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Madison College – Automotive Technology Programs

About Us

At Madison College Automotive, Students can choose from two, 2 year programs: The Automotive Technician program at Madison College is a two-year diploma that covers a wide range of mechanical systems found in automobiles. We strongly recommend that you work in the auto repair industry while in this program in order to gain additional hands-on experience. The Automotive Technology program at Madison college is a two-year associate degree in automotive mechanical systems. Graduates may choose to go on to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution. Website: https://madisoncollege.edu/academics/programs/automotive-technology Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MadisonCollegeAutoTech As an Automotive Technician or Technology-Comprehensive student, you will: - Develop hands-on skills in automotive and light truck technology, diagnosis and repair, focusing on electrical, mechanical and hydraulic systems. - Learn about engine breathing, ignition systems, computer control and sensors, fuel and air management, and emission systems. - Develop the skills needed to diagnose, service, repair automatic transmission/transaxles, and overhaul procedures. - Test equipment and troubleshoot circuits, such as lighting, windshield wipers, power windows, instruments and sound systems. - Cover in detail service department operation and depth, from large to small organizations. - Receive hands-on experience, including inspecting, troubleshooting, and repairing and replacing defective or worn parts of the complete brake system. - Gain skills needed to diagnose, service and repair clutches, manual transmissions/transaxle, differentials, four-wheel drive/all-wheel drive and drive axles. We strongly recommend that you work in the automobile repair industry while in this program to gain additional real-world experience. The Automotive (mechanical) programs are accredited through the ASE Education Foundation.


  • Trans Lab
  • Driveability
  • Electricity/ Air Conditioning
  • Electricity/ Air Conditioning
  • Student work area

Under The Hood

Provide a quick overview of the program (i.e., time to complete, credits, type of degree, etc.).

We offer 2 programs. Both are 2 year programs. 1. The Automotive Technician program at Madison College is a two-year diploma that covers a wide range of mechanical systems found in automobiles. This is 58 credits: 6 general education, 52 automotive related. Designed for the student who plans on being an automotive technician with little general education classes. (i.e., Math, English, etc.) 2. The Automotive Technology program at Madison College is a two-year associate degree in automotive mechanical systems. This is 70 credits: 18 general education and 52 automotive related. Graduates may choose to go on to earn a bachelor's degree at a four-year institution.

Is this a full or part time program?

We recommend full time but either can be on a part time basis.

Describe how classes are conducted (i.e, in-person, online, in the shop, etc.).

All of our automotive classes are done in person with 60% of the time in the lab working on vehicles. Some of the general education classes are done online but usually, there is an in-person option.

What does the program cost?

1. The Automotive Technician program costs $10,596.30 2. The Automotive Technology program costs $12,460.50

What types of financial assistance or scholarships are available?

We have a foundation that offers scholarships for qualifying students. There are many scholarships through automotive-related organizations in Wisconsin and National organizations.

Describe the application process and eligibility.

Graduation from high school, completion of GED/HSED/GED02, or completion of an associate degree or higher is required; submit official transcripts (https://madisoncollege.edu/get-started/apply/submit-transcripts) for one of the following: - High school or charter school transcript (current high school seniors may submit an in-progress transcript) or GED02 transcript - GED/HSED score report - College transcript showing an associate degree or higher

What types of work-based learning opportunities do you offer?

We currently do not have these opportunities to replace “for credit” classes. We strongly recommend that you work in the auto repair industry while in this program in order to gain additional hands-on experience. Almost all of our students work while going to school.

Describe your annual placements (i.e., number of students, percent who find a job in the industry, etc.).

We had 35 graduates last year. 93% of our students were employed in the automotive industry after graduation.

What types of salaries can students expect after graduating and as they advance in their career?

The average salary is $16-$20 per hour after graduation. We know of several graduates that are making $100000+ after being in industry after 5 years.

Is there anything unique about your program that you’d like to mention?

We Have 10 full time and 3 part time instructors to have a well rounded program and have more specialty in each area. We have well over 200 years of combined experience in our program. Many of us are graduates of this program and have came back to teach here after working in the industry.

What general and specialty tools does the school provide?

We offer basic and specialty tools in every lab for students to use while in the program. This includes impacts, torque wrenches, and typical tools a technician would have in the industry. We have a large variety of scan tools as well to diagnose problems with vehicles these include original equipment scan tools and aftermarket scan tools.

What tools, if any, is a student responsible for providing?

Students are not required to buy any tools for school. They can bring tools to use if they wish but none are required. There are many student discounts for tools and we recommend purchasing these whenever possible because it is expected for them to have tools when working in this industry.

