From electronically controlled torque vectoring differentials to onboard diagnostics, automobile technology has come a long way. And the level of training to diagnose and repair modern vehicles has followed suit.
“It’s a growing technology,” said Mike Albamonte, department chair and instructor at McHenry County College’s Automotive Technology department. “They’re no longer mechanics, they’re Technicians with a capital T.
“And there’s a huge demand for auto techs,” Albamonte added. “Local businesses have literally put money on the table to pay for books and tuition. Last year we had 15 scholarship winners and this year we’re giving away over $8,000 in scholarships.” Also worth noting: 100 percent of MCC’s Auto Tech grads get jobs in the field.
MCC offers a stackable Automotive Maintenance and Advanced Technician Certificates that prepare students for a job in the industry right away. Students can then apply their certificates toward an Automotive Technology AAS degree. Since they are accredited degrees, they can then apply to a four-year degree.
“Our programs are different than ‘big box schools,’” Albamonte added. “We’re certified by ASE Education Foundation, formerly known as NATEF. This organization oversees and certifies quality automotive training programs. They watch to make sure we have the proper facility, tools, safety equipment, curriculum, and instructor credentials to ensure students have an excellent foundation to become our future technicians.”
MCC’s program was ranked one of the top 20 automotive training programs in the nation by Tomorrow’s Technician Magazine in 2015. Albamonte said all automotive classes top out at 16 students and are taught by ASE Master Certified Technicians. “They’re master certified and then some. Some of our teachers have been here 21 years.”
MCC’s Automotive Technology degrees can be applied to much more than the auto industry, Albamonte said. “The skills taught here prepare students for employment in a wide range of technical fields such as transportation refrigeration, construction equipment maintenance, automotive management, and teaching automotive technology.”
For more information visit: http://www.mchenry.edu/automotive.