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[Friday, November 16, 2007]

The Automotive Technology program at McHenry County College has revamped its schedule and added more evening classes to accommodate working adults and students who are busy during the day.

As part of the expanded offerings, MCC will begin offering the manual transmissions class for the first time during summer evenings beginning in June 2008. A new sequence of automotive classes, beginning with the introductory class, Principles of Automotive Technology, will be offered in the evenings beginning in the fall semester.

According to Phil Grandinetti, automotive technology department chair, the expanded scheduling allows students a more streamlined process to earn their Associate in Applied Science degree.

“We are maximizing the use of our lab space by offering more classes at night so students who work during the day can still complete a degree,” he said.

Evening automotive classes at MCC are taught by two master technicians, Dan Pace and Don Christensen who both have more than 20 years experience with auto technology and have taught at MCC for seven years. Both are certified through the National Institute for Automotive Service of Excellence (ASE). Pace works full time at Buss Ford in McHenry as a senior master technician during the day, and Christensen is the superintendent of Fleet and Facility Services the City of Crystal Lake.

When teaching, Pace said he mixes textbook knowledge with real life scenarios to better engage his students.

“Because of my experience in the field, I include real-life situations or problems a technician may encounter on-the-job,” Pace said. “A lot of students are eager to learn when you do that,” he added.

Regarding the expanded evening schedule, Pace said it will help students earn their degree in a more timely manner because classes will be offered in sequence in the evenings as well as in the daytime.

For more information on the MCC Automotive Technology program, contact Phil Grandinetti at (815) 479-7881 or e-mail

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