auto tech snowbird main art


button apply curved 

button curved new meet with advisor button

Automotive Technology

The work of automotive service technicians and mechanics has evolved from mechanical repair to a high technology job. As a result, these workers are now usually called “technicians” in automotive services and the term “mechanic” is falling into disuse.

Today, integrated electronic systems and complex computers run vehicles and measure their performance while on the road. Technicians must have an increasingly broad base of knowledge about how vehicles’ complex components work and interact, as well as the ability to work with electronic diagnostic equipment and computer-based technical reference materials. Automotive service technicians use their high-tech skills to inspect, maintain, and repair automobiles and light trucks that run on gasoline, ethanol and other alternative fuels, such as electricity. The increasing sophistication of automotive technology now requires workers who can use computerized shop equipment and work with electronic components while maintaining their skills with traditional hand tools. Computers also have become commonplace in modern repair shops. Service technicians use readouts from computerized diagnostic testing devices. A shop’s computerized system provides automatic updates to technical manuals and unlimited access to manufacturers’ service information, technical service bulletins, and other databases that allow technicians to keep current on problem spots and to learn new procedures.

Degrees & Certificates in Automotive Technology



Associate in Applied Science Degree

A two-year program that leads to an Associate in Applied Science Degree, this curriculum is based on Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) standards designed to prepare the student for certification in the automotive industry. The Automotive Technology program qualifies for Master Certification from the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence. The program also is accredited by NATEF. Upon completion, the student has the option to capstone into a participating four-year institution.

► Total = 69 Hours

First Semester (16 Cr. Hrs.)

  • AUTO 1202 Engine Repair (5)
  • AUTO 1231 Intro to Automotive Technology (2)
  • AUTO 1232 Electrical Systems A (3)
  • ENGL 1101 Rhetoric and Composition I 1 (3)
  • Elective – General Education (3)

Second Semester (18 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (20 Cr. Hrs.)

Fourth Semester (15 Cr. Hrs.)

  • AUTO 1210 Supervised Occupational Experience (2)
  • AUTO 2214 Automatic Trans / Transaxle (5)
  • AUTO 2215 Manual Drive Train and Axles (5)
  • AUTO 2250 Automotive Computer Electronics (3)

1 Prerequisite course(s) may be required based test scores.

2 Consult advisor for choices to consider for transfer and other options.


Occupational Certificate

Gainful Employment Information

► Total = 50 Hours

First Semester (10 Cr. Hrs.)

Second Semester (12 Cr. Hrs.)

Third Semester (15 Cr. Hrs.)

Fourth Semester (13 Cr. Hrs.)


Spring Semester (10 Cr. Hrs.)


Fall Semester (6 Cr. Hrs.)


► Total = 6 Cr. Hrs.

Fall Semester (2 Cr. Hrs.)

  • AUTO 1231 Intro to Automotive Technology (2)

Spring Semester (4 Cr. Hrs.)


Fall Semester (6 Cr. Hrs.)


Fall Semester (2 Cr. Hrs.)

  • AUTO 1231 Intro to Automotive Technology (2)

Spring Semester (3 Cr. Hrs.)


Fall Semester (7 Cr. Hrs.)

FORD MLR — Certificate

Gainful Employment Information

► Total = 18 Hours

First Semester (11 Cr. Hrs.)

Second Semester (7 Cr. Hrs.)


Program Outcomes


1. Perform diagnosis, testing, and repair of the eight ASE certification areas in Automotive/Light Truck to industry standards. 
2. Employ the skills and knowledge necessary to certify in the eight ASE areas.
3. Demonstrate workplace skills necessary in the automotive industry which include: effective oral and written communication, problem-solving, application of information, critical thinking, decision making, teamwork, and the appropriate use of technology.
4. Demonstrate work ethics and behavior necessary in the automotive industry.

NATEF certification 2 icon

The Automotive Technology Program at Rend Lake College is certified by The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF). Since 1983, NATEF has accredited qualified automotive service programs in schools across the country, ensuring automotive service training programs are truly aligned to meet today’s “real world” needs. 





  • Alumni Spotlight: Garrett Howell finds success at Cummins, Inc.

    INA, Ill. (Oct. 28, 2020) — Garrett Howell did not want to settle. After nine years of service in the U.S. Army, the Centralia native was back in civilian life and looking for work. But options were slim. “I was running into a lot of issues where (employers) wanted to pay very little or they wanted someone with a degree,” Howell said. Howell Howell had plenty of experience as a mechanic,...
  • RLC earns national recognition for its trade programs

    INA, Ill. (Oct. 5, 2020) — Rend Lake College’s trade programs rate among the best in the nation, according to a recent ranking from education website recently published its list of the 50 Best Trade Schools Programs for the 2020-21 school year and RLC landed in the No. 18 spot. The website’s editorial team considered hundreds of universities across the country and selected...
  • Apprenticeship programs showcased at RLC

    INA, Ill. (Feb. 26, 2020) — Students and businesses from around the region got a firsthand look at how apprenticeships benefit the local workforce Wednesday at Rend Lake College. RLC hosted Apprenticeship Works! — a program that showcased how local businesses have worked with the college to give students on-the-job training that will benefit them during their future careers. Current students...

Faculty & Staff

Dean of Applied Science & Technology
Phone Extension: 1292
Building: Advanced Technology Division
Office: 138
M.S. & B.S., Southern Illinois University
Automotive Professor | Applied Science Division
Phone Extension: 1784
Building: North Oasis
Office: 108
B.S. & A.A.S., Southern Illinois University Carbondale | A.S.E. Certified Master Automobile Technician
Auto Tech Professor | Applied Science Division
Phone Extension: 1806
Building: North Oasis
Office: 111
 M.S.Ed. & B.S., Southern Illinois Univ. Carbondale | A.A.S., Rend Lake College | A.S.E. Certified Master Automobile Technician
Administrative Assistant | Applied Science & Technology Division
Phone Extension: 1261
Building: Advanced Technology Center
Office: 139
A.A. & A.S., Rend Lake College | A.S., John A. Logan College

Applied Science & Technology Division
Phone: (618) 437-5321 Ext. 1261
Email: [email protected]
Address: 468 N. Ken Gray Parkway, Ina, IL 62846 Attn: Applied Science
Fax Number: (618) 437-5677 Attn: Applied Science



Getting Started Is Easy As 1 - 2- 3!



Connect with us!
Visit our Welcome Center
Located just inside the main door of the Baker Administration Building
[email protected] • 618.437.5321, Ext. 1343

College office hours
Monday - Thursday: 8 AM – 4:30 PM • Friday 8 AM – 4 PM 
Monday – Thursday: 8 AM – 4 PM During Summer

Giving Now is More important than ever.

1098T online promo sq