America runs on four wheels, and it’s speeding up. Self-driving cars, electrics, hybrids, and new innovations every year means that now is a fantastic time to become a qualified Automotive Technician. Every day “under the hood” will bring you a new surprise or challenge, so it’s no wonder US News & World Report ranked Automotive Technicians as one of the “100 Best Jobs in America.”

Our program was designed in partnership with local industry to teach you the exact skills you need to get a great job. We’ll even help you find that job. Our hands-on full-time program is geared toward turning you into an Automotive Technician employers are eager to hire.

For more information contact, Inieka Stafford : 908-526-1200 x8519 or Inieka.Stafford@raritanval.edu

Automotive Technology Manufacturer Programs:
 
       Career Automotive Program Local       Subaru University logo

RVCC's Automotive Partners in Education:
  Subaru      FCA Education Partner         NC3 Coalitions of Certification Centers          Toyotal Logo    Ford Logo

The Automotive Technology program is a hands-on, competency-based program to provide you with the knowledge and skills that employers expect. RVCC is committed to match your job placement needs at the end of the training program for you to be successful in the automotive industry while fulfilling your passion. The program mirrors a real-world workplace so you can learn in an actual shop environment. All program standards have been set to match the performance expectations of current automotive technicians working in this field. Students have the opportunity to develop diagnostic and mechanical competency in the automotive field. The program supports the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified Automobile Technician Training Program standards. Graduates of the Automotive Technology program will be prepared to complete ASE exams and can substitute their training for one year of the two years of work experience required to become ASE Certified.

Pursue one of these two Automotive Career Paths at RVCC:

  • 1-year Certificate Track (35-36 credits) – Prepare for an entry-level technician position. All classes college credit worthy.
  • 2-year AAS Degree Track (60 credits) – Prepare for any higher level Automotive Technician position. If you choose to pursue further education in this field, all credits in this program are fully transferable towards a B.S. in Automotive Technology Management at the Pennsylvania College of Technology (the transfer agreement hasn’t been finalized yet).

RVCC has partnered with manufacturers to bring a higher level of industry certifications to the Automotive Technology program.

  • Mopar CAP Local specialized certification track to become a Chrysler Certified Technician at the second level of technician training status.
  • Subaru University specialized certification track to become a Subaru Certified Technician at the second level of technician training status.
  • Ford ACE specialized certification track to become a Ford Certified Technician.
  • Toyota specialized certification track to become a Toyota Certified Technician.

Once you are trained, we’ll help you find the job that works for you. The program is eligible for federal and state student financial aid.

The Certificate in Automotive Technology prepares students for entry into the automotive service field as technicians.  Graduates are qualified for various technical level positions in manufacturing or developmental laboratories, diagnostic centers, specialized repair shops and sales. Graduates are also prepared for self-employment. This certificate is designed for students to complete in one year, if they begin in the fall semester.

Instruction in the program includes fuel systems, electrical systems, analysis of engines, suspension systems and wheel alignment.  Students have the opportunity to develop diagnostic and mechanical competency in the automotive field. Courses in this certificate prepare students to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification test.

Graduates are able to:

  • demonstrate the skills necessary to diagnose and repair various automotive systems
  • demonstrate the usage of various pieces of service and repair equipment being utilized in the automotive service field
  • demonstrate an understanding of the different systems being used in the modern automobile
  • locate service repair information, using both print and PC-based technical service information, as required in the modern automotive repair shop/dealer


Curriculum - Certificate Program

First Semester

AUTC 101
Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s):  A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 is required to continue in the Automotive program. Placement into MATH 020 Elementary Algebra and ENGL 060 Introduction to College Reading and Composition II.

