The HVACR industry is in dire need of new technicians to fill the positions becoming vacant by retiring technicians, or just to fill vacancies in companies looking for help. So these contracting firms often find they need to bring people on fast. But the job of HVACR technician isn't one that can be mastered in one day, or even in a two-year program.

That's why accreditation is so important. It provides a way to "grade" the industry's training institutions, so that hiring contractors can be confident that the person they're hiring is qualified, and will soon be able to ride alone on service calls.

One recently-accredited school is the University of Northwestern Ohio, Lima, OH. It was accredited by HVAC Excellence, a leading, not for profit organization that has been serving the HVACR industry since 1994.

Fast-track, but Qualified
With over 1,200 HVAC programs in the U.S., how can prospective students identify which program will put their career on the fast track to success?  How can an employer identify a program that has the resources and administrative support to help them find graduates for employment? They do this by looking for a program that has been granted HVAC Excellence programmatic accreditation.

Programmatic accreditation is where an independent third party reviews a program against set educational and industry standards in: the mission of the program, administrational responsibilities, finances and funds, student services, instruction design and program elements, physical facilities, equipment and tools, cooperative training, instructor qualifications.  

In order to pursue accreditation the staff at the school has to submit a self-study filled with narratives and examples of how they complied with each of the required standards. The self- study once completed was sent to the HVAC Excellence accreditation review board to thoroughly assess for compliance against each standard.   

HVAC Excellence having approved the self study sent an onsite team to conduct an intense onsite review of the program. The onsite team consist of two members, one who has served years as an HVACR instructor, the other as a school administrator.  These onsite team members are seasoned professionals that possess the knowledge, training and experience to successfully evaluate every aspect of an HVACR program.  The selection of these team members gives integrity to the accreditation process and provides students with confidence in the program.

Upon a thorough review of all of the documentation presented by the school and the onsite accreditation team, the HVAC Excellence accreditation review board decided to grant accreditation of the program.  

Now that the program has been granted accreditation it can: provide students with quality assurance of the program, provide employers assurance that graduates are properly trained, can assists in establishing articulation agreements, an eligibility determinant for funding, can increase enrollment, student placement and employer satisfaction is enhanced, requires faculty participation in self-study and annual reporting, can assist students in the acceptability of transfer credits, creates goals for self-improvement.

Learn more about the nationally accredited program at the University of Northwestern Ohio by visiting them online at www.unoh.edu