HVAC School Accreditation in Colorado Springs, CO
Accreditation is a process by which an independent agency evaluates the quality of an educational institution’s program, including curriculum and instructors. When choosing a school, prospective students are encouraged to determine if it is properly accredited.
Two industry organizations evaluate and accredit HVAC programs. The Partnership for Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Accreditation (PAHRA) has awarded accreditation to Front Range Community College in Fort Collins, CO, and HVAC Excellence has accredited Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs, CO. Front Range is included in the profiles below due to the accreditation, although it is a two-hour commute for those living in Colorado Springs. The other programs have received regional accreditation from respected entities.
Front Range Community College
Front Range Community College offers one degree and four certificates for aspiring HVAC/R technicians. The certificate programs include HVAC/R fundamentals, residential HVAC, light commercial HVAC, and commercial refrigeration.
The 15-credit HVAC/R fundamentals certificate includes an introduction to HVAC, basic refrigeration, basic electricity, and electrical components. The other certificates build on these basics. The 35-credit residential HVAC certificate provides additional education in advanced HVAC, troubleshooting, customer service, communication skills, and more.
The 37-credit light commercial certificate is very similar to the residential HVAC certificate with an additional focus on industrial controls. Finally, the 28-credit commercial refrigeration certificate covers commercial refrigeration.
The 60-credit HVAC/R degree program includes all of the coursework required for the certificate programs as well as an internship or capstone project and general education coursework in English, math, science, and an elective.
- Location: Fort Collins, CO
- Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and PAHRA
- Tuition: $181.56 per credit
- Program length: Two years for the degree; varies for the certificate
The HVAC/R degree program at Intellitec College is designed to prepare graduates for employment as entry-level residential, commercial, and industrial technicians. Classes are available during the daytime and evenings.
The 90-credit curriculum covers many subjects, including electricity, gas furnaces safety and codes, heating fuels and combustion analysis, refrigeration, residential and commercial air conditioning, pneumatics and controls, load calculations, organizational communication and etiquette, business English, and customer service, among others.
The coursework prepares students to sit for industry certification exams including EPA Section 608, Combustion Analysis Technician, R410A Refrigerant Safety, and Green Awareness & Carbon Monoxide Safety.
- Location: Colorado Springs, CO
- Accreditation: Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (valid until Feb. 2019)
- Tuition: $31,949 for the full program
- Program length: 18 months
Pikes Peak Community College
Pikes Peak offers multiple certificate programs and a degree program in HVAC technology. The 35-credit residential HVAC/R certificate program qualifies graduates to seek positions as helpers or apprentices through coursework in basic refrigeration, air conditioning, electricity, gas heating, piping, refrigerant recovery, HVAC controls, and more. The 18-credit industry upgrade certificate is designed for employed technicians who want to upgrade their skills to include modern technology and equipment.
The 15-credit direct digital controls certificate program qualifies students for entry-level employment as environmental control technicians for HVAC systems in commercial and industrial facilities. Applicants for the program must have four years of work experience or a degree in HVAC or facilities management technology.
The 68-credit HVAC degree program covers the same coursework as the certificate programs as well as additional trade classes in commercial heating, hot water heating systems, advanced HVAC/R and heat pumps. Degree students also learn communication and technical writing skills and take classes in computer applications or computer literacy, math, and workplace psychology. They complete the program with an internship or sheet metal fabrication.
- Location: Colorado Springs, CO
- Accreditation: HLC and HVAC Excellence
- Tuition: $148.90 per credit
- Program length: Two semesters for the industry upgrade certificate, three semesters for the direct digital controls and residential HVAC certificates, and four semesters for the degree