Students interested in the race car and auto tech industry may wish to consider enrolling in the NASCAR Tech program offered exclusively through Universal Technical Institute (UTI) at its Mooresville, N.C. campus. This NASCAR school is the only in the U.S. to be endorsed by NASCAR and is available exclusively at UTI's North Carolina campus. In Mooresville, also known as Race City, NASCAR school students attend a 146,000-square foot campus that includes 44 classrooms and seven labs to facilitate learning.
All teachers in the NASCAR Tech program are Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified in their areas of instruction and have practical field experience to boot. They work to improve their teaching skills by taking training offered through the Center of Excellence in Education. Students who want to find out more about their instructors' backgrounds and skills can look in UTI's program catalog for a full listing of NASCAR school teachers, educational levels and the number of years experience they have in the field.
To round out their learning, students in UTI's NASCAR school have access to the training aids and equipment needed for their education. Some of this equipment is specifically provided through NASCAR, but Ford and Nissan, additional sponsors of UTI's NASCAR Tech training program, also are contributors. The curriculum used in NASCAR's Tech program comes from a joint development between NASCAR and NASCAR Tech, which is an extension of the licensed automotive aftermarket program offered by NASCAR.
To be eligible to enroll in the NASCAR school, students must have a high-school diploma or GED equivalency and be English proficient. Enrollment is ongoing throughout the year, but instruction starts as soon as new classes begin, which is typically every three to four weeks. In the NASCAR program, students learn to diagnose, maintain and repair both domestic and foreign vehicles. They gain hands-on skills working with anti-lock brakes, computerized engine control, passenger-restraint systems and many other areas relevant to automotive technology. In addition to enrolling in the 42-week, 56-credit automotive technology program, they have the option of adding any NASCAR elective programs they choose to their education. These include the:
NASCAR Technology Elective: This adds 24 credits to the automotive tech program, for an extra 18 weeks of instruction. Classes include NASCAR chassis applications, engines and fabrication.
FORD Accelerated Credential Training (FACT) Elective: This add 20 credits to the automotive tech program, for 15 extra weeks of instruction. This elective includes six classes focused on Ford systems.
Nissan Automotive Technician Training (NATT) Elective: This adds nine weeks to the auto technology program, for a total of 11.5 additional credits. Classes focus on chassis and engines, drivetrains and electrical systems.
Students can alternatively enroll in one of the combined NASCAR programs available through the school, which includes basic auto tech training plus electives. Listed below, each comes with a program code to help simplify the process when enrolling:
Automotive Technology, NASCAR Technology and Pit Crew (Program 154): This 63-week program is 84 semester credits total. Students receive a wide range of automotive technology courses to train them for a rewarding career as an entry-level automotive technician with the added value of NASCAR-specific courses.
Automotive Technology, NASCAR Engines I & II (Program 127): This 48-week course is a total of 64 semester credits. Students benefit from an ample range of automotive technology courses to train them for a stellar career as entry-level automotive technicians and the addition of NASCAR Engines I & II will enable them to learn techniques for building and testing a competitive NASCAR engine.
Automotive Technology, NATT, NASCAR Engines I & II (Program 149): A 57-week course, this program leads to 75.5 total credit hours. Students receive a full spectrum of automotive tech courses to put them in shape for a rewarding career as an entry-level automotive technician. The addition of NASCAR Engines I & II will allow you to learn techniques for building and testing a competitive NASCAR engine, while the nine week Nissan (Nissan Advanced Technician Training (NATT)) elective curriculum will provide you with complete training on Nissan/Infinity specific products, along with the opportunity to earn technician certification credit to help them reach the senior specialist level more quickly
Automotive Technology, NASCAR Technology, FACT and Pit Crew (Program 354): A total of 78 weeks, this program leads to completion of 104 credits. The NASCAR Pit Crew teaches NASCAR rules, race-day preparation, equipment, and more. Lab work includes performance as a pit crew member.
Automotive Technology, NASCAR Technology and NATT (Program 155): This 69-week program requires completion of 91.5 credits.
The NASCAR Pit Crew class is a separate four-credit class, providing students with skills and knowledge about race-day preparation, safety and NASCAR rules. Students are instructed in use of fire control, pit stop choreography and tire handling, and gain hands-on skills performing as part of a pit crew. The class is not offered as part of the basic automotive tech program or NASCAR Technology elective, so is made available through two of the combined programs that are listed above.
Out-of-state students interested in the NASCAR Tech program can look to UTI for help with finding housing near the Mooresville, N.C. campus. Housing often can often be found during the start of orientation week, and NASCAR Tech's Housing department can also help students find a roommate.
Additional services offered through UTI include career development, financial aid, and secondary insurance coverage. Students interested in other training programs, such as collision repair, diesel, marine and motorcycle mechanic education can turn to offerings at UTI's other campuses located across the U.S.
Upon NASCAR Tech graduation, students can use UTI for assistance in looking for entry-level tech employment, although UTI makes no guarantees about employment. The school even partners with some companies that provide a Tuition Reimbursement Incentive Program (TRIP), in which the monthly student loan bill of qualified, recently-hired NASCAR Tech graduates is partially or fully covered. Not all companies participate in the TRIP program, however.
Additionally, graduates interested in a college degree may also be able to transfer some of their credits to schools around the country. At or near the time of graduation, qualified students may be eligible to join the Alpha Beta Kappa National Honor Society, but will not be informed of their candidacy until after graduation. Requirements include having a 3.5 cumulative GPA and 99 percent attendance rate.
"Course Catalog 2014-15," http://www.uti.edu/programs/nascar#tabbed-nav=catalog
"Nascar Tech Program Overview," http://www.uti.edu/programs/nascar
"Student Services," http://www.uti.edu/student-services
"UTI/MMI Campuses," http://www.uti.edu/campus-locations