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ACCE Needs HVACR Contractors to Participate on HVACR Degree Accreditation Visiting Teams

By John Schaufelberger, Ph.D., and Michael R. Copp, MA, Hon. MIRM

March 20, 2024



The American Council for Construction (ACCE) needs industry experts to volunteer as Visiting Team volunteers to accredit Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR) AAS and BS degree programs and Registered Apprenticeship Programs (RAPs) in good standing with the US Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship. ACCE is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a construction program and single-purpose construction institution accreditor. In July, ACCE will be celebrating 50 years of service to the construction industry.


A growing number of institutions have expressed interest in pursuing ACCE HVACR program accreditation and hence, it is extremely important that we develop a trained cadre of committed industry experts to support the accreditation of these programs. To be successful, we need your participation.


ACCE Visiting Team members utilize the ACCE’s accreditation criteria to assess a program-candidate’s Self-Evaluation Study and participate in college, university, and training site visits. Visiting Teams are composed of three members, one of whom is an HVACR educator and one of whom is an HVACR industry expert. The third member is either an educator or practitioner. In addition, there may be one or two members-in-training. Site visits last three days, Sunday through Monday, and expenses incurred while participating on a site visit are reimbursed by ACCE. “I found the site visit experience this past spring to be very rewarding and insightful,” said Michael Copp, ACCE’s Workforce Development Consultant.

 

Participating in site visits enables practitioners to contribute to the industry by verifying the reviewed programs meet ACCE criteria for accreditation of HVACR degree programs and registered apprenticeship programs. The goal is to make certain that programs are meeting the required content and level of achievement for prescribed program objectives as well as performing in a manner consistent with their stated claims. 



HVACR Practitioners can also participate in the ACCE Industry Caucus and provide an industry voice in establishing accreditation criteria and other industry concerns- to include the capability and employability of students. This critical input helps bridge the gap between academia and industry by ensuring that graduates are prepared for workforce demands and armed with the most relevant and up-to-date skills and knowledge needed in the field. This need is especially critical given the ongoing labor shortage according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics with roughly one of four open construction positions being filled, more sophisticated climate-control systems, impact of artificial intelligence, and a crumbling infrastructure. Tangentially, ServiceTitan’s HVAC Job Outlook 2023 noted that according to a 2022 Statista Research Department report, the global HVAC market is projected to reach about $367.5 billion by 2030, based on a compound annual growth rate of 3.9% between 2020 and 2030.

 

To be qualified to be a member of an ACCE Vising Team, a practitioner must do the following:

2.     Attend Initial Visiting Team Training,

3.     Participate on a Site Visit as a Member-in-Training,

4.     Attend Advanced Visiting Team Training, and

5.     Attend the Visiting Teams Case Studies Workshop.

 

All the required training is offered by ACCE during its Midyear Conference in February and its Annual Conference in July. An Initial Visiting Team Training session for educators and industry experts will be conducted on Thursday, July 25, 2024, in Denver as part of the ACCE Annual Conference. You are encouraged to consider attending this training, and volunteer to serve as a member-in-training during the 2024 Fall semester or the 2025 Spring semester.


If you are interested in attending the Visiting Team Initial Training during the 2024 ACCE Annual Conference in Denver July 24-27, 2024, please contact Michael Copp, ACCE’s Workforce Development Consultant at Michael.Copp@acce-hq.org. 




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