Proviso East’s Auto Shop plans to expand its auto program and increase opportunities for student enrichment.
The auto shop’s academic program has given students the opportunity to learn real-world skills through individual practical training in their classes and senior instructors, Dan Cox and Carl Fedele hope to offer more.
“Next school year, we want to start a student Auto Club for after school hours with projects to help increase our students’ automotive engineering skills,” said Fedele. “This is something where they can show pride and workmanship in what they’ve learned.”
The Auto Club will allow students to get involved and have more hands on learning doing things, such as taking cars apart and rebuilding engines. In addition to the Auto Club, Cox and Fedele want to create a car maintenance menu for faculty and staff. They hope this will bring faculty and auto shop students together.
“The menu would be made up of services that students can perform on the teachers’ vehicles,” said Fedele. “It would get the teachers involved. We would run a full service shop with the advanced auto students and offer car repairs for all of Proviso’s faculty and staff. We want to open this up to the entire school district. Students will get graded on their performances.”
Students would perform services such as brake and tire changes and minor repairs at no charge to the faculty so that students can become more interactive and involved with things they’d like to do in the automotive field. Fedele and Cox say students will learn roles they can take with them to automotive technology programs at Triton College and SIU (Southern Illinois University).
“The reason why we do this is because a lot of these students have never worked a job before and this is almost similar to how you come to work everyday, how you sign in, what the responsibilities are,” said Cox. “It’s real life skills that students can learn, so when they get their first job they are not overwhelmed with how things work because they have already lived it and experienced it.”
In addition to the great ideas and goals they have to advance Proviso East’s Auto Shop program, students, and the district, Cox and Fedele bring more than 25 years of combined experience to the auto shop. They are both completing their Bachelors Degrees in Automotive Technology at SIU. They hope to bring that information and knowledge back to the students of Proviso East.