Automotive technician instructor shares how practical experience paves the way for student success

Automotive technician instructor shares how practical experience paves the way for student success


Why trade schools are featuring a hands-on training model

Earlier this year, Porter and Chester Institute's Scott Little, an automotive technician instructor at our Branford campus, was named the recipient of this year's Mitchell 1 Award at the 44th annual North American Council of Automotive Teachers in Michigan.

Speaking from experience

Little, who has been a part of the PCI team since 2007, holds several Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications, including Master Technician.

Part of what makes his teaching of the automotive technician curriculum so effective, Little says, is the real-world experience students obtain while they're part of the program.

"I think it's all the hands-on training we do here - it's probably more than 50 percent. You show them how to do something, and then they do it and the lightbulb goes off. That's when they really start to learn."

Automotive technician students have the opportunity to work in each campus' licensed repair center, which provides a place to learn about all kinds of issues car owners encounter.

In addition to learning technical skills for automotive repair, automotive technician students acquire the skillsets necessary to work in many kinds of automotive-related fields, ranging from repair shop service technicians, emissions systems specialists, and working on diesel or alternative fuel vehicles. Students can also pursue sales careers for car dealerships and auto parts companies.

Accomplishments as an educator

One of Little's proudest accomplishments as an educator is watching students come in without any prior experience, embrace the program and complete the course ready to enter the workforce. Students can complete the automotive technology program at Porter and Chester Institute in a year and learn from ASE Certified Master Technicians like Little.

If you or someone you know is interested in finding out more about careers in the automotive industry, head to to get more information on our programs and campuses!