Walla Walla Community College

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Diesel Technology  

The Diesel Technology program at Walla Walla Community College has not only received accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), it has been certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The program provides students with a combination of classroom instruction and practical hands-on training in the diagnosis, repair, and maintenance of heavy-duty trucks, heavy machinery, medium-duty vehicles, farm equipment, logging equipment, mining equipment, and forklifts. In order to keep the Diesel Technology curriculum up-to-date with emerging technologies and current industry techniques, Walla Walla Community College has composed an advisory board that includes both local and regional industry experts.

In the classroom, students learn diesel theory, as well as the dynamics, purpose, and principles of operation of medium and heavy duty trucks and equipment. In-depth lectures, class discussions, detailed textbooks, class projects, and written assignments help each student to develop critical writing, math, communication, and problem solving skills every diesel mechanic needs in order to succeed in today’s rapidly changing diesel technology job field. 

In the training facility, students learn the diesel trade practices currently in use today, observing live demonstrations and receiving verbal instruction before acquiring carefully guided hands-on training, as they learn how to properly and safely troubleshoot, diagnose, service, and repair, diesel engines, drive trains, heavy equipment brakes, air systems, suspension and alignment systems, diesel electrical systems, diesel electronic systems, hydraulic systems, and heating and air conditioning systems. Each student will learn about shop fundamentals, preventative maintenance and inspection, and will acquire proper forklift training as well.

Students learn all aspects of diesel engine rebuild by disassembling, inspecting, diagnosing, repairing, and reassembling various diesel engines and their intricate system components, using computerized diagnostic equipment, precision measuring instruments, shop manuals, wiring schematics, electronic volt meters, power tools, and hand tools.

Every student will learn about teamwork, time management, and leadership, working both independently and in groups to complete every assignment given to them by their instructors with accuracy and precision. Shop courtesy, safety, professionalism, and ethics in the workplace are also stressed throughout the Diesel Technology program at Walla Walla Community College. 

The Diesel Technology A.A.S. Degree*

The Diesel Technology A.A.S. Degree program is comprised of the following career-focused courses:

  • Shop Fundamentals/Forklift Training
  • Machinery Repair I
  • Machinery Repair II
  • Suspension and Alignment
  • Engines I
  • Electronics I
  • Drive Trains
  • Welding Basics
  • Advanced Mechanics
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Cooperative Work Experience
  • Special Topics
  • Advanced Equipment Repair I
  • Advanced Equipment Repair II
  • Advanced Equipment Repair III
  • Brakes and Air Systems
  • Engines Advanced
  • Electronics II
  • Hydraulics
  • Special Projects

Students must also take Introduction to Quantitative Problem Solving for the Trades, Written Communication in the Workplace, Oral Communication in the Workplace, Cooperative Seminar, Job Seeking Skills, and Leadership in order to fulfill the 142 credit hour requirements of the Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree program. To be eligible to graduate, all students are required to successfully complete each course and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Diesel Technology Certificate*

The Diesel Technology Certificate program consists of the following career-relevant classes:

  • Shop Fundamentals/Forklift Training
  • Machinery Repair I
  • Machinery Repair II
  • Suspension and Alignment
  • Engines I
  • Electronics I
  • Drive Trains
  • Heating and Air Conditioning
  • Preventive Maintenance
  • Welding Basics

Students are also required to take Introduction to Quantitative Problem Solving for the Trades, Written Communication in the Workplace, and Cooperative Seminar in order to meet the 80 credit requirements of the Diesel Technology Certificate program. In order to graduate, students must finish each course and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0, the equivalent of a “C” grade.

The Twenty Credit Diesel Technology Certificate*

The twenty credit Diesel Technology Certificate program is made up of the following courses:

  • Advanced Equipment Repair I
  • Hydraulics
  • Brakes and Air Systems

Students are required to complete each class and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, the equivalent of a “C” grade, in order to graduate.

Occupational Outlook

As the diesel industry continues to grow rapidly, job opportunities for qualified diesel mechanics is expected to increase 11% by the year 2020, as fast as average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The mean annual wage for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists working in the United States in 2014 was $45,160, while the mean salary for bus and truck mechanics and diesel engine specialists employed in the state of Washington was $53,570 yearly and $25.75 hourly, 19% higher than the national average.

Graduates of the Diesel Technology program at Walla Walla Community College can be confident that they possess the education and training necessary to secure an entry-level position as a qualified diesel mechanic in the medium and heavy-duty truck and equipment service and repair industry. Occupational opportunities include, but are not limited to, the commercial trucking industry, construction industry, mining industry, logging industry, the oil exploration and extraction industry, the natural gas exploration and extraction industry, the trans-oceanic shipping industry, rail industry, and agricultural industry. Some graduates may choose to work at independent service garages or even start their own service business.

The Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree and Undergraduate Certificate

Walla Walla Community College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Arts and Sciences Degree in Diesel Technology, as a 33-week Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Technology. Walla Walla Community College also a semester-long 20 credit Undergraduate Certificate in Diesel Technology. The two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree program and the 33-week Undergraduate Certificate program are both Pell Grant eligible. 

*Program is certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).