HVAC-R program earns accreditation

HVAC-R program lab
Students practice skills in the HVAC-R lab on the Lake Worth campus.

Palm Beach State College has earned a six-year accreditation from HVAC Excellence for its PSAV certificate program in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration.

PBSC has been a leading educator of HVAC-R technicians for more than 12 years, and in recent years, has realigned the program’s curriculum from an emphasis on new construction installation to the residential and light commercial side of the industry where most graduates find employment.

The HVAC-R program has been accredited by the National Center for Construction Education and Research since 2011, but with this shift in focus, the program staff decided to pursue an additional accreditation from the highly respected HVAC Excellence in order to validate that the program has met nationally established standards in all areas of instruction.

Lynnmarie Highsmith, program director for the HVAC-R, Machining and Welding programs, led the accreditation process, which involved preparing a self-study containing in-depth documentation on how the College has met each of the required standards. Upon approval of the self-study, an intensive on-site review was conducted by an independent third-party.

The results were highly gratifying. PBSC’s HVAC-R program garnered one of the most positive reviews given by the on-site reviewers, who had no recommendations for improvement and said it was one of the strongest programs they’ve seen.

“Achieving the HVAC Excellence accreditation further solidifies the superior training our students are getting here at PBSC,” Highsmith said. “It took a lot of preparation and support from faculty, staff and administration—we were able to achieve this because of them, and for that I am grateful.”

The accreditation ultimately benefits the HVAC-R students, who now will earn nationally recognized HVAC Excellence certifications while in the program, verifying their skills as residential and light commercial service technicians. Highsmith affirmed, “We are graduating technicians ready to hit the ground running.”

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