Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F36

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

HIGHER LEARNING

 Elevate the education of service techs to an undergraduate degree

S

MYRNA, Tenn. - Six Nissan North
America executives behind the automaker's "Fix It Right the First
Time" initiative invited me to join
their freewheeling after-dinner chat. What
sounded like a great idea emerged: raising
the degree status of service technicians.
We were talking about the chronic tech
shortage. Jackson Hisey, manager of Nissan's Tech Line - a call center that works
with technicians at Nissan and Infiniti dealRICHARD
erships to fix customer vehicles and moniTRUETT
tor quality - wondered out loud: "Which
Fixed Ops Journal
will be the first college to offer a bachelor's
degree in automotive repair?"
Elevating tech certification to bachelor's degree status would solve a
lot of problems, Hisey said. Chief among them, reducing parents' opposition to their children choosing auto repair as a profession.
The notion of a four-year - or more - degree makes sense when you
consider where automotive technology is going. Self-driving technologies are rolling into showrooms on such vehicles as the Tesla Model S
and Cadillac CT6. An armada of electric cars is coming soon.
So why not make automotive technology and repair a STEM (science,
technology, engineering and math) discipline with a bachelor's degree?
All four STEM elements would be integrated into a
curriculum that focuses on real-world careers.

Paging Dr. Tech
Advanced new technologies, more suggestive of
aerospace than automobiles, will require big changes in the way service techs think, work and communicate. Tomorrow's technician will have to function
more like an engineer, or even a doctor, than a
Hisey: Degree in wrench-spinning mechanic.
Before techs can fix electric, self-driving, big-daauto tech would
ta-collecting automobiles, they will have to be able
mollify parents
to perform a proper diagnosis. To do that and ensure the proper fix, technicians will need a broader skill set than they
have today.
I can foresee a curriculum for a STEM-based bachelor's degree in
automotive repair that includes an array of courses seemingly worlds
away from brake rotors, steering racks and HVAC systems. Aspiring
techs would study creative and critical thinking, conductive and inductive reasoning (top-down and bottom-up logic), written and verbal
communication, and management that emphasizes the importance of
following prescribed processes.
And math. Plenty of math.

NADA on the job
The National Automobile Dealers Association is launching an initiative that focuses on promoting dealership careers. The job of the service
technician is one of the first that NADA will highlight in its program, set
PAGE 36

APRIL 2018

FIXED OPS JOURNAL ILLUSTRATION

to debut next year.
"As automotive technology continues to get more and more complex,
technician jobs may need the STEM classification, which may help with
funding for training programs as well as candidate recruitment," says
Jonathan Collegio, NADA's senior vice president for public affairs.
"This is one of the things the NADA Foundation and some state associations will be investigating as we roll out the initiative," Collegio adds.
During my visit with Nissan service executives here last month, I
watched some of the automaker's in-house master techs, who work
with technicians at Nissan and Infiniti dealerships, use many of the
skills that a STEM-based education would provide.
Looking over the courses taught by Universal Technical Institute and
other automotive technician training schools, I find few offerings beyond dealing with mechanical or electrical systems in vehicles.
The Nissan technical specialists I spent the day with agree that tomorrow's service techs are going to need to be better thinkers and communicators.
They will use a variety of advanced tools to solve complex technical
problems.
It's precisely the type of career for which a STEM-based education is
designed to prepare students. 



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F23
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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F26
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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F36
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F37
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