This course will provide an overview of basic theory and functions of all automotive systems.  This course will also introduce students to automotive industry standard practices including shop safety, use of chemicals, documenting repair estimates and work orders, identifying careers in the auto industry, and learning employability skills. Upon completion of this course, the student will be familiar with the tools, service procedures, and safety customary to the automotive field. This course will prepare students for OSHA 10 hour certifications in general industry safety.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy using different types of lifting equipment, perform basic maintenance of the shop, and learn how to use a variety of hand tools, power tools, and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 109
Automotive Brake Systems 5 Credits

Corequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course provides an overview of the brake system. Training will cover the brake system fundamentals, principles, and complete brake servicing to the mechanical and hydraulic braking system. Inspection diagnosis, adjustment, and repair of drum, disc, hydraulics, and anti-lock brake systems will be performed. This course will also cover the theory involved in advanced suspension and steering diagnosis and Anti-Lock Brake systems. These two systems work in conjunction with each other for advanced safety systems including traction control and anti-roll stability controls. Practice is provided in diagnosing and servicing the automotive brakes systems.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform diagnosis, maintenance, and repair  of braking systems and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and diagnostic tools and processes. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 104
Automotive Electrical Systems I 3 Credits

Corequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

Principles of electricity, circuitry and service are included in this course.  It will cover batteries, starting and charging systems, lighting and accessory systems as well as laws relating to power and consumption of electricity including Kirchhoff’s Law, Ohm’s Law, and Watt’s Law.  Skills in trouble-shooting the automotive electrical system will be developed with the use of modern testing and service equipment.
 
In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 201
Engine Systems & Emission Control I 3 Credits

Corequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course will include a study of theories and practice of various automotive engine systems with respect to theory and operation of the internal combustible engine, the OTTO cycle, lubricating system, and coolant system.  Training is provided in diagnosing, repairing, and theory of the following subsystems: cylinder block, cylinder heads, and intake and exhaust systems with emphasis on emission control systems.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

ENGL 111
English Composition I 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Grade of A in ENGL 050 Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or ENGL 060 Introduction to College Reading and Composition II, grade of B in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060 with corequisite of ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop, or appropriate score on placement test.

English Composition I is the first in a two-course composition sequence. The central purposes of English Composition I are to develop critical reading and thinking skills and to write thesis-driven, text-based essays. The course takes a process-oriented approach to writing that incorporates prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and revising. Students in English Composition I learn basic research skills and apply them to at least one text-based research essay.

Second Semester

AUTC 202
Engine Performance & Diagnosis I 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety, AUTC 201 Engine Systems & Emission Control, AUTC 104 Automotive Electrical Systems.

This course will include a study of theories and practice of various automotive engine control systems. The course will build diagnostic skills related to troubleshooting engine computer systems. The use of up-to-date testing equipment, including the scan tool and lab scope are used in checking the electrical, ignition, emissions system, and general engine conditions.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 205
Automotive Cooling & Climate Control Systems 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course includes a study of cooling, heating, defrosting and air conditioning systems. Maintenance, diagnosis and repair of the systems are covered using lecture and lab experiences. Electrical and/or vacuum circuits and controls are emphasized.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of diagnostic and appropriate tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 210
Suspension and Steering Systems 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety, and a grade of C or better in AUTC 109 Brake Systems.

This course will cover the theory involved in front and rear suspension, steering geometric angles, weight distribution, wheel balancing, alignment, advanced steering & suspension systems, tire wear, & stability control systems. The alignment angles and procedures will prepare students to diagnose tire wear and road tracking issues in order to complete necessary alignment adjustments to vehicles. Practice is provided in diagnosing and servicing the steering & suspension systems of an automobile as well as performing the alignment adjustments to correct the tire wear and pull of an automobile.

