(WACO, Texas) – Texas State Technical College’s Mopar Career Automotive Program at the Waco campus will accept students for the first time for the spring semester.
Students who apply to TSTC must apply separately to the program, which includes an interview with a faculty member in the Automotive Technology program.
Matthew Mills, an instructor in TSTC’s Automotive Technology program, said all students entering the program are encouraged to have Chrysler dealership work set up before they start attending TSTC. Students start work cooperatives during the first semester of their program. Students spend half of each semester working and the other portion at TSTC participating in classes.
“It offers a great way to learn,” said Jacob Fleming, of San Antonio, a TSTC Automotive Technology – Chrysler Specialization student scheduled to graduate next spring.
Fleming became enthralled with automobiles when he was young as he saw a Dodge Challenger SRT8 at a dealership while his stepfather was shopping for a new vehicle.
“I find my only happy place has to be in relation to cars,” Fleming said.
Fleming is well aware of the change in his knowledge of vehicles since he began working at Boerne Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram before he arrived at TSTC.
“It’s been a really good progression, starting from the lube rack to dropping transmissions and all kinds of stuff,” he said.
Dillon Schleeter, of Celina, began working at Dodge City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of McKinney shortly after graduating from high school. He said the co-op work helps reinforce what he learns in class.
Schleeter said he makes a list of any tool that he borrows or uses so he can purchase one like it for himself later.
“It gets you one more step up to being self-sufficient,” he said.
He is scheduled to graduate next spring from TSTC.
The program is able to issue student ID numbers so that high school students can log on to the DealerCONNECT website and take basic online Mopar Career Automotive Program classes. Mills said students who are taking dual enrollment automotive classes through TSTC or who attend high schools that do not have automotive programs can benefit from this.
Students who successfully complete the program receive a certificate of completion in Automotive Technology – Chrysler Specialization. The certification takes five semesters to complete. Students will also earn factory-specific certifications in several specializations, including brakes, engines and HVAC systems.
For more information, go to tstc.edu.