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Woodbridge's AIR Program Earns National Accreditation

The Woodbridge Campus Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (AIR) Program recently went through a rigorous self-study and onsite evaluation from a national accreditation organization. At the end of the process, the program was granted the HVAC Excellence Accreditation.

The accreditation validates that the program is preparing students for jobs in the industry and verifies that the program has the needed resources and administrative support to accomplish its goals. With the accreditation, students can have more confidence in the program and employers have the assurance that the graduates are properly trained.

The self-study evaluated the program against standards in curriculum, faculty, student facilities, placement services, financial aid, advisory committee involvement, training facilities, equipment and safety. Upon completion, the self-study was sent to HVAC Excellence for assessment by its executive team.

After reviewing the self-study, HVAC Excellence selected a group of industry veterans to visit the Woodbridge Campus and validate the self-study through an intense onsite evaluation. During the onsite visit, HVAC Excellence team members interviewed Acting Dean Timothy Seaman, Natural Science and Mathematics; Counselor Tanya Ludutsky and Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program faculty Patrick Dennis, John Feeney, John Hurley, Chris Rhyne and Richard Wirz.

The AIR Program was granted a six-year accreditation and commended for retaining a highly competent and dedicated instructional staff, providing students with two distinct lab areas, constructing a variety of instructor-made trainers and simulators that complement the classroom theory, establishing a separate electrical training room that houses many instructor-made trainers and models that reinforce theory instruction and teaching the mechanical code review as part of the curriculum.

As a result of the accreditation, NOVA will be listed on http://www.5starcareers.com, the HVACR recruitment website where people can learn about career opportunities and find the top programs in the country. Only 22 states have accredited programs.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) and the United Association (UA) have made a commitment to recruiting HVACR technicians from schools with HVAC Excellence credentials and will provide new hires advanced placement into their apprenticeship program. The organizations represent more than 3,000 employers and a workforce of 350,000.

Congratulations to everyone associated with the AIR Program on this major accomplishment!

Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.