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HVAC Program Makes Blog Site's 'Top 25'

By Rob Goldberg Jr.
PCC Media Relations Director

WINTERVILLE—A national Internet blogging site has included Pitt Community College on its list of the country’s best colleges to pursue an education in Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Technology.

The website, hvacclasses.org, published its “25 Top HVAC Degree Programs” feature on May 27. PCC was the only North Carolina college to make the list.

“Pitt Community College in Winterville, North Carolina offers an Associate of Applied Science HVAC degree, which includes instruction in heating and cooling theory, electricity, and residential building codes,” the website stated. “These practical courses mean that students are well prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation.”

Billy Mozingo, HVAC Department chair at PCC, said he was “pleased and humbled” by the ‘Top 25’ recognition.

“We take a personal interest in the success of every student in our program,” he said. “We carefully guide them from registration to graduation to employment placement.

“I can proudly say that our students have job offers waiting for them when they graduate, which is a credit to the employers that participate in our cooperative education program and hire our graduates.”

In selecting the nation’s top HVAC programs, hvacclasses.org considered many factors, including degree options offered by each institution.

In addition to offering a two-year HVAC degree—something hvacclasses.org noted is not always the case at colleges with HVAC programs—PCC offers a one-year diploma in air conditioning and another in energy performance and diagnostics for sustainable energy use and conservation. Pitt also offers a short-term certificate in air conditioning service and repair.

Also factoring into the hvacclasses.org rankings was third-party accreditation.
Mozingo said PCC’s program has been accredited by the Partnership for Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) since January 2005.

“Having air conditioning professionals examine every aspect of our program and the support services that we offer our students has helped our program continually improve,” he said. “PAHRA accreditation is a seal of quality from the heating and air conditioning industry for prospective students, PCC administrators and the community.”

Hvacclasses.org also gave weight to how well colleges prepare students for HVAC licensing requirements, which can vary greatly from state to state and among municipalities. The website gave higher consideration to programs that specified that they prepare students for such things as local licensing or national EPA certification under section 608 of the Clean Air Act.

“All of our graduates have obtained universal EPA certification for the safe handling and use of refrigerants,” Mozingo said. “They also sit for Industry Competency Exam testing and obtain national industry-recognized, entry-level certifications for servicing air conditioners, heat pumps, gas heating, oil heating and airflow.”

For individuals considering HVAC careers, Mozingo says there’s never been a better time to enroll in the training to become a technician.

“The employment prospects are excellent,” he said. “According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the heating and air conditioning industry's expected job growth rate is more than 20 percent over the next 10 years, which is one of the highest rates in the nation.”