Submitted by Sarah Self/City of Oak Ridge
Students at Oak Ridge High School now have an opportunity to learn the skills they need to begin yet another high-demand, high-wage occupation after graduating.
The newest course, Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair, started with the 2016 fall semester as part of Oak Ridge Schoolsâ€™ College, Career, and Technical Education, or CCTE, program. The class currently has 14 students enrolled for a fall and spring session.
Upon completing two full years of the class, each student will have worked with engine systems, transmissions, suspensions, steering, brakes, electrical, and HVAC. Students earn a full yearâ€™s worth of credit hours in one semester. The credits are recognized by the Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) as part of a dual enrollment program and will count toward further certifications with TCAT. Students can also obtain some Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications while still in high school.
Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair isnâ€™t the only CCTE program. Of 16 nationally recognized career clusters, Oak Ridge High School offers classes in advanced manufacturing, audio visual arts and communications, business, education, health science, information technology, and transportation distribution and logistics which also prepare students for high-demand occupations.
â€œAs weâ€™ve seen a need to increase hands-on learning for students, we have added programs that include dual enrollment opportunities in machining, mechatronics and nursing as well,â€ said Holly Cross, supervisor of communications for Oak Ridge Schools. â€œAll of the new courses have been packed to capacity with many students placed on waiting lists. We hope to continue increasing what we are able to offer going forward so they are fully prepared for success in multiple paths of entry and exit into workforce and education after graduation.â€
The Automotive Maintenance and Light Repair course is taught by Patrick LaDue, a master certified mechanic with 35 years of experience with the military and U.S. Department of Defense. During his career, LaDue has instructed aircraft maintenance workers as well as automotive mechanics during their on the job upgrade training.
Automotive classes are in session Monday through Friday from 7:50 a.m. to 9:36 a.m., except for Wednesdays when class ends at 9:14 a.m. due to a shortened school day. For more information on the CCTE program, contact Holly Cross atÂ [email protected]Â or (865) 425-9557.