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NC3 has some impressive Master Instructors in our ranks and this Instructor Spotlight series aims to highlight the incredibly talented individuals who work with us. We’ll be featuring a new interview in our monthly newsletters, here on our website, and on our social media pages each month.

Rob Turner

NC3 Master Instructor | Snap-on | Odessa College

Rob Turner is an instructor at Odessa College with decades of experience in the auto industry and academia. He has been teaching since 2007, and he’s proud of his contributions to Odessa College’s “earn while you learn” program. As an NC3 Master Instructor, Rob values the professional growth opportunities and encourages others to join the NC3 Master Instructor Team. Outside of work, Rob enjoys traveling with his wife and exploring small towns across the US. His advice to students and educators is to persevere and trust in their ability to succeed.

Check out our Q&A session below to learn more about Rob, how he originally got involved with NC3, his favorite part of NC3’s Train-the-Trainer events and being an NC3 Master Instructor, and more!

NC3’s Snap-on Program Manager, Cody Eckert, sat down with Rob to talk all about his work as an NC3 Master Instructor.

My journey toward becoming an instructor traces back to my childhood spent at a Firestone auto shop in southern California, which had been owned by my family for generations, dating back to a blacksmith shop in the 1800s. At the age of 12, I began working at the shop on weekends and after school, often skateboarding there from school. Growing up in this environment exposed me to a diverse range of vehicles and machinery, from over-the-road vehicles to tractors, instilling in me a comprehensive understanding of automotive repair.

Following my high school graduation in 1990, I transitioned to full-time work at the shop while also gaining experience at a Ford dealership. Eventually, I became the owner of the shop, which I later sold in 2007. Subsequently, I embarked on a new chapter in my career as an instructor at Universal Technical Institute. After approximately five years there, I transitioned to teaching at high schools in Orange County, California, where I honed my skills in automotive, diesel, and equipment repair courses.

In 2018, an exciting opportunity arose when Odessa College invited me to lead their automotive and diesel technology program, which was undergoing a significant revitalization with the development of a new state-of-the-art facility. Since then, I have been dedicated to educating and empowering students at this dynamic institution.

In total, I have been teaching since 2007, leveraging my experiences and expertise to cultivate the next generation of skilled professionals. Alongside my practical experience, I have pursued academic qualifications, including a BA in Theology and a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction with a focus on Career Tech Ed. Currently, I am pursuing a Doctorate in Education with a specialization in adult learning and curriculum design, further enriching my ability to effectively educate and inspire students in their career journeys.

One of the aspects I’m immensely proud of at Odessa College is our commitment to becoming a premier community college in the United States while also sharing our successful practices with other institutions. Our focus is unwaveringly centered on student success, which drives initiatives like my role as an NC3 Master Instructor. Through this position, I have the privilege to travel across the country, sharing our knowledge and experiences with schools nationwide.

This commitment to excellence stems directly from the mandate of Odessa College’s Board of Trustees, underscoring the significance of our partnership with NC3. What sets Odessa College apart is its steadfast dedication to student-centric approaches, evident in initiatives like our “earn while you learn” program. Enabled by micro-credentialing opportunities provided by NC3, this program allows students to gain industry-relevant skills and start working in their chosen field while still in school. By validating students’ competencies, we bridge the gap between education and industry, ensuring students are well-prepared for the workforce.

In essence, Odessa College embodies a culture of innovation and student empowerment, where student success is not just a goal but a shared commitment that permeates every aspect of our institution.

My involvement with NC3 began while I was a high school instructor in California, where I certified students in Snap-on’s Multimeter. Recognizing the value and potential impact of industry-recognized certifications, especially within the educational realm, I made it a priority to integrate Snap-on’s certifications into the program when I had the opportunity to build the automotive program at Odessa College (OC). Embracing the program’s ethos and recognizing its significance, I wholeheartedly believe in the transformative power of industry-recognized certifications in preparing students for successful careers in industry.

My favorite aspect of Train-the-Trainers and being a Master Instructor is the opportunity to connect with educators from diverse backgrounds across the United States. While I typically engage with around 80 students annually at my own school, the impact multiplies significantly when considering the broader reach through instructing fellow educators. This multiplier effect, extending my influence to at least ten times the number of students, allows me to contribute to the development and enhancement of technical education on a national scale. The collaborative exchange of ideas and experiences with instructors from various regions enriches the learning environment and contributes to the continuous improvement of training programs across the country.

Do it! As CTE educators, our primary goal is to nurture the next generation of our local workforce. By joining the NC3 Master Instructor Team, you not only fulfill this mission but also gain a platform to collaborate with NC3’s esteemed industry partners like Snap-on, influencing the trajectory and advancement of CTE nationwide.

Networking opportunities are another invaluable aspect. As a Master Instructor, you’ll engage with hundreds of educators from diverse backgrounds across the country. I consistently find inspiration and new insights from the instructors I encounter during Train-the-Trainers events. Joining the NC3 Master Instructor Team opens doors to professional growth, fosters meaningful connections, and allows you to play an active role in shaping the future of technical education.

My journey with NC3 prompted me to encourage my administrators to attend NC3’s annual Leadership Summit in Kenosha, WI. Dr. Gene White and Dr. Tiffany Price embraced this opportunity, and their experiences ignited a profound enthusiasm for NC3 upon their return to Odessa College.

Their participation at the summit catalyzed the expansion of our partnerships with industry leaders such as Snap-on, Lincoln Electric, 3M, Trane, and Kubota. Dr. White’s commitment is particularly noteworthy as he is actively pursuing becoming a Master Instructor for NC3’s Swift program. Their dedication to enhancing our school’s programming with NC3 has been instrumental in our collective journey toward excellence in technical education. Their ongoing support and advocacy continue to fuel my passion for advancing the mission of NC3 and empowering students for success in the workforce.

Outside of school and NC3, I enjoy traveling with my wife. Whether it’s exploring on my motorcycle or taking scenic drives along the back roads of the US, we delve into the rich history of our country and uncover the charm of many small towns that often go unnoticed when sticking to the interstates. This hobby allows us to connect with the diversity of American culture and heritage while creating cherished memories together.

Stick it out. In industry, perseverance is key. While the journey may not always be easy, committing to honing your skills and staying the course will lead to a successful and fulfilling career. Remember, mastery takes time and dedication. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth, and trust in your ability to overcome obstacles along the way. With persistence and determination, you’ll pave the way for a rewarding path in your chosen field.

For information on Odessa College, please visit https://www.odessa.edu/

For information on NC3’s Industry Partner Snap-on, please visit https://www.nc3.net/partner-snapon/

For information on NC3’s Train-the-Trainer program, please visit www.nc3.net/training

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