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Skyline College

About Us

Skyline College Automotive Program is located 15 miles south of San Francisco in San Bruno, CA. We are a unique program that incorporate 3 years of classes instead of the typical 2 years to complete the entire program. We offer 15-unit semester length classes with extensive hands-on exercises. Class time equates to four 5 hour days per week for 16 week. Some classes incorporate a hybrid mode of instruction with in-person lab and asynchronous self-paced online learning. Combined with general education classes it only takes 1 1/2 years of automotive classes to qualify for an AS degree. Each instructor is a specialist in their area of discipline only teaching a specific ASE topic. Instructors who specialize offer classes that enhances the students learning experience.


  • Manual Transmission Overhaul Lab
  • Teamwork in the classroom
  • Engine Performance Class
  • Brake work
  • Brake work
  • Driveshaft removal
  • Engine repair
  • Automatic Transmission lab
  • Electrical exam
  • Electrical Lab
  • Electrical diagnosis lab
  • Electrical practical exam
  • Electrical testing
  • Battery testing
  • Differential repair
  • 25 employers and 30 students attending hiring day. Students speed date between employers.  Every student received multiple job offerings within a week of this event.
  • Expanding Your Horizons is an event for 12 - 14 year old young girls to attend an Automotive workshop.  Staff and students assist with this workshop.
  • We also have fun at this Automotive Olympics tire toss event.

Under The Hood

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

Skyline College Automotive program is very unique because we stress a lot of hands-on practical experience. Because of this our program takes 3 years to complete 6 semester length classes. An AS degree can be obtained with just 3 out of our 6 classes plus general educations. Each semester length class is a full 15 units and with the completion of each class plus one of our fundamentals classes you will earn a State of California Certificate of Achievement.

Is this a full or part time program?

Our program is a full-time automotive program with each semester earning the student 15 credit units.

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

We offer 6 classes that encompass all 9 ASE Automotive certification areas. Electrical systems, Brake and Suspension systems, Engine Diagnosis & Repair, Manual and Automatic Drivetrains, Engine Performance and Advanced Engine Performance. Each class incorporates some hybrid, electric, and ADAS technology. Classes typically meet 4 days a week from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. Some classes are 100% in-person while others incorporate 1 or 2 days of lecture in a self paced online environment. All lab is conducted in-person. Check our online schedule for class offerings and the in-person/online schedule. Each class is different.

What does the program cost?

For students with California residency the tuition is currently $46 per credit unit. With health and other fees this can be rounded up to approximately $50 per credit unit. The program requires students who first enter the program to purchase a minimal amount of professional hand tool. We work with Matco and Snap-on tools who offer a student program with 40% to 60% off of select tools. The entry level kit can cost between $300 and $800 depending on quality and brand. If a student already has tools they will only need to purchase what they are missing.

What types of financial assistance or scholarships are available?

Our school offers a full list of financial aid. As a student with 15 units you could be eligible for the highest amount available. There are a ton of automotive support industry's who offer scholarships including an internal scholarship that is offered directly by the Automotive Department as Skyline College.

Describe the application process and eligibility.

To get into our career track program there are a few steps that you will need to follow. 1) Fill out the application for the college. The link is found on our apply page. 2) Fill out the special application for the Automotive Career track program 3) On this application submit high school or college transcripts with proof of entry level high school English and Math. 4) If you don't have one year of high school Automotive you will need to take one of our automotive fundamentals (Auto 710 or 711) classes to meet the career track application requirements. Once you are accepted into the program you will be contacted with registration information for your first Automotive Career track class. For your first class we enroll students in classes that have open seats making sure to balance the enrollment for each classes.

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

We work with over 200 local employers in the San Francisco Bay area. With manufacture sponsorship from Ford, Audi, Mercedes, Nissan and Subaru. We are members of the local Automotive Service Counsel of California (ASCCA) we fully support independent repair shops. Each semester we host a hiring day where students speed date between employers. Each student often receives multiple offers with starting wages between $19 and $24 and hour. Some employers offer up to $2000 in a signing bonus. We offer internships and cooperative credit for all working students.

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

100% of our students who want to work in the automotive industry can be placed and find jobs in the automotive industry.

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

Most of our students start to work before graduation and earn between $19 to $26 an hour. Some students are being paid as high as $34 an hour or flat rate hour by the time they graduate.

