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Auto Collision Repair Degree Programs in Sacramento, CA

Within 50 miles of Sacramento are at least four colleges that offer auto collision repair degree programs. This article explores the courses, admission info and program requirements for two of these schools, providing prospective students with facts to make an informed education decision.

Sacramento Auto Collision Repair Schools

Students interested in learning about auto collision repair have at least four schools in the Sacramento area from which to choose. This article looks at two of those schools, all less than 50 minutes from downtown, that offer auto collision repair courses through certificate and associate's degree programs. A chart offering a quick look at important facts about these schools is also included, as is some information about the two other schools in the area that offer auto collision repair training.

  • Students at American River College can choose between the automotive claims estimator certificate, automotive collision technology certificate or Associate in Science in Automotive Collision Technology. America River College's main campus is about 11 miles from downtown; the school's transportation center is about 15 miles away from town.
  • Yuba College, nearly 42 miles from the city center, has a body and paint degree program, body repair certificate and painting and refinishing certificate program.

Comparison of Schools

Students considering a school for auto collision repair programs will want to look at many factors, including costs and school size. The following table offers some important information about these schools in a convenient format.

American River College Yuba College
School Type 2-year; public 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2014) 29,133* 6,640*
Campus Setting Large suburb Midsize suburb
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $1,104 in-state; $7,440 out-of-state* $1,144 in-state; $6,475 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Financial Aid (2013-2014) 75%* 86%*
Acceptance Rate (2016) N/A - open admissions* N/A - open admissions*
Retention Rate (2014) 70% of full-time students; 44% of part-time students* 65% of full-time students; 43% of part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (Students Who Began in 2011) 27% (8% transfer-out rate)* 24% (11% transfer-out rate)*

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics

American River College

American River College is a public school that offers certificate programs in automotive collision technology and automotive claims estimating along with a comprehensive associate's degree program geared toward aspiring body shop technicians. The collision technology programs are approved by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) and the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR). The programs are available in formats lasting five, eight or 16 weeks.

Automotive Claims Estimator Certificate of Completion

Students enrolled in this program learn to accurately assess damage done to a vehicle in an auto collision and estimate the cost of repairs. Required courses include non-structural repairs, small business marketing, small business management, component repairs and customer service. Students must also complete a beginning keyboarding course in this program.

Automotive Collision Technology Certificate

This certificate program teaches students to repair vehicles that were involved in collisions. Students can learn to deal with non-structural and structural damage. The program also includes instruction on how to repair, replace and refinish autobody, engine and electrical components. Courses in suspension and steering systems, heating and air conditioning systems and sheet metal welding are also part of the curriculum. Students who complete the program may be prepared to take various ASE certification tests.

Associate in Science in Automotive Collision Technology

This program gives students the skills to diagnose and repair automotive damage and restore an automobile as closely as possible to its pre-collision state. Students learn to provide estimates of damages and repair costs, conform to industry safety requirements and understand developments in collision technology. This 60-unit program requires all of the same courses as the certificate program plus general education courses and electives. This program is offered at the Mather Transportation Center and may help students get ready for some of the ASE certification exams.

Yuba College

Located on 160 acres, Yuba College consists of 23 buildings and offers collision repair studies through its automotive technology department. The autobody courses are based on I-CAR standards; students who complete any of the programs are prepared to take ASE certification exams.

Body Repair Certificate of Achievement

This 12-unit program gives students the skills to perform autobody restoration. Topics covered include refinishing materials, paintless dent repairs, correct welding techniques and repairing versus replacing. In addition to an introductory autobody technology course, students complete a course in unibody technology. The automotive technical skills course introduces students to tool selection and usage, electrical circuit meters, bolt, nut and thread repair methods and general maintenance.

Painting and Refinishing Certificate of Achievement

The painting and refinishing certificate program teaches students how to perform autobody repairs and refinish vehicles. Students must complete 19 units of coursework and receive hands-on training through an autobody shop experience. The program also includes instruction in top coat application and autobody restoration.

Associate in Science in Body and Paint

The body and paint associate degree program prepares students to work as autobody technicians. Students interested in earning just the certificate must complete 33 units, while the associate degree program requires additional general education courses. Required courses include unibody technology, air conditioning and heating systems, alignment and suspensions, gas welding and autobody restoration. Students also complete two I-CAR courses on autobody non-structural repairs and refinishing along with a shop experience.

Other School Options

Students in the Sacramento area have two additional auto collision school options. San Joaquin Delta College, located 46.3 miles from downtown Sacramento in Stockton, offers an automotive collision repair program, as does Solano Community College, which is located 46.1 miles away in Fairfield.

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