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Kaskaskia College offers first electric vehicle training program in South Central Illinois

(Courtesy Kaskaskia College)

According to the US Energy Information Administration, 31% of vehicles on the road will be electric by 2050. With the popularity of electric cars increasing, Kaskaskia College is now offering a new certification program to help professionals in the automotive industry. The Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Training Program will provide students with advanced education on electric vehicles.

This training program is two semesters long and is designed for either technicians working in the field or students who already have completed the required course prerequisites. Once complete, students will receive a Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Training Certificate.

“Our new program will provide our students with the background and training so they can have a skill set that really sets them apart as they enter the workforce or advance their automotive career,” said Kaskaskia College’s Dean of Career and Technical Education Traci Masau. “People might think that our region is still five years away from a world with electric vehicles, but it is actually already here. Our students will be one step ahead for the future of the automotive industry.”

Chuck DeBernardi is an Assistant Professor of Automotive Technology at Kaskaskia College and has been in the automotive industry for more than two decades. He says there are not many colleges that currently offer programs like this, but he expects that will change in the next few years.

“Our program is unique because our students get the opportunity to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and get hands-on training with electric and hybrid cars,” said DeBernardi. “The training we offer here puts our students at a huge advantage compared to an online certification where students may never even touch a car. These vehicles are different since they are cleaner and have no dirt, but also require more intense math. You have to understand electricity and in-depth meter readings. This certification will not only make students stand out, but can help students potentially earn more money.”

To enroll, students should have one of the following:

  • ASE A6 Electrical/Electronic Systems and ASE A8 Engine Performance Certifications*
  • Or have taken AUTO 111 Safety, AUTO 118 Basic Electrical, AUTO 119 Auto Fundamentals and Service, and AUTO 156 Engine Performance I at Kaskaskia College or similar courses from another training program.

For questions about the program, reach out to Automotive Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Kevin Wheeler at


Kaskaskia College is a public community college in Centralia, Ill., within South Central Illinois District 501 serving all or part of nine counties including Bond, Clinton, Fayette, Marion, Washington, Jefferson, St. Clair, Madison and Montgomery. Committed to making education accessible, they host the Crisp Technology Center in Centralia, and also have education centers in Greenville, Nashville, Salem, Trenton and Vandalia, Ill. The school, which is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, offers a broad spectrum of degrees, programs and certification options, specializing in 2-year associates degrees and trade school programs. Founded in 1940, Kaskaskia College was the first Class I Community College established in the State of Illinois.


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