Automotive and auto body technology

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Fall 2011

Riverside Community College District

Office of Institutional Effectiveness

November, 2011

Web Resources:

Table of Contents

  1. Mission and Relationship to the College 3

  2. History 4

  3. Data and Environmental Scan 4

  4. Programs and Curriculum 5

  5. Student Outcomes Assessment 7

  6. Collaboration with Other Units 8

  1. Outreach 8

  2. Long Term Major Resource Planning 8

I. Summary 10

  1. Recommendations to the Program Review Committee 10



  1. Mission and Relationship to the College(s)

Riverside City College Mission Statement
Riverside City College provides an affordable, high-quality education, including comprehensive student services and community programs, by empowering and
supporting a diverse community of learners as they work toward individual achievement and life-long learning. To help students achieve their goals, the college offers tutorial and supplemental instruction, pre-college courses, transfer programs, career preparation, and technical programs leading to certificates or associate degrees. Based on a learner centered philosophy, the college fosters critical thinking, develops information and communication skills, expands the breadth and application of knowledge, and promotes community and global awareness.

In adherence to the mission statement of Riverside Community College, the Automotive Technology Program seeks to provide accessible, post-secondary education in the technical areas of automotive repair and auto-body refinishing. This program seeks to provide career preparation and training that will prepare students for the variety of jobs which are available in this industry. Specifically the program seeks to:

  • Provide entry level training for people preparing to enter the automotive industry.

  • Enhance the knowledge base of those technicians already in industry.

  • Provide ASE test preparation instruction for those people wishing to obtain certification

  • Provide manufacture specific training for those students enrolled in a corporate training program.

  • Provide students with updated information of the technological advancements in the automotive industry.

The Automotive Department works in partnership with General Motors*, Ford Motor Company, Toyota Motor Company*, Riverside County ROP, Moreno Valley Unified School District, and National Automotive Technician Education Foundation. (* indicates programs currently in suspension)

  1. History

The automotive program began back in the 1960’s. In the early 1970’s the program was moved off campus to a site near Riverside Plaza to make room for a new welding program at RCC. In 1975 a new automotive building was erected on the Riverside Campus and the Auto Program moved back on campus. In 1977, the second half of the building was completed and an Auto Body Program was started. Toyota was the first corporate sponsored program to begin in 1990. Ford Motor Company joined forces with RCC and started the ASSET Program in 1994. General Motors was the last program to join the department in 2001.

  1. Data Analysis and Environmental Scan

The following information gives the enrollment numbers for the past 5 years for the Automotive Technology Body Repair and Mechanical Repair:






Auto-Body Repair Total Attendance






Auto Mechanical Total Attendance






Automotive Department Total






This data demonstrates the interest for automotive technology is very strong, and due to our efficient time and classroom management, we are capable to accommodate and instruct more than one thousand students per year.

According to the California labor market information web site, automotive technicians are in demand. With a projected growth rate of 5% and a retiring work force over the next ten years, the automotive industry offers incredible career opportunities for a new workforce. It is estimated that almost 400 new jobs will be created between 2011 and 2021. With an average pay rate of $20.66 per hour and topping out at over $100,000 per year, automotive technicians can expect to enjoy a high paying career.
The automotive body industry is going to stay relatively stable over the next ten years, showing a small decrease in new jobs. However, with an aging workforce, the auto body industry also offers incredible opportunities for new highly skilled technicians. The auto body industry has an average pay rate of $19.46 per hour according to California labor market information.
The vehicle technology is changing at an almost unimaginable rate. Coupled with an aging and under qualified workforce, the industry is hiring some students before they even complete the Automotive Programs. Additionally, hybrid and alternative fuel technology for automobiles will most certainly create more jobs and greater demands for technicians with these skills.
With the current demand for automotive classes being so high, the Automotive Program offers classes on a rotational basis to ensure students can complete their education in two years or less. Course offerings are also rotated between day and night classes to address problems associated with students getting jobs before they finish the program. The night program in Automotive Technology has some of the highest enrollment rates of all the General Automotive Programs. Currently, the corporate automotive programs are offered only during the day.
The Automotive Program has grown considerably over the last ten years. Class rotation and classroom utilization has been streamlined to get the most efficient use of classroom and lab space. The industry employs many of our graduates. The Automotive Department plans to expand our certificate offerings by adding additional certificates in General Automotive for Alternative Fuels and Automotive Quick Service.

