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Skills-Focused

Programs focused on teaching you the skills you need to become eligible to apply for an apprenticeship.

Flexible

Scheduling hassles eliminated by allowing you to avoid offsite travel to local schools or classrooms.

Learn anywhere 24/7

Online, mobile-friendly learning portal provides you with 24/7 access for learning when and where you want.

Academic Support

Comprehensive academic and motivational support provided via phone, email, and chat from Penn Foster to ensure your success.

Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Certificate (STARC)

GM-UAW has partnered with leading online skills training provider Penn Foster to offer the Skilled Trades Apprenticeship Readiness Certificate (STARC) on a self-pay basis. This program will help you build the foundational skills you need to become eligible for GM's apprenticeship program and become a Journeyperson in your trade of choice.

 

Please note: To be eligible for consideration as an apprentice at General Motors, you must complete all steps in the GM Apprenticeship application process and receive a confirmation message to be considered. The STARC certificate is only one step in this application process. Stay tuned to this site for available application dates to complete the process.

Semester 1 Courses

Shop-Arithmetic

STARC 1: Shop Arithmetic

In this course you'll review the basic math functions you'll need on a daily basis for working in an industrial setting. This course will help reinforce concepts of basic algebra, fractions, decimals, percentage, ratio and proportion, and practical measurements like area, volume, temperature, and energy. You'll also learn how to apply these concepts to real-world, trade-related problems like measurements, calculations, and conversions.

Lessons in this program include:

  • Addition & Subtraction
  • Multiplication & Division
  • Practical Shop Math, Part 1
  • Practical Shop Math, Part 2
  • Fractions, Percents, Proportions, and Angles
  • Formulas

STARC 1 Cost: $350

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Macine-Tool-Blueprint

STARC 2: Machine Tool Blueprint Reading

This course will provide an introduction to blueprint reading and interpretation of various kinds of lines, position of views, symbols, conventions, dimensioning practices, and sectioning auxiliary views and symmetry.

Lessons in this program include:

  • Introduction to Print Reading
  • Reading Shop Prints, Part 1
  • Print Reading, Symbols, and Abbreviations
  • Dimensioning and Tolerancing

STARC 2 Cost: $350

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Semester 1 Tuition: $700

Semester 2 Courses

Trade-Related Preparation

STARC 3: Trade-Related Preparation

This course will provide an overview of industrial processes, including a review of math, blueprint reading, and measuring tools. Preparation for a career in the trades is assessed through an overview of industrial processes. Students will receive diagnostic evaluation through testing in these major areas.

Lessons in this program include:

  • General Math Review
  • Linear Distance and Measurement
  • Precision Measuring Instruments, Part 1
  • Manufacturing Processes, Part 4
  • Energy, Force, and Power

STARC 3 Cost: $375

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Intermediate-Algebra

STARC 4: Intermediate Algebra

In this course, you'll learn about basic algebraic concepts, linear equations and inequalities, relations, functions, systems of linear equations, polynomials, rational expressions and equations, and radical and complex numbers. This course will also help you apply algebraic concepts in real-world problems. By the end of this course, you'll be able to understand mathematical relationships and creatively solve problems by interpreting and representing patterns in numbers by using variables, expressions, and equations.

Lessons in this program include:

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Radicals and complex numbers
  • Graphing linear equations and inequalities
  • And more!

STARC 4 Cost: $375

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Semester 2 Tuition: $750

Important Dates

Open enrollment for all STARC courses is now available!

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I enroll?

Open enrollment for all STARC courses is now available!

How does the payment process work for courses I pay for myself?

You will be asked to enter your credit card information on the enrollment page. The course will need to be paid in full to begin. You are eligible for a refund if you notify Penn Foster directly at GMUAW@pennfoster.edu within 30 days of your enrollment date.

What if I need to drop/cancel the program?

If you need to drop or cancel, you must email GMUAW@pennfoster.edu with your cancellation request within 30 days of the semester or course start date. Please include your student ID in the message, along will the full name that matches your enrollment.

What is the benefit of taking these courses?