In the lab, students will perform basic maintenance of steering & suspension systems, diagnostic strategies of steering angles and alignments, and learn how to use a variety of diagnostic tools, hand tools, and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 116
Automatic and Manual Transmissions 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course will cover the theoretical understanding of principles, maintenance, and adjustments required for today’s automatic and manual transmissions and their components. This includes torque converters, clutches, transaxles, drive shafts, final drives, and all-wheel drive units. Students will experience the installation and adjustment of clutches, manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, universal joints, axles, drive shafts, and other drive train components. Diagnosis and service of transmissions and drive train components are included.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, clutches, torque converters, axles, and drive train components. Students will also learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes. Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

General Education
General Education 3 Credits

Select fro the appropriate category of the General Education list. Recommended to select any of the following:

  • ENVI 103 - Energy and the Enviroment - 3 Credits
  • PHYS 112 - Concepts of Physics - 4 Credits
  • SCIE 101 - The Nature of Science - 3 Credits

Total Credits 35-36

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Automotive Technology prepares students for entry into the automotive service field as technicians or managers. Graduates are typically qualified for entry-level positions at new-car dealerships, independent repair shops, or franchise service centers. Graduates are also prepared for self-employment.

Instruction in the program includes engines, fuel and ignition systems, electronics, brakes, transmissions, steering, and suspensions systems. Training is conducted by a combination of class lecture and practical shop work, so that students can develop diagnostic and mechanical competencies. Courses in this degree prepare students to take the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification tests.

Students who have completed the Automotive Technology courses as part of the Certificate in Automotive Technology Program have the option to transfer credits from completed classes into the AAS degree program.

Graduates are able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the theory behind the basic functions of a modern automobile
  • demonstrate the skills necessary to diagnose and repair various automotive systems
  • demonstrate an understanding of the necessary safety precautions required in a service repair shop
  • demonstrate a working knowledge of automotive repair hand and power tools, test equipment, and shop supplies
  • locate service repair information, using both printed and PC-based technical service information, as required in a modern repair shop
  • devise solutions to first-level management situations


Curriculum – A.A.S. Degree Automotive Technology

First Semester

AUTC 101
Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s):  A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 is required to continue in the Automotive program. Placement into MATH 020 Elementary Algebra and ENGL 060 Introduction to College Reading and Composition II.

This course will provide an overview of basic theory and functions of all automotive systems.  This course will also introduce students to automotive industry standard practices including shop safety, use of chemicals, documenting repair estimates and work orders, identifying careers in the auto industry, and learning employability skills. Upon completion of this course, the student will be familiar with the tools, service procedures, and safety customary to the automotive field. This course will prepare students for OSHA 10 hour certifications in general industry safety.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy using different types of lifting equipment, perform basic maintenance of the shop, and learn how to use a variety of hand tools, power tools, and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 109
Automotive Brake Systems 5 Credits

Corequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course provides an overview of the brake system. Training will cover the brake system fundamentals, principles, and complete brake servicing to the mechanical and hydraulic braking system. Inspection diagnosis, adjustment, and repair of drum, disc, hydraulics, and anti-lock brake systems will be performed. This course will also cover the theory involved in advanced suspension and steering diagnosis and Anti-Lock Brake systems. These two systems work in conjunction with each other for advanced safety systems including traction control and anti-roll stability controls. Practice is provided in diagnosing and servicing the automotive brakes systems. 

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform diagnosis, maintenance, and repair  of braking systems and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and diagnostic tools and processes. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 104
Automotive Electrical Systems I 3 Credits

Corequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

Principles of electricity, circuitry and service are included in this course.  It will cover batteries, starting and charging systems, lighting and accessory systems as well as laws relating to power and consumption of electricity including Kirchhoff’s Law, Ohm’s Law, and Watt’s Law.  Skills in trouble-shooting the automotive electrical system will be developed with the use of modern testing and service equipment.
 