  1. Programs and Curriculum

When the core program of the Automotive Technology Department is completed it culminates in a certificate in “Automotive Technology”. When a student has successfully completed one of the “Corporate Training Programs”, or has further completed their general education requirements, an Associate in Science Degree in “Automotive Technology” is awarded.

The Automotive Technology Department consists of the following certificate programs:
Automotive Body Repair

Automotive Technology-Electrical

Automotive Technology-Mechanical

Automotive Trim and Upholstery
The Automotive Technology Department consists of the following Associate in Science Degree programs:
Automotive Technology-Ford Specialty

Automotive Technology-General Motors*

Automotive Technology-Toyota T-Ten*

(* indicates programs currently in suspension)

The majority of these classes are offered at least once a year. The introductory classes are the most popular and they are offered more than once a year. The introductory class (AUT-50) serves a double purpose. It can be taken by anybody who wants to acquire basic automotive knowledge and also serves as the building blocks for students desiring to follow the automotive career path.
The Automotive Technology Specialty Programs, such as the Ford, General Motors, and Toyota Programs were implemented at Riverside Community College to facilitate a partnership among the corporations, the school and the students. The corporations provide the college with instructional materials and technical information that is specific for that manufacturer. They also provide the students involved in the program with employment opportunity in one of its dealers. The college provides the facilities and staff to conduct the classes, as well as provide the students with counseling and financial aid. The students in these specialty programs are required to complete all the academic classes necessary to attain an Associate in Science Degree.
As the aging automotive technician population diminishes and the technology of the automobile industry increases with advances in electronics, the demand for proficiently trained automotive technicians is rapidly increasing.
The Automotive Program employs enrollment management techniques to maximize student enrollment. Every class is offered on a two year rotation cycle so that students don’t have to wait too long for needed classes to be offered. Class time offerings are also scrutinized to reflect the needs of the students and industry which employs them. RCC’s Auto Program has a strong night program. The Automotive Program strives to have an average class size of 20-25 students.
The automotive discipline is experiencing incredibly high student demand. Most classes are at cap before the first day of class. However, with the trouble the automotive industry has faced in the last few years, we are currently only running one of the three corporate programs. Even with the recent events, ten year labor projections are positive for automotive and neutral for auto body. The discipline is moving forward developing courses in alternative fuels and expanding offerings outside the corporate umbrella.
Course outlines need to be kept updated to reflect the changes in the industry. Input for course outline revisions are dictated by advisory members, industry employers, and NATEF (National Automotive Technician Education Foundation).

  1. Student Learning Outcomes Assessment

All the student learning outcomes are directly linked to the demands of the automotive industry. The state of California has the most rigorous Air Pollution Management Program in the nation. To be able to pass the state exam for Smog technician, the state demands a series of tests and specialty training, which our Automotive Technology Program is certified to teach. There is a great demand for these classes because of the limited number of learning centers allowed to teach such classes. Our department is equipped with a “five-gas analyzer” smog machine which is dedicated just to serve the purpose of teaching these classes.

The standard by which automotive technicians are measured is the “ASE” (Automotive Service Excellence) Testing. The tests are administrated by a private agency, with testing done twice a year. The ASE organization is only interested in testing, they do not provide training. Consequently, many of our students are driven to take our classes for the sole purpose to pass the ASE test. The ASE tests are divided into nine areas which are directly correlated with specific systems of the automobile. See areas listed below:
A1 -Automotive engine repair

A2 -Automotive automatic transmissions

A3 -Automotive manual transmissions

A4 -Automotive suspension systems

A5 -Automotive brakes

A6 -Automotive electrical

A7 -Automotive air conditioning

A8 -Automotive engine performance

L1 -Advance Engine performance
Our classes are purposely designed to provide the students with logical and systematic studies of specific areas of the automobile. This curriculum pattern is also well suited to address the content information for the ASE test.
Additionally, the Automotive department is in the process of assessing every SLO for all Automotive courses offered. Each semester assessment data is collected and analyzed. Areas that show a need for improvement are identified and plans are put in place for achieving acceptable levels. PLO’s are also being assessed and data collected is being analyzed. The department should have a better idea regarding PLO achievement by the end of the next academic year.