When in the lab, how much one-on-one time does an instructor get with each student?

We have an average of 13 students in each class. Students work in 2 person groups so there are more one on one opportunities during the lab time in the shop. Our classes are 5 day per week/ 4 hours per day. This allows for a potential 4 hour work day. This works well when working on a vehicle to complete jobs in a timely fashion and get the students more experiences on vehicles.

What is the split between time spent in the classroom versus hands-on learning?

It depends on the class but most classes are 50-60% lab but it is usually a mix of classroom and lab each day with a few all-day lab days and a few all-day classroom days.

What does the school do to ensure students stay safe while in the lab?

We require students to wear eye protection and safety toe shoes while in the lab. We have a 2-page Automotive Student policy that the students sign to try to create a safe environment while in the lab.

What types of processes does the lab have to ensure a clean working environment?

The students are graded on “Clean and safe work area” and putting tools where they belong. The Automotive Student Policy addresses this as well.

Does the school have access to factory software? If so, please explain.

We have service information from AllData, ProDemand, Identifix, and a limited source of factory service information. These providers are used widely throughout or industry.

What types of service and parts software are available for the students to access?

We are in the process of implementing an electronic work order system. We have an on-site parts store where students and staff can order parts for vehicles.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention about the lab environment?

We have 5 labs (3 of which have 8+ hoists/stalls) to have room for vehicle repair related to the subject matter. These labs have specific tools and equipment related to the subject taught in that area.

Nick Pellmann

Teaches Fundamentals, Service Procedures I started working in the automotive industry in 2003 as a junior in high school. I worked in the automotive industry for a total of eleven years. My first couple of jobs were at independent repair shops, but I spent most of my years in the industry working at a local dealership. While working as a technician I was able to go back to school and get a bachelor's degree in technology education which led me to teach automotive at the high school level. I am a Madison college automotive alumni and very grateful to have the opportunity to come back and teach at the school that gave me such a great start in the automotive industry.

Dave Natysin

I have been in the automotive repair industry since 1992. 25-year ASE Master Technician, X1 and, L1 certified.

Nick Schell

Teaches Electrical 1, Electrical 2 I have been teaching part-time for 7 years at MATC. I am a General Motors Master technician and have been working for Chevrolet since 1996 I teach Electrical 1, Electrical 2.

Ben Charles

Graduated from Madison Area Technical College's automotive program in 2004. Since then, Ben has been working as an ASE Master Certified technician for the past seventeen years. Ben also was rated in the top twenty-five Honda diagnosticians in the United States in 2014. Ben teaches automotive electrical courses, Automotive HVAC, and a dual-credit class for high school seniors.

Steve Wilcox

I was raised in rural Wisconsin on a small dairy farm just outside of Sun Prairie, located east of Madison Wisconsin. From a young age I helped operate and maintain all aspects of the farm equipment and vehicles. As a teenager and a young adult I worked on neighbors farms when opportunity arose. I graduated from Sun Prairie high school in 1978 and Madison Area Technical College’s Automotive Technician program in 1980. While attending high school and college I worked at three independent repair shops and Midas Muffler’s, a corporate repair facility. Following graduation from Madison Area Technical College I was employed for 8 years at Cenex Farmers’ Cooperative in Cottage Grove WI. In 1988 I was recruited by Thorstad Chevrolet, in Madison WI, and remained employed there for the next 17 years. In January 2005 I began my teaching career with Madison College as an automotive instructor. I specialize in Braking Systems and Steering and Suspension I also taught Automotive Youth Education Systems, an alternative automotive education program for high school students in cooperation with area high schools. Though out my private industry career, several employers provided ongoing professional training, which I took full advantage of every possible opportunity helping advance my career and enhance my personal automotive knowledge and skills. In my first 25 years as an automotive technician I amassed over 55,000 hours of paid repair experience. I became ASE certified in the mid 1980’s. I am currently ASE certified in 33 areas, In 16 of the 17 years I worked at the Chevrolet dealership I was awarded General Motors Chevrolet master certification. In 1998 I earned a position as one of the top 40 Chevrolet Master Technician National Winners for the 1998 Chevrolet Certified Technician (CCT) program year. I have always enjoyed discovering how new technology works in the ever changing Automotive and Truck world and repairing them. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and passion for the automotive world with students. I have now been teaching for 17 years and enjoy working with students.

