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Student in automotive program wears work glasses and works on vehicle with tool.

Automotive Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about our program? The following is a list of the most common questions we receive. If you have additional questions please contact one of our program advisors or visit one of our information sessions.

Pre-Program

Each automotive course is 3 credits and will cost approximately $392 plus a $20 lab fee to attend ($412 per class). Total tuition cost for the mechanics certificate program is approximately $2,884. Total tuition cost for the Associate degree is approximately $7572.
The automotive program has just ONE required textbook, which typically runs $60-$150 depending on where you buy it, and if you buy it new versus used. We DO NOT require any web access add-ons. Textbook only. Students will need clear, non-tinted safety glasses OR side shields for their prescription glasses. Both tend to go for approximately $5-15.
Students may request a prior learning assessment to see if any previous work experience may be substituted for college credit. All requests are processed on a case by case basis. Students who have already obtained ASE or other industry certifications may be able to save both time and money on their journey to completing their educational goals.
While there are no specific prerequisites regarding these particular skills, it should be understood that this is a highly technical field and will require some prior knowledge of language, math, and especially computers (all content is hosted online). Basic communication is necessary for a technician to be able to explain their diagnostic process to a supervisor or customer. Basic math is required when performing measurements and adjustments of various vehicle systems. Computer knowledge is quite possibly the most important for newer technicians, considering there are now more modules in an economy class car than the even the most luxurious motor coaches from just 15-20 years ago. Most students are capable of succeeding in this program so long as they’re willing to reach out for help when needed.

Program Information

Yes, the PCC Automotive Technology program is accredited by ASEEF, the Automotive Service Excellence Education Foundation. Visit ASE Education Foundation to learn more about this organization. ASEEF accreditation means that our automotive students will follow a nationally recognized curriculum, covering eight critical areas aligned with the industry-recognized ASE certifications. The program is evaluated every five years by ASEEF, most recently in 2020.

Flexibility

The greatest strength of the PCC Automotive program is flexibility. All automotive courses are self-paced and utilize a hybrid of web-based instruction and hands-on training. We operate 14 shifts throughout the week, offering all 15 automotive courses during each shift. Students work with lab staff to create a class schedule that works around their existing obligations. Attendance is evaluated on a weekly basis, meaning that if a student cannot attend their regularly schedule class time, they are allowed to attend any of the other available shifts to fulfill their attendance requirement.

Factory and Aftermarket Support

PCC is partnered with Subaru and Stellantis (MOPAR/Chrysler) to provide additional training opportunities to all PCC automotive students. Our partners have supplied curriculum, vehicles and equipment for student training. We also offer Snap-On (NC3) industry recognized training and certification.

ASE Certified Professors

All Automotive Faculty are ASE Master level Certified, with staff and Adjunct professors holding ASE certifications as well as a variety of factory certifications from Ford, Chrysler, Subaru, Hyundai, and more.

Low Cost

Our program strives to remove as many barriers for our students as possible. We only require a single textbook for all 15 classes, all additional learning materials are provided to the student. We curate and provide all necessary tools for the hands-on training portion of our classes.

State-of-the-art tools and vehicles

PCC Automotive students are trained using state of the art tools and vehicles. Through the use of automated tool control systems, students are able to get hands-on with some of the most cutting-edge diagnostic equipment available. Most of the vehicles used for hands-on training are from 2018 or later with new vehicles being deployed on a regular basis.

The AAS can offer a significant advantage to being hired over simply a certificate. Not only does the AAS reflect mastery of additional automotive knowledge, but also soft skills that are extremely desirable to employers. The attainment of an AAS lets an employer know your value as a technician who can not only fix cars but explain and effectively communicate with coworkers and customers.
The general automotive program has no additional application, though future programs may require special consideration.
The time for completion will depend on the student and the course load that suits them. Assuming full-time enrollment (12 credit hours per semester) the certificate can be completed in under a year and the degree in approximately 2 years. Suggested semester pathways for the AAS degree and Automotive Mechanics Certificate can be found online.

Instructional Information

Most of our automotive classes have no prerequisites, though there may be some suggestions for specific courses. In general, we recommend starting with the certificate level courses as they can be applied toward the certificate as well as the AAS.
The Automotive program hours of operation can be seen here. All courses are available to students during any of the 14 shifts that we are open during the day. Students attend once per week for each class they are enrolled in.
The Automotive Technology and Innovation Center at the downtown campus is a state-of-the-art, 45,000 square foot, air conditioned training facility that houses 20 vehicle lifts of varying design, 30+ vehicles, over 30 additional workstations, and access to some of the latest and greatest electronic and diagnostic equipment. Students are issued iPad pros while in the lab, to view instructional content while working on actual cars and components, and to access ProDemand – the most up to date online workshop manuals this side of a dealership. In addition to the lab space, there are two high-tech classrooms with video streaming capabilities, two traditional smart classrooms, on-site faculty offices and a quiet 2nd floor sitting area that overlooks the lab.
The majority of course content is delivered through pre-recorded activities, produced in house by PCC automotive staff and faculty members. While the videos are available through the D2L online system, there is also a hands-on component to most activities that must be completed in the lab and evaluated by automotive staff. While in the lab, students will also have access to 4 or more qualified instructors who can help clarify or break down concepts in a one-on-one instructional setting. Furthermore, tutoring is available throughout the week to assist with homework and written assignments.
One of our main goals is to enforce individual accountability and personal responsibility. As such, our students operate independently and mostly autonomously when in the lab, under staff supervision. Certain activities are design to be performed with a partner in order to reinforce teamwork and professional cooperation.
This is one of the biggest draws of our program versus some other colleges. Our program is nearly 100% hands-on. There may be a learning station or two that focus primarily on theory of operation for a certain system, but we always try to incorporate a hands-on activity into those types of learning modules. Additionally, due to our focus on independence and autonomy, every student is given the opportunity to perform every task in every course they take. From something as airing up a set of tires, to fully removing and reinstalling an engine or transmission, you will have an opportunity to get “hands-on” with just about every part of a car.

Other Helpful Questions

Absolutely! The automotive program has no entry requirements other than registering for class and paying your tuition. We strive to cater to interested students of all types, whether a veteran technician looking to upskill or fresh out of high school and looking for direction and anyone in between.
Employers are always contacting us with positions that need to be filled and they’re always looking for self-motivated students who show strong work ethic. We work with the PCC Employer Engagement and Career Services to provide connections to local industry.

ASE Certifications

Most of our courses are designed to align with the ASE A-series (A1-A9) of technician certifications. Upon completion of the related course, students should be capable of passing the designated ASE certification exam and achieve full certification once the work requirements are met. Our courses will prepare students to take ASE certification exams, not provide ASE certification (No program can give the ASE certification, as testing is always done through a third party).

Snap-On (NC3) Certifications

PCC has integrated several industry recognized NC3 certifications into our courses. Unlike the ASE certifications, PCC is able to fully certify students on certain tools and topics within the NC3 curriculum.

Do these certifications cost extra?

Yes and no. While the NC3 certifications are fully included with their respective courses, ASE certification requires a 3rd party (ASE) registration and testing process. The specific costs associated with ASE certifications can be found on their website.

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