Hybrid certificate broadens department

New course provides ‘hands-on’ experience from professionals in technical field

By Cody Casares, Assistant Photo Editor

Automotive technology majors at Contra Costa College now have the opportunity to learn the complexities of hybrid car maintenance.

The new hybrid electric vehicle class is a part of a new Automotive Hybrid Technician Certificate of Achievement intended for students seeking to advance in the industry.

Automotive services Chairperson Lucile Beatty said, “Becoming certified will allow students to get higher paying jobs within the industry.”

The automotive department now offers a Hybrid Electric Vehicle Diagnostics and Repair class that will comply with the National Automotive Education Foundation standards.

The class teaches students how to properly use the advanced diagnostic equipment and software involved in repairing the tandem electrical and mechanical systems.

Students meet in the Automotive Technology Center on Wednesdays from 6:10 to 9:30 p.m. After the lectures and classwork the course offers a hands-on lab with practical applications in the real world workforce.

Ritzdane Suriben, an automotive technology major who is enrolled in the class this semester said, “We’re going into the specifics of the components compared to just scratching the surface like in the Introduction course. The detail is the key element of this class.”

Chris Ligocki works at Arts Automotive on San Pablo Avenue in Berkeley during the day and is a student enrolled in the night class at CCC.

“There’s no book,” Ligocki said. “We just work on the cars. The class is more focused on actually being able to fix a customer’s hybrid car.”

Beatty said the hybrid diagnostics and repair course is offered at night to specifically accommodate students who want to gain hybrid-specific training but work hours similar to Ligocki.

“Paul Cortes teaches the hybrid course,” she said. “(Cortes) provides a great opportunity for students with his field experience, working during the day for Arts Automotive.”

CCC student Teo Maldonado, automotive technology major, said, “The class is focused on the fundamentals of the components and concepts, and broken down into more detail than the introduction class.”

Suriben said without the advanced equipment and the two second generation Toyota Priuses the class would not exist.