Auto Curriculum Offered at SCC

Johnny O'Connel, SCC Automotive Instructor
Johnny O'Connell, SCC Automotive Instructor

In the age of virtual careers and desk jobs, Southeastern Community College is offering a course geared toward a much-needed workforce career. The Automotive Systems Technology curriculum prepares individuals for employment as vehicle mechanics and service technicians.  

Qualified individuals can work in specialized shops that focus on a single system, in dealerships, on product lines, or in independent garages servicing all types of vehicles. Job opportunities in the automotive field are plentiful and in high demand. 

SCC began this program to help fill that demand.  

“There are not currently enough technicians and mechanics available to fill all the positions needed, and it’s only going to get worse as more people retire,” said Johnny O’Connell, Automotive Instructor. “We all drive some type of vehicle, and we see how many are on our roads.” 

O’Connell pointed out that all vehicles eventually need repair to keep them operating. SCC’s goal is to equip students to be able to take a car apart and put it together from the ground up.  

Training is based on an Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master-Level program. Though participants will not be doing body work such as painting and fixing dents, they will be learning any and everything that makes the vehicle move, stop, turn, and keep the occupants happy and safe.  

The course covers everything mechanical and electric both under the hood and under the chassis. The majority of the program is hands-on and performed on actual vehicles that will still need to be operable afterwards. Students will be disassembling engines, learning the names of the parts, how to take measurements, and put them back together.  

“We’ll begin by concentrating on hand-tool use before moving on to the machines and larger equipment,” said O’Connell.  

He says the main exception will be the vehicle lifts which will need to be covered right away due to its immediate use at the beginning of the curriculum. The items and machines at the college are the same found in any typical shop.  

There is no age range for the program, but it is preferred that students at least be old enough to have a driver’s license. Automotive Systems Technology is offered to any high school student, but there are criteria to be met to take the course tuition-free through the Career and College Promise at SCC.   

High school juniors and seniors must maintain a GPA of 2.8 or higher, or demonstrate college readiness on an approved assessment, or have a recommendation from their principal to enter technical pathways.  

The course has also been designed as part of a degree or as continuing education. Only certain components of the program are offered as continuing education, but they are the exact same thing as the regular curriculum courses. Participants enrolled in either field of studies will attend the same classes and receive equal training.  

SCC also offers those interested the opportunity to take a class or two to see if the Automotive Technology Systems program is the right fit. Students interested in short term training can view the semester course listing at  

For more information on the Automotive Technology Systems program at Southeastern Community College, visit, or call the instructor Johnny O’Connell at 910.788.6205.   

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