School, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, is “is basically for fun and to prove that you can do your chores, but they’re not for learning.” However, Tesla’s program at Miami-Dade College in Florida, which teaches prospective mechanics how to properly service Tesla’s electric vehicles, is gaining traction. It was recently named as one of six non-degree employment programs that can help you find a good job and a good career.
The START program was listed on New America’s “2021 New Models for Career Preparation Cohort: Six community colleges with quality non-degree workforce programs that lead to quality jobs and careers” list, which named quality community college-based workforce programs that help secure good jobs and great career paths without attending college for four years. While New America says that the safest way to a middle-class presence in the U.S. economy is through “a college degree from a reputable, affordable institution in an in-demand program of study,” the organization researched the best way to gain a rewarding career without a heavy tuition bill and time-consuming curriculum. “Non-degree programs offered by community colleges, if designed well, can offer upward mobility for those who need it the most,” the organization says.
Tesla’s START program at Miami Dade College was one of six programs picked as the best options to get a high-quality career based on five non-degree workforce program quality criteria. These include:
- Labor Market Outcomes – Does the program lead to a high-quality job at a living wage?
- Equity – Is the program accessible to an underrepresented group?
- Stackability – Can the program lead to future advanced credentials or a college degree?
- Affordability – Can the program be completed without an overwhelming debt load?
- Completion – Does the program have a respectable completion and pass rate?
According to New America’s report, Tesla’s START Program at Miami Dade meets all of these requirements. As the electric vehicle industry grows and Tesla cements its position as the industry leader, its training program provides an accessible and successful education path that can lead to a rewarding career.
The 15-week program prepares students involved in vehicle repair for work at a Tesla Service Center. Students receive a stipend while studying by successfully completing and comprehending their coursework. Students receive a Career Technical Certificate from Miami Dade College and a Certificate of Completion from Tesla upon completion.
Students will “develop technical expertise and earn certifications through a blended approach of in-class theory, hands-on labs, and self-paced learning,” according to Tesla. The program, which is offered at eight colleges throughout the country, guarantees graduates a position at a Tesla Service Center in the location of their choosing.
Since 2019, Miami Dade College has hosted the initiative. The first class of Tesla START students graduated from the college’s West Campus’s Electric Vehicle Training Center in December 2019.