F. Collaboration with other units including Instructional, Student Services or Administrative Units (Internal)
The Automotive Program works in partnership with our industry partners through advisory committees. The advisory committees and NATEF (the national certifying body for automotive programs) drive curriculum and equipment purchase decisions.

G. Outreach Activities (External)
Riverside Community College’s Automotive Technology Program works with local high school automotive programs. We have working articulation agreements with Norte Vista, Canyon Springs, Valley View, and all ROP auto programs in Riverside County. The Automotive Technology Program also provides tours for anyone interested in learning about the programs through RCC’s Outreach Department. We also attend automotive events such as, Ford/AAA competition, NHRA career day, and local car shows.

H. Long Term Major Resource Planning
The Automotive Department currently has 5 full time faculty, 5 adjunct faculty members, and two staff members. One of the five full time faculty members teach and coordinate the Ford ASSET program. Four full time faculty members teach General Automotive. Five adjunct faculty members teach the entire Auto Body Program. All of the Automotive Programs are taught on the Riverside campus. The automotive building is about 20,000 square feet. The building houses four classrooms that hold between 25 and 40 students each. The lab is divided into five areas. Each program has designated lab space. A central tool room is located in the building to allow equal access to all students taking courses.
Looking at current industry and program trends; faculty, classroom and lab space are critical. In order to keep up with the industry, the Automotive Program needs to provide a mechanism to ensure adjunct faculty have access to updated training. The Auto Body Program also needs to have a full time faculty member so that it can grow to its full potential.

Resource needs:

  • More lab space is needed if the Automotive Program is to expand.

  • Classes in alternative fuels and hybrid technology need to be developed. The demand for this technology will be enormous in the near future. Faculty members will also require training in this technology to ensure the Auto Department meets industry demands.

  • The Auto Program should also offer community education classes that focus on consumers and the “do it yourself” type person.

  • The automotive field is constantly changing as new technology advances. Therefore, it is critical that faculty members continue to keep up with the industry. This presents a unique challenge. Faculty must schedule update training (offered by our corporate partners and aftermarket sector) preferably when classes are not in session. Currently we do a great job keeping our full time faculty updated. However, the Automotive Department needs to implement some mechanisms to ensure the adjunct faculty members receive the same opportunity.

  • Additionally, the Auto Body Program currently has no full time faculty. The full time faculty in this program retired almost ten years ago. This presents enormous problems. Without a full time faculty member, the Auto Body Program has nobody to:

  1. Make equipment and budget decisions

  2. Update course outlines

  3. Hold advisory meetings

  4. Achieve NATEF certification

  5. Make numerous other important decisions

  • Advertising also needs to be addressed. Private training facilities in the area have the potential to cause a decrease in enrollment in the RCC Auto Programs. Attending local high schools and career fairs is not enough; we need to utilize our advertising department in order to get the information out to the community about the training programs that RCC has to offer.

I. Summary
The Automotive Program needs some type of tracking mechanism to:

  1. Find out how many of our students are working in the industry

  2. Determine how many students take and pass the ASE test

On a local level, the Automotive Departments should track student certificate and degree completion rates. NATEF competency task sheets are a great tool for measuring student outcomes assessment. Final exams are also useful tools for measuring student outcomes assessment since all final exams administered are ASE style exams.

  1. Recommendations to the Program Review Committee

We can improve the discipline self-study process by:

  1. Have regular meetings with faculty members who are going through the process for the first time. This will help to not only answer questions, but also keep the process moving forward.

  2. Offer faculty help researching useful data that is needed to complete self-study. (Enrollment numbers, labor market info)

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