Auto Tech 1 overviews the basics of working on a vehicle in a garage or auto shop, with a focus on properly identifying different parts of the vehicle and working safely in hazardous conditions. Auto Tech 1 yields worthwhile information even for those who aren’t particularly interested in an automotive career. “All the skills… in Auto 1 could be used just for a consumer,” auto shop teacher James MacDonald said. Many of the lessons such as checking fluid levels, inspecting tires for wear, and other basic forms of maintenance are important for everyday life as a car owner.
Auto Tech 2 builds off of the lessons learned in the first-level course but shifts more in the direction of career-related skills rather than personal maintenance, with a curriculum focused on brakes, steering and suspension. “It gives you a lot of insight and knowledge on how to maintain your own vehicle,” sophomore Taylor Ramirez said. This class serves as a prerequisite for the four higher-level courses teaching students how to measure electrical currents in a vehicle and assemble engines, among other things. Auto Tech 2 is also one of the Honors electives that count toward graduating with an Honors designation.
As well as the preparation they provide for automotive careers, Auto Tech classes have the added benefit of contributing toward college credits, should a student choose to pursue Portland Community College’s Automotive Technology program. Passing Auto Tech 2 grants four PCC credits, and through the completion of higher-level courses at Tigard High, students may be eligible to earn up to eight PCC auto tech credits for free. For any student looking into an automotive career, Tigard High’s auto tech program is a great opportunity that shouldn’t be passed down.