In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 201
Engine Systems & Emission Control I 3 Credits

Corequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course will include a study of theories and practice of various automotive engine systems with respect to theory and operation of the internal combustible engine, the OTTO cycle, lubricating system, and coolant system.  Training is provided in diagnosing, repairing, and theory of the following subsystems: cylinder block, cylinder heads, and intake and exhaust systems with emphasis on emission control systems.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

ENGL 111
English Composition I 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): Grade of A in ENGL 050 Introduction to College Reading and Composition I or ENGL 060 Introduction to College Reading and Composition II, grade of B in ENGL 050 or ENGL 060 with corequisite of ENGL 070 English Composition I Workshop, or appropriate score on placement test.

English Composition I is the first in a two-course composition sequence. The central purposes of English Composition I are to develop critical reading and thinking skills and to write thesis-driven, text-based essays. The course takes a process-oriented approach to writing that incorporates prewriting, drafting, reviewing, and revising. Students in English Composition I learn basic research skills and apply them to at least one text-based research essay.

Second Semester

AUTC 202
Engine Performance & Diagnosis I 2 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety, AUTC 201 Engine Systems & Emission Control, AUTC 104 Automotive Electrical Systems.

This course will include a study of theories and practice of various automotive engine control systems. The course will build diagnostic skills related to troubleshooting engine computer systems. The use of up-to-date testing equipment, including the scan tool and lab scope are used in checking the electrical, ignition, emissions system, and general engine conditions.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 205
Automotive Cooling & Climate Control Systems 4 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety.

This course includes a study of cooling, heating, defrosting and air conditioning systems. Maintenance, diagnosis and repair of the systems are covered using lecture and lab experiences. Electrical and/or vacuum circuits and controls are emphasized.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of diagnostic and appropriate tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 210
Suspension and Steering Systems 5 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety, and a grade of C or better in AUTC 109 Brake Systems.

This course will cover the theory involved in front and rear suspension, steering geometric angles, weight distribution, wheel balancing, alignment, advanced steering & suspension systems, tire wear, & stability control systems. The alignment angles and procedures will prepare students to diagnose tire wear and road tracking issues in order to complete necessary alignment adjustments to vehicles. Practice is provided in diagnosing and servicing the steering & suspension systems of an automobile as well as performing the alignment adjustments to correct the tire wear and pull of an automobile.

In the lab, students will perform basic maintenance of steering & suspension systems, diagnostic strategies of steering angles and alignments, and learn how to use a variety of diagnostic tools, hand tools, and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 116
Automatic and Manual Transmissions 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety. 

This course will cover the theoretical understanding of principles, maintenance, and adjustments required for today’s automatic and manual transmissions and their components. This includes torque converters, clutches, transaxles, drive shafts, final drives, and all-wheel drive units. Students will experience the installation and adjustment of clutches, manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, universal joints, axles, drive shafts, and other drive train components. Diagnosis and service of transmissions and drive train components are included.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of manual transmissions, automatic transmissions, clutches, torque converters, axles, and drive train components. Students will also learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes. Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

General Education
General Education 3 Credits

Select fro the appropriate category of the General Education list.

Third Semester

AUTC 204
Automotive Electrical Systems II 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in AUTC 104 Automotive Electrical Systems I .

Advanced theory of electrical circuitry, magnetism, induction, and computer control circuits and functionality are included in this course.  The course will cover advanced starting and charging strategies controlled by the engine control module, advanced lighting and accessory systems as well as improving skills in laws relating to power and consumption of electricity.  Skills in trouble-shooting the automotive electrical system will be further developed with the use of advanced testing equipment.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform advanced diagnostic strategies and learn how to use a variety of diagnostic tools and electronic equipment. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 208
Engine Performance & Diagnosis II 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or higher in AUTC 202 Engine Performance and Diagnosis I .

This course includes a study of theories and practice of various automotive engine control systems. The course will improve previously acquired diagnostic skills related to troubleshooting engine computer data and networking systems. The use of up-to-date testing equipment, including the scan tool and lab scope are used in checking the electrical, ignition, emissions system, and CAN Bus network.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and diagnostic tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 221
Engine Systems & Emission Control II 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): A grade of C or better in AUTC 201 Engine Systems & Emission Control I .

