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Digital Curriculum | High School | Automotive

3 Best High School Automotive Curriculum Options

March 2nd, 2023 | 7 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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As a high school automotive teacher, it's critical to have a strong curriculum that meets your standards. When your students learn with an up-to-date automotive curriculum, they'll be ready for the challenges facing them when working in the industry. But if they don't have the latest information, they won't be able to work with today’s cars and technologies.

In this article, you’ll discover three popular high school automotive curriculum options:

  1. Automotive Technology from Pearson
  2. Electude Automotive Curriculum
  3. Automotive Textbooks from CDX Learning Company

After reading, you'll have a more complete idea of your curriculum options to help you decide what's best for your CTE automotive program.

1. Automotive Technology from Pearson

Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service is a popular automotive textbook from Pearson. Written by James D. Halderman, Automotive Technology offers a thorough overview ofAutomotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service (Pearson  Automotive Series): Halderman, James: 9780135257272: Books the fundamentals of the automotive field and repair work. Now in its sixth edition, the volume was most recently updated in 2020.

As a definitive text in the automotive pathway, Automotive Technology covers nearly every aspect of working on an automobile. The content is divided into 136 chapters that detail everything from shop safety and hand tools to audio equipment and Antilock Brake Systems (ABS). At a weighty 1,776 pages, there is enough content here to cover multiple classes within this career pathway.

The textbook also includes many diagrams, descriptive instructions, and visual aids, making it a great companion to working with actual vehicles in a CTE program.

How Much Does This Automotive Textbook Cost, and Who Is It For?

Teachers interested in purchasing Halderman's Automotive Technology have several options:

  • You can buy or rent the textbook directly from the publisher, Pearson. If you choose to purchase the book, it will cost $165 per copy.
  • Instead, you can access the text through Revel, Pearson's digital platform that adds interactive content and assessments. Revel costs $100 for 24 months of access, but educators should note that this version of the curriculum was last updated in 2019.

In general, Automotive Technology: Principles, Diagnosis, and Service is a solid textbook that satisfies ASE standards and is adaptable to most CTE automotive classrooms.

Its length and comprehensive nature make it a reliable reference for courses throughout the automotive pathway. However, text-heavy resources aren't always the best way to engage students in CTE courses, and the digital version of Automotive Technology is less up-to-date than the printed textbook.

2. Electude Automotive Curriculumelectude-automotive-curriculum

Electude is a provider of digital automotive curriculum for CTE programs. Electude uses web-based eLearning lessons to communicate critical information about automotive technology.

The core of the Electude curriculum is their Automotive Essentials, a series of learning modules that cover auto maintenance and repair and meet national curriculum standards. The curriculum covers the eight main areas of automotive maintenance and includes a learning management system to handle its 1500 lessons and quizzes.

In addition to Automotive Essentials, Electude offers an Electric Drive curriculum for hybrid and electric vehicles and a Heavy Vehicles Systems curriculum for trucks and machinery.

One of the positives of the Electude curriculum is its use of training aids and simulators to help students understand core automotive principles. One example is the Engine Management Simulator, which teaches students how to diagnose vehicle engine issues. The simulator is pre-programmed to include hundreds of engine issues for students to diagnose and solve and is included with the Automotive Essentials and Electric Drive curriculum.

How Much Does This Automotive Curriculum Cost, and Who Is It For?

Electude offers several options for purchasing a high school automotive curriculum:

  • The Automotive Essentials curriculum costs $104 for a single-student license.
  • The Electric Drive curriculum is priced at $60.
  • The Heavy Vehicle Systems curriculum costs $80.

Regardless of which options you choose, you'll need to contact Electude directly for pricing for an entire CTE program.

Overall, Electude offers an excellent digital learning experience for instructors and students. The curriculum is continually updated for the latest technology, and their use of simulators helps them stand out among text-based resources. Electude also allows teachers to emphasize hybrid and electric autos and heavy machinery in their automotive lessons, but these curriculum options entail a substantial additional cost.

3. Automotive Textbooks from CDX Learning CompanyCDX-Learning-Systems-Automotive-Curriculum

CDX Learning Company is a leading provider of curriculum resources within the CTE automotive pathway. CDX produces a variety of training systems, textbooks, and equipment designed to help students become adept with a range of automotive technologies, from family cars to diesel-powered commercial vehicle systems.

CDX is notable for offering a greater variety of curriculum resources than other providers. Many teachers and students opt for their overarching textbook, Fundamentals of Automotive Technology: Principles and Practice, which is now in its third edition and has an interactive online version.

However, instructors of advanced automotive students will appreciate the variety of texts available for teaching the finer points of working in the industry. Options for advanced automotive textbooks include:

  • Light Vehicle Diesel Engines
  • Light-Duty Hybrid and Electric Vehicles
  • Automotive Drivetrain and Manual Transmissions
  • Service Advising and Management
  • Automotive Electricity and Electronics
  • Advanced Automotive Electricity and Electronics
  • Automotive Steering and Suspension
  • Automotive Automatic Transmission and Transaxles
  • Automotive Braking Systems
  • Automotive Engine Repair
  • Automotive Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
  • Automotive Engine Performance
  • Advanced Automotive Engine Performance

With so many different curriculum resources available, instructors can use CDX Learning Company resources to help their students specialize in automotive technology.

How Much Do These Automotive Textbooks Cost, and Who Are They For?

The price of CDX Learning Company textbooks varies from volume to volume:

  • You'll pay $189 for a year of online access to Fundamentals of Automotive Technology.
  • Textbooks covering automotive specialties are shorter and less expensive and typically cost between $90-$100, with a couple of books priced around $125.

The strength of this curriculum provider lies in its ability to provide a broad range of information engineered toward different automotive specialties. Teachers who find that a standard textbook doesn't cover important information in enough depth can use a specialty text to better satisfy their standards. 

However, one point to keep in mind is that accumulating a large library of books can be expensive for students and schools, especially in a discipline that requires learners to work on vehicles to be successful.

Need a Well-Rounded High School Automotive Curriculum for Your Students?

Continuous advances in the automobile industry require students to have the latest information to enter the field. But with an updated curriculum that meets your standards, you can teach your students the skills they need for success.

Depending on the specific automotive skills you need to teach, along with whether you prefer a traditional textbook or a digital learning option, any one of the curriculum resources in this post could be just what your CTE program needs.

However, the best way to know if a curriculum suits your students is to try it out yourself! If you are looking for a comprehensive solution for your automotive program, sign up for a free trial of the iCEV automotive curriculum. You'll receive access to the entire iCEV curriculum so you can decide if it's right for your classroom:


Start Your Trial