Virginia College in Birmingham Showcased New Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program At Open House

Mar 31, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.March 27, 2014 Virginia College in Birmingham hosted an Open House for its new Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) Technician facility on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 at its campus located at 488 Palisades Blvd. A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place where members of the local business community and Virginia College HVAC-R instructors and students participated. Attendees toured the approximately 6,000 sq.-ft. facility that includes learning labs and lecture classrooms and heard from Campus President Chris Moore and Dean of Trade Programs and State Certified Contractor Elijah Blanchard.

Virginia College in Birmingham Showcased New Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Program At Open HouseVirginia College Dean of Trade Programs & State-Certified Contractor Elijah Blanchard and Virginia College in Birmingham Campus President Chris Moore participates in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Virginia College to officially announce the launch of the new Heating, Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC-R) program for students.

The new premises act as a real world, hands-on learning environment for students of the new HVAC-R program. Classrooms have been outfitted with a soldering and brazing design lab as well as a refrigeration lab equipped with a walk-in cooler/freezer and ice machine. A walk-in cooler simulator was also included, where faults can be slowly applied, allowing students to troubleshoot from the fault that was put into it, which helps students discover what kinds of problems can develop in real-world situations.

"For three decades, Virginia College has been training students in Birmingham for new careers, and it's a pleasure to expand our offerings to now include HVAC-R and to finally showcase our facility to the public," said Moore. "This new program will help students develop professional and ethical practices in the HVAC-R field with a positive attitude and strong customer service skills."

The HVAC-R program at Virginia College is unlike any other in the state, offering the most up-to-date equipment and field training within the community. While enrolled in the program, students will take field trips to various companies, such as Marathon gas stations and Sysco Foods to look at each company's commercial systems and to help correct issues. This training also gives students the opportunity to install and maintain energy management systems. The field training will help in making connections and forging opportunities for students as well as future employers.

"I couldn't be more thrilled that the HVAC-R program is now being offered to students at Virginia College," said Blanchard. "Our students are going to get the best experience possible with our up-to-date equipment and field training in the community. What we offer will prove to be mutually beneficial for both the students and their future employers, making sure that they are employing one of the most qualified technical school graduates."

Students have the option to obtain a diploma or an associate of applied science degree in this program. Designed to provide the foundation for an entry-level position as an HVAC-R technician, the diploma program will provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely install, troubleshoot and repair equipment used in the home and light commercial industry. The associate of applied science degree program requires an externship. Associate degree graduates will have a foundation in business principles that will assist them in moving into management areas of the HVAC-R industry. Completion of the diploma program takes 12 months, and completion of the applied science degree program takes 24 months.

"Rising demand for trained HVAC-R technicians suggests excellent employment opportunities," said Blanchard. "Upon successful completion from this program, graduates should be able to isolate malfunctions in heating, air conditioning, heat pump and refrigeration systems as well as design, fabricate and install ductwork to provide proper airflow in heating and cooling systems."

For more information about the HVAC-R associate's degree or diploma program, visit or To learn more about Virginia College in Birmingham, call (205) 802-1200 or visit  

About Virginia College and Education Corporation of America

Birmingham, Ala.-based Education Corporation of America (ECA) is a leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of over 19,000 students. Holdings include Virginia College, founded in 1983, a private institution of higher education that offers non-degree and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the areas of Health and Medical, Business, Information Technology, Computer Design, Cosmetology, Culinary Arts and more with locations in 25 different cities in the following states: Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. ECA also offers classes online via and operates Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia College, Golf Academy of America schools in California, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and Florida, and Ecotech Institute in Colorado, which is the first and only college focused on preparing students for careers in renewable energy and sustainable design. These schools are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) which is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

ECA also owns and operates New England College of Business in Massachusetts, a fully online college which is regionally accredited by New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and is licensed by Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

For more information, contact Diane Worthington at or (205) 329-7911.