Automotive Technology

Contact Us
Tony Gumushian, Assistant Professor /Coordinator, Automotive Technology
Office: 2187
Phone: (708) 709-3614
Email:tgumushian@prairiestate.edu

A career in Automotive Technology offers students an opportunity to learn high-tech skills using computerized diagnostic tools and engine analyzers to service today’s complicated vehicles.

Students can choose to pursue certification for employment in automotive servicing and repair, engine testing, automotive parts, automotive field service, and shop management. Another option is for students to use their training at Prairie State College toward two years of automotive apprenticeship or transfer to a four-year automotive power technology program.

Prairie State College’s Automotive Technology Program offers students the necessary technology and skills to succeed in this exciting industry with an excellent career outlook. This program is National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) / Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified. National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) Certified

National Automotive Technical Education Foundation (NATEF)
101 Blue Seal Dr., S.E., Suite 101 Leesburg, VA 20175
Phone: (703) 669-6650

Illinois College Automotive Instructors Association Conference (ICAIA) The Illinois College Automotive Instructors Association (ICAIA) is dedicated to providing comprehensive automotive technology education and training for its membership on a semi-annual basis.

Its members consist of high school, community college, and university automotive technology instructors, individuals whose livelihood is directly related to the automotive industry, and students who are pursuing a career in automotive service and repair.

Chi-Town Tear Down Pit Crew Competition
Prairie State College has been a participant in the Chi-Town Tear Down Pit Crew Competition. The competition brings together students from across region to compete in two categories: the high school pit crew and the college/tech school. The event is held annually at the World of Wheels Custom Car Show. Each team consists of four participants and an alternate representing their school. Each high school and college team disassembled and rebuilt a V-6 dual overhead-cam Ford engine. All the teams were timed and also graded on the overall accuracy of the rebuild.

Degrees and Certificates
View the curriculum for each program in the current Academic Catalog. You can also access the entire catalog online. An archive of previous catalogs and addenda is also available.

Please visit Career Programs and Transfer Degrees, where you will find information describing the requirements needed to complete a degree or certificate.

Courses
A listing of course descriptions is available in the current Academic Catalog. For a listing of when courses are offered, consult the current course schedule or WebAdvisor.

Automotive Alignment Specialist Certificate
This short term program trains students to function as front end mechanics. Students learn to align and balance wheels, as well as repair steering mechanisms and suspension systems.

Learning Objectives:

  1. The necessary skills to perform auto repair tasks as front end mechanics
  2. The purpose and types of wheel bearings, tire and wheel alignment, balancing and design
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Brake Specialist Certificate
Students in this program are trained to work on drum and disk braking systems, parking brakes, and their hydraulic systems. Students learn to inspect, adjust, remove, repair, and reinstall brake shoes, disk pads, drums, rotors, wheels and master cylinders, and hydraulic fluid lines.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. The operation of the basic components of automotive care and maintenance of brake systems
  2. Specialized training in basic automotive electrical systems and testing
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Drivability Specialist Certificate
This short-term program trains students to diagnose drivability problems. Students learn the basics of the engine, engine performance, and how the electronics work, as well as the computer system functions of the vehicle. Students are taught to adjust the ignition timing and valves, and adjust or replace spark plugs or other parts to ensure efficient engine performance. Electronic test equipment is used to adjust and locate malfunctions in fuel, ignition, and emissions control systems.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. The components of automotive engines and engine performance
  2. The basic operating principles of automotive electronics and electricity
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Engines Specialist Certificate
This short-term program trains the student to function as an engine mechanic. Students learn to overhaul engines, as well as service the electrical needs of the engine.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. The necessary skills to perform auto repair tasks as engine mechanics
  2. Overhauling engines and the electrical needs of the engine
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Heating/AC Specialist Certificate
This short-term program prepares technicians to install and repair air-conditioners as well as service components such as compressors and condensers.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. How to install, service and repair heating, defrosting and air conditioning systems in automobiles
  2. The basic operating principles of automotive electronics and electricity
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Parts Specialist Certificate
This short-term program trains the student for positions in parts management. Students learn the parts management system as well as basic business management techniques and introductory computer skills.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. The use of parts equipment and supply catalogs, descriptive nomenclature, stock familiarization, pricing procedures, and inventory control
  2. Basic automotive services and systems
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Services Technology Certificate
This program prepares students for employment in automotive servicing and repair, engine testing, automotive field services, and automotive parts, and shop management.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Best practices in automotive servicing and repair, engine testing, field services, parts and shop management
  2. Engine performance, brakes, suspension, electronics, computer and transmission system operation and diagnosis
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Service Management Technology Certificate
Service management specialists are the link between the customers seeking repair or maintenance for their vehicles and the technicians who perform the work. Students are trained to write repair orders, inspect vehicles to determine work that needs to be done, determine costs of the work, and prepare itemized estimates. In addition, students learn basic computer skills and basic business management skills. After gaining experience in entry-level positions, successful students can go on to management/supervisory levels in auto shops.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Automotive repair shop operations, basic manufacturer and company policies and procedures, and existing labor agreements
  2. Best practices in sales and management relative to the automotive industry
  3. Manager’s role in preventing shop hazards and avoiding personal injury and/or property damage

Automotive Transmission Specialist Certificate
This short-term program trains mechanics to work on gear trains, couplings, hydraulic pumps, and other parts of automotive transmissions. Because these are complex mechanisms and include electronic parts, their repair requires considerable experience and training, including a knowledge of hydraulics.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. The components and functions of manual and automatic transmissions and transaxles
  2. Repair operations, adjustments, and performance testing on automatic transmissions, transmission controls, standard transmissions, overdrives, drive lines, and differentials
  3. Shop hazards and best practices to avoid personal injury or property damage

Automotive Technology AAS:
This program provides the balance of theory and practical knowledge necessary for students preparing for careers in the automotive technology industry. Service technicians are trained to maintain and repair cars, vans, small trucks, and other vehicles. Using both hand tools and specialized diagnostic test equipment, they learn to pinpoint problems and make necessary repairs or adjustments. In addition to performing complex and difficult repairs, technicians handle a number of routine maintenance procedures such as oil changes, tire rotation and battery replacement. Technicians also interact with customers to explain repair procedures and discuss maintenance needs. The Automotive program is currently aligned with the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). This program prepares students to pass all nine Automotive ASE exams.

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this program, students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of:

  1. Understand the eight major systems of Automotive Technology and how they interact
  2. Safely perform the complete list of NATEF tasks included in every class syllabus
  3. Perform general maintenance and light repair tasks within the given flat rate times
  4. Fill out repair orders, including concern, cause, and correction
  5. Recycle fluids and discard parts and waste in accordance with EPA guidelines
  6. Demonstrate proper use of tools and test the equipment to diagnose, repair, and perform maintenance on all vehicle systems