Frequently Asked Questions

1. What educational options do I have at College of DuPage in the Automotive Service Technology program?
There are two options:

  • Certificate of Completion
  • Associate of Applied Science

2. What is the difference between an Associate of Applied Science and Certificate of Completion?

  • The Associate of Applied Science is a college degree that requires taking both occupational classes (automotive) and general education classes such as English, speech, math, physical/life sciences, humanities and social sciences.
  • The Certificate of Completion requires only taking occupational classes (automotive).

3. What is NATEF?
NATEF stands for the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation. This organization is part of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). ASE certifies automobile technicians and NATEF certifies automotive training programs. What this means to the prospective student is he/she will be trained in the skills and knowledge necessary to pass the ASE exams to become a certified technician. The NATEF key to success symbol is a way of comparing automotive training programs. If two programs have the NATEF key, they are teaching approximately the same topics and skills. Go to the NATEF site for more information.

4. How do I get started at College of DuPage?

  • Complete an online application.
  • Be sure to code yourself correctly; AUTO.AAS for an A.A.S. degree or AUTO.CER for a certificate.
  • If you have not taken the ACT, SAT or the TOEFL then you must take a reading placement test.
  • If you have coded yourself as AUTO.AAS, then you need to take the math and written English placement test.
  • Lastly, go to the Class Schedule and pick out the classes you need based on FAQ number 7 and register.
  • Please note that when you register you only reserve your seat. You need to pay your tuition to secure your seat for the semester.

5. Are there any pretests to enter the Automotive Service Technology program?
Yes. All students need to take a reading test unless the student has accomplished one of the following:

  • Completed 12 semester hours of college credit with a C average.
  • Taken the ACT test with a composite score of 20. Proof must be provided.
  • Taken the SAT with a verbal score of 500. Proof must be provided. OR
  • A score of 550 (paper and pencil), 213 (computer), or 79 (internet based) on the Test of English as a Foreign Language.
  • For more info reference the Testing and Assessment website.

6. Are there any general education pretests for College of DuPage?
Yes. If the student is going to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree he/she will need to take a reading, math and English (written) placement test. For more info reference the Testing and Assessment website.

7. What classes should I start with?
Students should take any 1100 series class to start: Auto 1100, Auto 1110, Auto 1120, Auto 1131, or Auto 1140. There should be an emphasis on taking the Auto 1131 (Basic Automotive Electricity and Electronics) class as soon as possible as it is a prerequisite for more than half of automotive classes.

8. All of the automotive classes are full. Can I get a permit slip from the instructor to get into class?
No. You may sign up for the wait list for a course in myACCESS, which will send email notification of an open seat, however, the Automotive Service Technology program has a policy that no permit (overload) slips will be issued. This policy is based on quality of instruction, equipment and lab safety.

9. When should I register for classes?
Due to the popularity of automotive courses at COD and the limited number of seats available in the courses, we recommend that you reference the registration calendar to determine when you are eligible to register, and then register as soon as possible.

10. If all of the automotive classes are full, how do I get started at College of DuPage?
The registration system at College of DuPage is based on the number of credit hours earned. The more credit hours a student has earned the sooner the registration date for that student. The recommendation is as follows:

  • If you are pursuing an AAS degree: Take some general education classes. For advice on which classes to take, follow the recommendations listed under FAQ number 13, and seek out advice from an automotive instructor.
  • If you are pursuing a certificate: Students in this situation will have a harder time getting into the automotive program but this shouldn't discourage you. Instead, Take a class that is related to automotive technology, such as a beginning welding class, or anything you are interested in to gain some credit hours.

11. How do I get demonstrated credit for my experience and certifications?
There are several steps to the process. First, send any transcripts, resume, and ASE or manufacturer specific certifications to Tom Robertson via email to review. Tom will contact you once he has had a chance to evaluate your materials to advise on the results and answer any questions. Then you will go to the testing center to get a credit by proficiency form completed, pay for the demonstrated competency fee(s), and drop the form back off with Tom for it to be completed.

12. Is there a required tool list?
Yes, view the required tool list (PDF).

13. I am interested in transferring. Do the College of DuPage Automotive Service Technology program classes transfer?
Yes. The best way to transfer to a four-year university is to finish an Associate of Applied Science degree at COD. This will allow you to transfer in as a student with junior standing.

You must also make sure that the classes in general education will be transferable to your university of choice. In Illinois, the best way to do this is by looking for classes that have an Illinois Articulation Initiative (IAI) compliance number. This number is located next to the class description in the college's catalog. By doing this and following the Student Planning Worksheet, students should have no problems transferring to a four-year state school with an automotive bachelor's degree program such as Southern Illinois University (SIU) or Ferris State (Michigan).

14. Is COD articulated with any four year colleges?
Yes, we currently have articulation agreements with Southern Illinois University (SIU) and Ferris State University.

15. Where is the Auto lab?
The Auto lab is located in the Technical Education Center. For maps and additional info please refer to the Program Information page.

16. Where are the instructor's offices?
All of the instructor's offices are located in the Technical Education Center. For maps please refer to the Program Information page.

Joe Aranki
Program Coordinator
TEC 1054
(630) 942-2534

Mike Foss
Program Faculty
TEC 1060
(630) 942-2138

Tom Pawl
Program Faculty
TEC 1066
(630) 942-2857

Tom Robertson
Program Faculty
TEC 1064
(630) 942-2439

Matt Shanahan
Program Coordinator
TEC 1056
(630) 942-3080


17. Does the College of DuPage Automotive Service Technology program offer classes in auto body repair?
No. The College of DuPage has a cooperative agreement with Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove, IL for credit classes in auto body. Contact the admissions office for information.

The College of DuPage does offer non-credit auto body courses through the Continuing Education Department.

18. Does College of DuPage offer motorcycle repair training?
No. There are only a few motorcycle repair training programs in existence. Most are in southern and western states.

19. Does the College of DuPage Automotive Service Technology program offer classes in small engine (mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, etc.) repair?
No, but the COD Horticulture program does. 

20. Does the Automotive Service Technology program work on cars from the general public?
No. The AST program only works on College of DuPage employee vehicles, excluding student workers. Out of respect for the employers of our students, board policy, and insurance we do not work on cars from the general public.

21. Does the Automotive Service Technology program take donated cars?
Yes. We are looking for cars that are educationally sound for classes, ideally built within the last 12 years to add to our educational fleet. If you have a vehicle that you are interested in donating, contact either Tom Robertson at (630) 942-2439 or Matt Shanahan at (630) 942-3080 for further details.

22. Does the Automotive Service Technology program sell repaired donated cars?
No. Some schools do this but COD does not due to liability issues.

23. How do I arrange a tour of the Automotive Department at College of DuPage?

Tours can be arranged by contacting the program advisor or one of the automotive instructors. Contact information is available below or on the faculty page.

24. What does it cost to complete the Automotive Program at College of DuPage?


Tuition: $6615
Books: $930
Lab Fees: $585
Tools: $650-$2,000
Estimated Total:$8,780-$10,130

AAS Degree
Tuition: $9,180
Books: $1,650
Lab Fees: $585
Tools: $650-$2,000
Estimated Total: $12,065-$13,415


Contact Information

Joe Aranki, Program Coordinator
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1054, (630) 942–2534

Matt Shanahan, Program Coordinator
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1056, (630) 942-3080

Peter Deeman, Program Advisor    
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1047, (630) 942-2548

Bridget McFarland, Program Support Specialist
Technical Education Center (TEC), (630) 942-8419 

Business and Applied Technology Division
Technical Education Center (TEC), Room 1034, (630) 942-2592

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

  2019 College of DuPage