RR 418: AIST – The Future of Automotive Education

Chris Chesney is theDirector of Customer Training for Carquest Technical Institute. He is also a NASTF Board Member.
Visit Chris’s previous episodes HERE.

Anthony Williams is a Special Projects Manager at Advance Auto Parts, Colorado Springs, Colorado.


This episode recorded at Vision 2019 in KC brings you into the loop on Automotive Institute of Science and Technology (AIST) in Colorado Springs, CO. This new ‘non-traditional’ public charter school that will use the P-TECH model (Pathways in Technology Early College High School), designed to provide students the foundation they need to be successful in the automotive aftermarket industry when they graduate.

Students will be able to enroll in a 4- or 6-year program, starting their freshman year of high school through their second year of college and all publicly funded. AIST will offer students three pathways: Automotive Technology, Business, or Engineering (mechanical and electrical) and will be project based.

Key Talking Points:

  • All-encompassing school- reinventing automotive education
    • Create stand-alone STEM programs
    • All education is for career preparation
    • Broke apart automotive program and spread out over everything
    • No more English or math classes- have project instead than inside of project your English lessons will be taught
      • Example: CSI project
        • Work with police and fire department- showcase car accidents (texting and driving)
        • Recreate accidents on the property, have students figure out what happened- redraw skidmarks, staging dummies, etc
        • Learn safety contexts of cars- have questions  and ask the teacher
        • Instead of telling students what they need to know you show them a problem and have students ask the questions
    • Creating critical thinkers and problem solvers- gather data and ask the right questions
    • Exploring other avenues besides having a career as a technician (business/technical trades/ engineering pathways)- equal desire for systems and parts counter
    • Prepare the workforce with zero debt
  • AIST independent public school- funding from the school district
    • Need industry support- vendor suppliers and partners, competitors



  • Thanks to Chris Chesney and Anthony Williams for their contribution to the aftermarket’s premier podcast.
  • Link to the ‘BOOKS‘ page highlighting all books discussed in the podcast library HERE. Leaders are readers.
  • Automotive Institute of Science and technology Website HERE.
  • What is AIST all about HERE.
  • Wheatridge High School STEM Program Episode 279
  • Leave me an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help and I read each one of them.

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This episode is brought to you by AAPEX, the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo. AAPEX represents the $740 billion global automotive aftermarket industry and has everything you need to stay ahead of the curve. With 2,500 exhibiting companies, you’ll see the latest products, parts, and technologies for your business. The event also offers advanced training for shop owners, technicians, warehouse distributors (WDs) and auto parts retailers, as well as networking opportunities to grow your business. AAPEX 2019 will take place Tuesday, Nov. 5 through Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas. More than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, and approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals from 135 countries are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX 2019. For information, visit aapexshow.com

About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast listening app and always listen to learn just one thing!