Program Spotlight: Automotive Technology at Western Nebraska Community College

Program Spotlight-- Automotive Technology at Western Nebraska Community CollegeWith our post today about automotive technology at Western Nebraska Community College, we’re one school away from finishing our program tour of community colleges from around Nebraska.

Our last post highlighted a program at Metropolitan Community College in Omaha–a great option for anyone who happens to live in the metro area. But a large portion of Nebraska lives well outside the eastern portion of the state, and that means considering other options for technical school.

For those of us who happen to be closer to Wyoming that Iowa, Western Nebraska Community College is the primary home of education and technical schooling.

And today, we wanted to cover one of the many technical programs offered at WNCC: automotive technology.

The program

Though not a fundamental part of manufacturing, automotive technology is nevertheless part of the skilled trades that we talk so much about. Many of the skills learned in an automotive technology program can carry over to a career in manufacturing, and either way, automotive technology is a path to a number of great careers in the trades.

There are a few options for students interested in automotive technology:

  • Associate of Occupational Studies: The AOS is the most advanced of the study options available to students in automotive technology. It totals at least 67 credit hours, and leaves students with an advanced understanding of technology in the automotive industry.
  • Diploma: The Diploma in automotive technology takes at least 47 credit hours to complete, and gives the same foundation as the AOS, but without some of the advanced skills taught towards the end of the program.
  • Certificate: The Certificate takes about 29 credit hours to complete, and leaves students with the basic understanding of automotive technology necessary for beginning employment in the industry.
  • Professional Skill Award: Finally, the professional skill award is 6-12 credits of any automotive technology course with division approval. This is often added on to other degrees, instead of being pursued individually.

As is the case with many of programs we’ve highlighted thus far, automotive technology at WNCC has several different ‘tracks’ (as you can see from above). No matter what path you take, you’ll be prepared for employment in the automotive industry, just with varying degrees of expertise depending on the classes you take.

The classes

As you can imagine, there’s a lot that goes into the field of automotive technology. All students will start with a few general education courses to get them ready for the more technically advanced classes they’ll take later on, including some of the classes that you see here:

  • Specialized Electronics: This course covers all phases of electronic fundamentals, electrical systems, and chassis electrical wiring systems used in the automobile, commercial, and agriculture vehicle industry.
  • Manual Transmissions/Differential Axles: This course emphasizes power trains, including the theory and shop practice of automotive, commercial, and agriculture vehicles. Manual transmission units and differential axles used in automobile, commercial, and agricultural vehicles are explained. Students may supply shop work, but it is not mandatory.
  • Antilock Brake Systems: This is a course covering antilock brake systems used in all automobile and light trucks. Emphasis is placed on Teves and ABS brake systems.

One thing that WNCC’s program does–which we see as essential to a job in the skilled trades–is give students lots of opportunities to go hands-on, both inside the classroom and out. Time with the automobiles (or manufacturing equipment) you’ll be working with is essential, and there’s no shortage of it with this program here at Western Nebraska Community College.

So if you do happen to live out in the western part of the state, WNCC is a great option for education. The automotive technology program is housed exclusively at the Scottsbluff Campus, but all three of WNCC’s campuses are great educational institutions.

We love the skilled trades, and as it turns out, there’s room for them all over the country, no matter where you live or where you’re from.

Want to learn more about some of the programs we’ve featured here on our blog? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter! We’re happy to answer questions and are always here to help.

photo credit: AVTC via photopin cc