Audi of America is partnering with Saddleback College’s automotive technology program by providing computer-based training to give students hands-on, practical tools to learn how to repair and work with the manufacturer’s performance and luxury vehicles, according to department chair Clifford Meyer.
The program is part of the Audi Education Partnership. The students will use tools to digitally scan, diagnose and repair Audi vehicles.
“This affords our students the opportunity to work on a major European automotive brand,” Meyer said in a press release.
Technicians looking to work in Audi dealerships who pass 10 to 15 online courses along with hands-on Audi vehicle training can expect to be placed in a higher position than they would if they had not passed the manufacturer’s training courses.
Audi decided to partner with Saddleback after attending an advisory committee meeting where they were impressed with their tour of the Saddleback automotive facility. The auto tech facility on campus has all the tools needed to educate students in all aspects of automobile and motorcycle technology.
“We have the best equipped machine shop in the Western United States,” Meyer said.
Meyer said before a student takes courses in the automotive program they can chose from five different specializations they have interest, they can even specialize in more than one field.
The college’s auto tech program offers five occupational certificate programs as well as an associate degree.
While in Audi’s program, students will still take the same courses accept they will learn certain mechanical details that differentiate Audi vehicles from other brands.
“This program from Audi is to augment our current student classes taken and enrolled in at Saddleback,” Meyers said in an email. “The classes taken at Audi provide the students the opportunity to have focused training on the Audi brand.”
Some students who have heard about the partnership appreciate what it means to them and their classmates.
“It’s giving us an open door to get into the automotive industry,” said Leo Flores, a Saddleback sophomore who is pursuing a General Automotive Technician certificate.
Audi has just begun working with Saddleback. Hyundai, Kia, Ford, Honda, Acura, Jaguar, Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge have been recruiting new Saddleback technicians into their workforce every year. Tesla and Land Rover are also possibly partnering up with Saddleback in the near future, Meyer said.
The auto tech program has an ongoing donor, Tuttle Click Group, which has donated $50,000 grants since 2008.
“We have a great scholarship program through the Tuttle-Click automotive group,” Meyer said. “Three weeks ago they just gave us another $50,000.”
The Tuttle-Click scholarship program is a partnership that allows students to have a full-time or a part-time job, $750 a semester and a $4,500 Matco starter tool set.