Upon successful completion of all four courses in the STARC program, you can apply for entry to the GM-UAW Skilled Trades Apprenticeship program eligibility lists. To be eligible for consideration as an apprentice at General Motors, you must complete all steps in the GM Apprenticeship application process and receive a confirmation message to be considered. The STARC certificate is only one step in this application process. Stay tuned to this site for available application dates to complete the process.

What is included in each course?

Each course contains several modules, with information broken down into smaller, more manageable sections. Students must test at least once on each module exam, as well as the proctored final exam. All tests, including the module exams, will be part of your final grade. And remember, the proctored final exam can be done remotely as well.

Is there a specific time to take exams?

Module Exams can be taken at any time; however, proctored Final Exams will not open for testing until all Module Exams for the course have been taken. Semester 1 allows you 16 weeks to complete all exams and Semester 2 allows you 24 weeks to complete all exams. If you’re enrolled in individual courses, STARC 1 and STARC 2 allow you 8 weeks each to complete, STARC 3 allows 10 weeks, and STARC 4 allows 14 weeks.

How do I take my remote proctored final exam?

You’ll need a webcam, a microphone, and a high-speed internet connection to use Remote Proctor Now (RPNow). As such, it cannot be taken at a library or any public location. Use of any support material is prohibited. If the proctor review determines that support materials were used while taking an exam, a failing grade will be assigned to the test. If you do not pass the proctored exam and wish to continue in the program, you must re-take the course at their expense.

What additional materials am I allowed during proctored exams?

• Blank paper and pens/pencils are allowed.
• Any non-graphing calculator can be used during the exam, excluding calculators on a phone or computer. A basic scientific calculator like the TI 30 series is suggested.
• The help sheet provided at the start of the exam – you may print this out if you wish to have a hard copy.

Are proctored exams open book?

Proctored exams for STARC 1, 2, and 3 are closed book. The proctored exam for STARC 4 is open book.

What is a passing grade to be eligible for apprenticeship?

You must earn at least a 75% average score to be eligible to apply for the apprenticeship program (80% for NAETC, Milford, Pontiac PPO and Warren Tech Center).

How much of my final grade do exams count for?

This chart shows how lesson exams and final exams are weighted in each course:

Course # Lesson Exams Lesson Exam Weight (each) Final Proctored Exam Weight
STARC 1 6 5% 70%
STARC 2 4 5% 80%
STARC 3 5 5% 75%
STARC 4 5 0.2% 99%
 

 

What if I fail an exam — can I retake it?

If you fail an exam, you have the ability to retake it once. In that case, the higher of the two attempts will count towards the final grade. The final remote proctor exam cannot be retaken. Only one attempt is allowed.

Can I request an extension?

You may only request an extension in the following circumstances:

• You have experienced a verifiable technical error within your student account that prevented you from completing your coursework.
• You have a verifiable extreme personal situation that has halted your ability to continue coursework (i.e. extended in-patient hospitalization, death of an immediate family member, loss of home, etc.).

If your request falls into one of these categories, you may submit a request for extension with documented proof of the circumstances to our Support Team GMUAW@pennfoster.edu. If there is no documentation submitted, your request will be denied. Each request will be reviewed on a case by case basis. If your request does not fall into one of the above categories, you may not request an extension.

Will I still be invoiced for the algebra course if I transfer credits?

If you have transfer credits you wish to apply to the algebra course, you will need to submit your transcript for transfer credit within the first 21 days of enrollment in order to avoid an invoice.

What do I get when I complete the program?

When you successfully complete the program you will be emailed your transcript and mailed a Certificate of Completion. You can submit these documents to GM-UAW as part of the apprentice application process.

How do I request an ADA form?

To request an ADA form, please email us at GMUAW@pennfoster.edu and use the subject line "ADA Form Request."

What technology is required to complete the coursework in this program?

You will need a webcam, microphone, and high speed internet connection to complete the remote proctored exams. If your computer does not meet these requirements, you'll want to make arrangements to take the exam at a GM training facility, borrow equipment from a friend, colleague, or family member, or purchase this equipment at your own expense.