Rend Lake College’s Automotive Technology Department recently received a high-tech boost with a new diagnostic tool donated by Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Jack Greer, Chairman of the Automotive Technology Program at SIUC, presented a DRB III (diagnostic readout box) to Automotive Technology Professor Nigel Thompson and Associate Professor Shannon Perkins. The device can provide feedback on and control of anything which is computer-controlled in Chrysler vehicles. The DRB III also has limited generic capabilities for other vehicles.
Applied Science and Technology Division Chair Sarah Ochs said RLC has been in need of one of these devices for several years. Two RLC alumni helped develop the machine, according to Greer.
“There is going to be a much greater need for high-tech, highly trained service technicians,” said Ochs.
The obvious advantage to Rend Lake College students will be their opportunity to work with the technology and become familiar with it, making for graduates who are better prepared to either move into the workforce or advance their educations. For those who transfer to SIUC to obtain bachelor’s degrees, “the students will be much better prepared when they come to us,” Greer said.
Greer added that the need for highly-trained automotive technicians is great. “There are a lot of jobs available and there are not enough graduates to fill them,” he said. “We are looking for students that are good in math and science and who want to go to college. Those are the ones we want at SIUC.
“We enjoy working with Rend Lake College,” said Greer, who also sits on the Advisory Council for RLC’s Automotive Technology program. “We get a few students each year from here. The bachelor’s degree program (offered at SIUC) is not for everyone, but for those that want it, it is a great opportunity.”
For more information about the DRB III or RLC’s Automotive Technology program, contact Thompson or Perkins at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1806 / 1784, or call toll-free (in-district only) at 1-800-369-5321, Ext. 1806 / 1784.
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