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

Our 3 year, 15 units per semester program is unique. This format offers 50% more hands-on practical experience over a typical 2 year programs and 75% more hands-on practical experience than a 12 -15 month program. We have multiple factory sponsorships and over 100 vehicles for the students to learn on. Each instructor specializes in his or her area of expertise so your instructor is not jumping from subject to subject multiple times throughout the year. This specialty format enhances the students experience in each class as they master their skills.

What general and specialty tools does the school provide?

The shop and school is equipped with most modern tooling and equipment. There are too many to list.

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

The students are responsible to purchase professional grade hand tools such as metric 3/8 drive socket set with ratchet and extension. Hammer, screwdrivers, pick set, tire inflator and gauge and an inspection mirror. The full list is on our website.

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

This depends on enrollment. At full enrollment of 24 students the class is broken up into 8 groups of 3. Each group will have close to equal time during lab.

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

45% lecture and demo or classroom and 55% lab or hands on.

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

Safety glasses and gloves. Safety training and certification through SP2.

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

Lab area is cleaned and mopped after each use as needed.

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

We have partnerships with Audi, Subaru, Mercedes, Nissan, Infinity and Ford. All partnerships provide access to factory software and training.

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

Mitchell On-Demand

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

Clean with great lighting spread over 3 automotive buildings.


Auto 710 or Auto 711 are prerequisites for the career track program

Electrical and Electronics

Auto 713 is a full 15 unit one semester class that takes the student from the fundamentals of electricity all the way to advanced diagnosis and equipment usage.

Engine Repair and Diagnosis

Auto 734 is a full blown 15 unit 1 semester engine class with a focus on mechanical problems and how to diagnose those problems. This course takes apart engines and the students learn proper techniques for measurement and reconditioning of the internal combustion engine.

Drive Trains Diagnosis and Repair

Auto 735 is a full blown 15 unit one semester class dedicated to all things in the drive train from the engine to the drive wheels. Diagnosis, Repair and overhaul are enhanced though lab exercises.

Brakes, Suspension and Alignment

Auto 721 is a full blown 15 unit one semester class. Everything that has to do with braking systems, steering systems, suspension systems, tires and wheel alignment are covered with plenty of hands on practice.

Engine Performance

Auto 751 is a full blown 15 unit one semester class with Electrical and Engine Repair as prerequisites. This class covers al things related to the proper operation of the internal combustion engine and the computer controls that keep it running at optimal efficiency.

Advance Engine Performanc and Driver Assist Systems

Auto 752 is a full blown 15 unit one semester class. This class focus on emission controls, smog certification, computer controls, CAN systems, ADAS operation, diagnosis and calibration.

Thomas Broxholm

Professor of Automotive Technology. Credentialed Automotive Training Instructor, A.S.E. Certified Master Technician for 40 years. Professor Broxholm holds a Designated Subjects Credential in Automotive Technology and has over nineteen years of field experience as a Journeyman Automotive Technician and over 25 years of teaching experience. A.S.E. L-1 Advanced Technician award winner. Professor Broxholm participates yearly in automotive professional development through factory classes and workshops, California Automotive Teachers workshops, Automatic Transmission Rebuilders Association (ATRA) Expo and ASA Vision Hi-Tech Training Expo. Office: -- Room 11-104.

Ruben Parra

Professor of Automotive Technology. GM and Chrysler certified technician specializing in engine performance, electricity, computer controls, air conditioning, and smog inspection & repair. ASE certification since 1986, Smog license since 1988. BAR certified Clean Air Car Instructor, Subject Matter Expert for the BAR training division and a MACS certified trainer. I first started teaching in 1994, returned to the industry for several years, and have been teaching in a private school setting since 2004 before being hired at Skyline College in 2014. I have a passion for teaching, and love what I do.

Julia Johnson

Professor of Automotive Technology (BA, San Francisco State University). Julia Johnson is an ASE certified automotive technician and has worked for independent repair shops and for the CA Smog Referee program. She holds an Enhanced Area Smog License and is a Honda certified instructor. In addition to teaching the entry level classes, Professor Johnson coordinates the automotive internship program and teaches automotive engines.

Shop Talk

Current student talks about his experience as a student in the skyline college automotive program.

Graduate Student experience with Skyline College.

Hands-on introduction to Skyline College.

Getting started with the Automotive program at Skyline College

Current student experience at Skyline College in Spanish.

Graduate student lands his dream job.