Universal Technical Institute: Twenty Years of Partnership with IAF



The schools that the Imagine America Foundation has been fortunate enough to work with are what make us so successful in helping students nationwide find the right career training programs. Our member institutions seek to provide hands-on and relevant training—and they’re eager to find the right prospective students who can benefit from their expertise.

As we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of our scholarship and award programs, we’re taking a look at the schools that have been with us since the beginning.

Universal Technical Institute (UTI) has been training students in its state-of-the-industry facilities for over 50 years. They offer programs in automotive, motorcycle, diesel, marine, collision repair, welding, and CNC machining at twelve locations nationwide. (Note that not all programs are available at all locations.) They work with the biggest brand names in the industry to determine what skills are most relevant for entry-level positions. Those relationships allow UTI to build targeted curricula and to provide industry-standard equipment in their classrooms and labs.

The UTI Advantage

The vehicles out on the road (or out on the water) have changed drastically from even just ten years ago. Today’s autos have up to 100 million lines of code in their computerized components: they’re literally rolling computers and they can no longer be maintained and repaired with hand tools alone. Consider that there are 260 million vehicles on the road today in the United States, and it’s no wonder that automotive technicians are so essential to the auto industry (as well as to those who depend on it). But it’s not just cars that UTI graduates are prepared to maintain, diagnose, and repair.


The Imagine America Foundation’s scholarship and award programs have been helping students afford career training programs for twenty years. These scholarships and awards benefit thousands of recent high school graduates, adult learners, and military personnel and veterans every single year.

The programs have benefited more than 15,000 UTI students alone. This important partnership has helped these students prepare for work in a variety of automotive and mechanical sciences industries.

“We are honored to work with IAF to help students find meaningful work in growing fields,” says Piper Jameson, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Universal Technical Institute.

I chose to attend Universal Technical Institute - Phoenix because I am very passionate about becoming a Auto Mechanic and owning my own business. I want the best knowledge and hands on experience and I know I will get from Universal Technical Institute.

Chasten Nobriga-Guerpo

Universal Technical Institute - Phoenix, AZ
I chose Universal Technical Institute because I want to better myself by following my passion. Eventually I can own my own shop and help people along the way because I love diesel vehicles.

Jason Provost

Universal Technical Institute - Houston, TX
I chose NASCAR Tech because I thought it would give me the best opportunity after I graduated. I plan to get into the racing field when I graduate.

Nick Arnold

NASCAR Technical Institute - Mooresville, NC


Courses in the automotive program prepare students for understanding everything from engines and transmissions to steering, suspension, and brakes. Students learn about the electronic systems, climate control systems, and hybrid vehicle systems that keep cars and trucks running smoothly. Graduates of this program are prepared to complete the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) exams.


Motorcycles aren’t the only thing covered in the motorcycle program. Students in this program learn everything they need to know to troubleshoot engines, performance, and drivability for motorcycles, ATVs, and personal watercraft. Once students have completed the core program, they can choose manufacturer-specific training for brands like Honda, Suzuki, and Harley Davidson.


Courses in the diesel program prepare students for the service and repair of gasoline and diesel engines—as well as performing preventative maintenance. Students learn about brake systems, manual transmissions, steering and suspension systems, hydraulic systems, and transport refrigeration. Graduates are also prepared to complete the ASE (Automotive Service Excellence) exams.


Putting vehicles on the water creates a new series of challenges and complications. Students in the marine technology program take courses on engines, rigging, fuel and lubrication systems, electrical systems, diesel, and service operations. They also take manufacturer-specific courses to prepare them to work on Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki marine vehicles.

Collision Repair

Accidents do happen and trained technicians are critical when assessing the damage. Students in this program learn about structural and non-structural repair, including steel welding and aluminum welding, as well as refinishing. Plus, they learn how to estimate damages and their associated costs. Students can also pursue additional industry certifications, like a Lean Efficiency Certificate.


Welding is a versatile (and dangerous) skill. Students in the welding program learn about safety and the tools of the trade before they begin gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, flux-cored arc welding, and gas tungsten arc welding. Students also learn how to weld in flat, horizontal, vertical, and overhead positions to accommodate a variety of projects and needs.

CNC Machining

Computer numerical control (CNC) machining requires high-tech skills to create components and parts using computerized tools. Students in the program learn how to read blueprints, interpret information, set up equipment, and operate CNC lathes and mills. The program uses industry-preferred tools and technology in partner with Roush Yates, the exclusive engine builder for Ford Performance.

The Imagine America Foundation is proud of the career training services that UTI is providing for students nationwide and is grateful for their partnership these last two decades. We look forward to twenty more years of student success together!

For more information about UTI, to schedule a visit to your high school, or to apply for admissions, visit www.uti.edu.