Congratulations to Johnston Community College on their recent accreditation from HVAC Excellence. This programmatic accreditation is an independent, third-party review of an educational program. Programs undergoing the accreditation process are compared to established, industry-accepted standards designed to ensure students receive quality training in the HVACR industry.
Pictured above and below: Wayne Hardin, HVAC Instructor, and Brent Evans, AHR Instructor.
We interviewed Wayne and Brent to learn more about this journey.
Q: Why is pursuing a career in HVAC a good choice today?
A: HVAC has long been known as the ‘King of the Trades’; it requires many skills across more than one trade category. Students that enter the HVAC industry do so because of the challenge, because of the pay, and because of the satisfaction provided by successfully repairing a complex machine.
As the Baby Boomer generation retires from the workforce, more and more Millennials are being attracted to the HVAC field because of the high salaries resulting from the labor shortage. There has never been a better time to make the jump into the HVAC field than now.
Q: You recently received an HVAC Excellence accreditation- why is that important as a program? What advice would you give to other locations that are considering starting this process?
A: HVAC Excellence Accreditation has long been a programmatic goal for our program at JCC. We began exploring the self-study for the first time in 2015 and completed it in 2021. This accreditation allows us to advertise our program as being provably elite among HVAC programs in our state community college system. Furthermore, the certifications and testing offered through HVAC Excellence allow our students to overcome the ‘experience gap’ when applying for employment.
If any school is thinking about accreditation, the best advice we have is to lean on your Institutional Research and Effectiveness departments for help. They maintain the various accreditations and credentials across your campus and ensure your compliance with regional accrediting bodies. Chances are, if any data is required by one accreditor it is also required by other accreditors, so most of the data we needed already existed. It is entirely thanks to our Institutional Researcher, Amanda Roberts, that we completed the self-study document.
Q: What were the major factors that lead you to choose iConnect Training for your program?
A: The COVID 19 Pandemic and associated Federal funding allowed us the opportunity to finally buy iConnect trainers for the first time this year. In our opinion, iConnect is among the most cutting-edge and high-tech trainers on the market. We’ve been moving in a more technologically advanced direction with Building Automation for a few years now and iConnect provided a solution that matched up perfectly with our growth and quality strategy.
The iConnect training system’s ability to display telemetry on a television or through an online presentation enabled us to justify this purchase. Because iConnect’s system can be remotely displayed, we are able to maintain social distancing standards as required by the pandemic and are able to continue our important work on an in-person basis during this difficult time.