at Ford dealerships, Parker was an automotive instructor at Snyder High School.

“I’ve had a great time building the (Snyder) program and introducing the high school students to the field,” he said.

Parker, who is certified as a  Ford senior master technician, said his goal for TSTC students is to provide them with a good education and a path to a successful life.

What makes the automotive program at TSTC different?

The program itself. I have been a proponent of theory and operation for beginning students. I feel that if you don’t know what is normal, how can you distinguish something that is wrong — especially since every component uses electricity to operate these days? The vacuum pump and hydraulic valves are coming to the end of their usefulness. Transmissions today use electrical solenoids to open hydraulic ports for shifting gears. This is what coming to TSTC is for me — a place where the student can receive a first-rate education and succeed in life. 

What inspired you to become an instructor?

In the industry, I would have other technicians walk up and ask me questions to help them in a diagnosis or if I have seen a particular problem with that car or truck. After helping them, usually I would get the comment, “You should be teaching this.” I would reply, “As soon as my kids are grown and out of college.”

It had always been a dream of mine to teach at the college level. I felt that becoming an instructor would be my way of paying it forward. I would carry on the torch of my instructors and co-workers that had a hand in my education, experiences and knowledge that I received along the way. 

What do you enjoy most about your career as an educator?

I like that “aha moment” when a concept is grasped and they can push forward from there. The recognition I see in their faces — that’s the best.

What are your goals for students?

I’d like to see each and every one of my students graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree and for each of them to go into the industry and make insane money. It can be done.

What is the importance of training future technicians in the lab environment?

Everybody is different. I can read a shop manual and follow the instructions; not everyone is able to do that. The lab environment gives the hands-on learner an idea of what is to be learned. This helps that student that can’t always grasp what a textbook or shop manual is asking the student what needs to be done. Some students have to see it taken apart or take it apart so they can put it back together again. 

What advice will you give students when they begin the program?

The student should be patient with themselves and others. There are plenty of students that have worked on their own vehicles, but they may not know every aspect of their vehicle.

For more information, visit tstc.edu.

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