Juan-Antonio Palacios

Graduated San Jacinto College (Pasadena, TX.) - G.M. ASEP program – 1992-1994 Employed as an apprentice Technician – 1992 G.M. Dealer Technician – 1992 – 1999 Independent Automotive Repair Technician – 1999 – 2004 Automotive Faculty Member (Madison Area Technical College) – 2004 – Current As a technician in Texas, I specialized in Drivability Diagnosis/Repair, Electricity and HVAC. When making the move to Wisconsin I was a “bumper to bumper” technician. I enjoy the process of diagnosis. Seeing how systems and components work together and finding the problem has always been fascinating. As an instructor at Madison Area Technical College I have taught in the following areas: HVAC, Minor Repair, Brakes, Suspension, Electricity, Drivability, Service Management, Accessories and Hybrid Electric Vehicles. I am currently teaching Automatic and Manual transmissions. I enjoy outdoor activities; kayaking, biking, camping and have recently been working towards becoming a capable fisherman! I love to spend time with the family around a campfire! I also have been working on becoming proficient at smoking meat, who doesn’t love a great smoked brisket?

Craig Kleinsteiber

I started working in the auto industry as an apprentice my sophomore year in high school and continued through college at Madison College. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work for an independent shop, own my own auto repair business, and now, helping a new generation of auto enthusiasts get into this rewarding field.

Eddie Burdett

I am a graduate of the Madison College Automotive Program. I have been in the industry for almost 20 years and seven of them are instructing at Madison College. As a Technician, I specialized in imports, specifically certified in European. My passion is to teach, and I love making cars fast. I currently teach electricity 1 & 2, Service Management, Auto HVAC, Accessories, and Co-teach the Advanced Performance class.

Dave Heinzen

I have been in the automotive repair industry since 1989. Technican, Service Manager for 12 years, and instructor for 21 years. I specialize in Driveability. I am ASE Master Certified, L1 Advanced Engine Performance Certified, and ASE Certified Service Writer.

Marty Prew

I am a graduate of the Automotive Technology Program from Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. I have been an Automotive Technician for over 35 years and worked in two different independent repair shops as Lead Tech and as Shop Foreman. I have been an Instructor in the Automotive Department at Madison Area Technical College since 2007 and currently teach Electricity, HVAC, and Driveability courses.

Dave Meister

I have been an automotive instructor at Madison College for 15 years. Prior to my Madison College employment, I worked at three independent repair shops in the Madison area. I began as an automotive technician repairing cars where I found a love for engine diagnosis and rebuilding. I eventually started my own business specializing in engine and chassis performance which I continue, in a limited capacity, to this day. At Madison College, I am always thrilled to teach Manual Transmissions and Drivelines, Engine Rebuilding, and Advanced Automotive Performance.

Donovan Smith

I have been teaching in the Automotive Repair program and Auto Collision program at Madison College for 4 years. I currently teach Brakes, Suspension and Steering, Collision Electrical Systems and Collision Mechanical Systems. I have been in the auto repair industry since 1998. Starting off with working at Sears Auto Center while going to school. After school I went to work for Zimbrick Honda of Madison. During my time at Honda I earned my ASE Master Certification along with Honda Master Certification. I also have my own shop at home that I perform automotive repair work. I left the dealership life to pursue another career in sign language interpreting for the Deaf. With my mechanical background I have been working in many different technical colleges in many different programs including diesel repair, welding and automotive. That is how I got my start at Madison College as a part-time instructor. My tenure as a part-time instructor at Madison College has been wonderful. I look forward to getting to know each student that comes through the classroom and thoroughly enjoy working with all the other instructors in this program.

Paul Flogel

I have been teaching for 19 years and have been Program Director since 2008. I teach Automatic and Manual Transmissions/Drivelines. I am ASE Master certified with L1. My career started here at Madison Area Technical College through the Automotive Technician program. After college, I worked for A-1 Transmission and Kalscheur Garage (a local Dodge Dealer). After 15 years of working in the automotive industry, I applied for an instructor position here and it has been an awesome ride ever since. I love what I do! To see how a student progresses through the program builds so much pride! The people I work with are experts in this field and it is great to learn from each other and other people and bring what we know and have learned to the students. This is a challenging field but also a rewarding field and to teach it is a great opportunity!

Craig Lathrop

I have worked at Madison Area Technical College teaching full-time for 20 years. I am also the automotive club advisor and the Skills USA automotive advisor. I am a graduate of Madison Area Technical College Automotive Technology program. I have worked as an automotive technician and heavy-duty/diesel technician. I am ASE automotive and diesel master certified. I have an agricultural background and have also worked as a production engineer in manufacturing.

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