Dunwoody College of Technology’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) programs have been granted another six-year accreditation by HVAC Excellence—a nonprofit organization created in 1994 to improve competency through validation of the technical education process. The program first received accreditation in 2007.
Dunwoody’s program was the first in the states of Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin to be accredited with a nationally known accrediting organization recognized by the HVAC industry and the federal government.
To gain accreditation a college HVAC program must meet standards related to the mission of the program, administrational responsibilities, finances and funds, student services, instructional design and program elements, physical facilities, equipment and tools, cooperative training and instructor qualifications.
During the 2013 reaccreditation process, Dunwoody’s HVAC program Self-Study was cited as one of the top five internationally. The highest award a program can receive is a six-year accreditation, which Dunwoody’s HVAC program has now been awarded twice.
“This accomplishment speaks to Dunwoody’s HVAC instructors and their commitment to excellence in training and dedication to their students,” said HVAC Services Principal Instructor Tom Kleinman. “It also ensures the HVAC industry, our industry partners, and future employers that a quality, well-educated student will be leaving our doors upon graduation. Graduates can be confident that they are properly trained and ready on day one to be a productive technician for their employer.”
Dunwoody’s HVAC program focuses on hands-on learning where students are exposed to experiences in shops and labs that imitate the field in which they’ll be employed.
Kleinman said the HVAC program’s faculty represents more than 166 years of field, trade, educational and instructional experience.
“Our HVAC instructors also maintain ties to the industry that help with employment and the continued success of the program,” he said.
The accreditation process
To gain accreditation, Dunwoody staff prepared a self-study of the HVAC program, providing documentation showing compliance in nine standards set by HVAC Excellence: mission of the program, administrative responsibilities, finances and funds, curriculum, plan of instructions, facilities, equipment and tools, cooperative training and instructor’s qualifications.
The self-study is several hundred pages long and took months to prepare. Executive members of HVAC Excellence reviewed the self-study. After review and critique of the self-study, HVAC Excellence selected a group of industry veterans to review the program. They were charged with the task of conducting an in-depth onsite evaluation of the Dunwoody College of Technology program—where they determined the College met the standards for re-accreditation.
About Dunwoody: Founded in 1914, Dunwoody College of Technology is the only private, not-for-profit technical college in the Upper Midwest. It has provided a hands-on, applied technical education to more than 250,000 men and women, who in turn have gone on to meaningful and rewarding careers. Located on the western edge of downtown Minneapolis, Dunwoody is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (ncahlc.org).
About HVAC Excellence: HVAC Excellence is a not-for-profit organization that has been serving the HVACR industry since 1994. It is our goal to improve competency through validation of the technical education process. By setting standards and verifying that they have been met, we inspire the industry to excel. HVAC Excellence knows that all of the challenges that face the industry are achievable by continuous improvement in the way that it prepares technicians.
HVAC Excellence Programs: Identify areas of weakness in education, Assists employers with hiring competent technicians, Allows the public to identify competent technicians, pinpoints current deficiencies in the technical workforce for education program development, and aids manufacturers in warranty cost reduction.