This course will build on the theory and practice of advanced operation of the internal combustible engine, the OTTO cycle, lubricating systems, and coolant systems.  Training is provided in diagnosing, repairing, and theory of the following subsystems: cylinder block, cylinder heads, and intake and exhaust systems with emphasis on emission control systems.

In the lab, students will learn a hands-on strategy to perform basic maintenance of engines and learn how to use a variety of hand tools and precision measurement tools. Students will be required to wear clothing appropriate for auto shop safety at all classes.  Safety glasses will also be required at all classes.

AUTC 290
Automotive Cooperative Education I 1 credit

60 worksite hours

Prerequisite(s): Permission of Program Coordinator, and AUTC 101 Automotive Introduction, Fundamentals, and Safety .
This course is designed to give students an opportunity to gain practical experience in the field working with successful Automotive shops in the community. Specific, personalized goals, and objectives are created by the student which are approved and monitored by the program coordinator and their worksite liaison. Students train and work in real life situations to achieve these goals and are afforded an opportunity to hone skills acquired in the classroom.

Fourth Semester

COMM 110
Interpersonal Communication 3 Credits

This course is a survey of concepts, principles, theories, and practices of Interpersonal Communication. Students will participate in small-group and large-group experimental learning simulations that reinforce theory and practice of effective Interpersonal Communication. Emphasis is on self-awareness as the key to awareness of others. Topics covered include listening, self-esteem, self-disclosure, interpersonal dynamics, and assertiveness training. Students who complete this course will become more effective and confident in their relationships with family, friends, colleagues, significant others, and strangers.

COMM 115
Organizational & Technical Communication 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): ENGL 111 English Composition I .

Organizational and Technical Communication is an introduction to writing and oral communication in business, professional, and technical settings. Students will produce and analyze common communication genres including written emails, letters, resumes, memos, proposals, reports, technical definitions, and technical manuals, and, oral phone calls, meetings, and presentations.

Math 106
Technical Math 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra , MATH 020W Elementary Algebra with Workshop or appropriate score on placement test.

This course serves as General Education Mathematics course for A.A.S. degrees only.  Intended for students in technology programs who have elementary algebra proficiency and need to apply mathematical concepts in a technical program. Topics including ratios and proportions, metric measures, geometry, practical algebra, and elementary trigonometry are covered with emphasis upon their application to technology.

OR

MATH 101 - Number systems...........................................................................................................................................3 credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 - Elementary Algebra or MATH 020W Elementary Algebra with Workshop  or satisfactory score on placement test.

A survey course designed to serve the needs of liberal arts majors.  Topics include systems of enumeration, sets and set operations , logic, problem solving strategies, modular arithmetic, Euclidean geometry, and number theory.  MATH 101 will not satisfy mathematics requirements for students in science, mathematics, and Business Administration AS programs.

ENVI 103
Energy and the Environment 3 Credits

Prerequisite(s): MATH 020 Elementary Algebra or satisfactory score on the placement test.

This course provides a broad introduction to energy and energy issues as they relate to generation options, utilization and environmental impacts. Topics include overviews of traditional carbon based energy sources, nuclear options and alternative energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels and hydrogen. The crucial link between energy and climate change will be examined. The environmental consequences of energy choices on local and global scales will be discussed and integrated throughout the course. Topics will be evaluated by applying basic scientific principles and the scientific method to real world problems. Policy options and understanding energy in a societal context will also be explored.

Science
Science 3 Credits

Select from the appropriate category of the General Education List. 

Social Science or Humanities
Social Science or Humanities 3 Credits

Select from the appropriate cataegory of the General Education List.  Suggested courses are PHIL 113 - Critical Thinking or PHIL 114 - Ethics.  Students wishing to transfer to Penn College of Technology should consider taking ECON 101 - Macroeconomics.

TOTAL Credits 60