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Refrigeration HVAC Heating College Degree

Refrigeration HVAC Heating College Degree

Refrigeration/Air Conditioning/Heating Technology Associate Degree Program

Program Overview

Obtain the knowledge and training you need to become an entry-level technician in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning industries. Understand the mechanics of basic domestic refrigeration as well as more complex commercial refrigeration, heating, and cooling systems. Learn the fundamentals of geothermal technology and how it is used in refrigeration and air conditioning.


Career Possibilities

  • HVACR Technician
  • Air Conditioning Installer
  • Refrigeration Mechanic

Associate in Science Degree

The Associate in Science Degree in Refrigeration/Air Conditioning/Heating (RACH) is offered jointly by the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Department and the Heating Department.

Refrigeration/Air Conditioning/Heating (RACH) is a comprehensive program designed to train students as entry-to-industry level technicians. The program offers a curriculum combining two distinct but interrelated areas dealing with heat energy and its transfer. The curriculum includes both the theoretical and practical aspects of heating and cooling.

The course content of the program includes the basic theory of heat flow and its control and the methods used to make heat flow to either cool or heat a specific area. Instruction in the refrigeration and air conditioning field begins with the basic domestic refrigerator and progresses to the most complex commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems over the course of three ten-week terms. Topics in ground source geothermal and the use of heat pumps are also offered.

In the heating portion of the program (distributed over three terms),  various heating systems are examined such as steam, warm air, and forced hot water. Also presented are the burners used in conjunction with these systems and their associated control circuitry. Special consideration is given to electrical wiring, heat loss calculations, and system design as they relate to a residential and commercial application. Included in the Heating Program are courses in the installation of heating systems, gas technology, and introduction to welding.

All parts of the RACH program contain intensive instruction in the mechanical and electrical control devices used in heating and cooling systems. Students receive comprehensive training in troubleshooting and service call procedures for both the heating and refrigeration/air conditioning portions of the program.

Graduates are prepared for positions as technicians in the refrigeration, air conditioning, and heating fields. In addition, after completing certain prerequisites, graduates of this program are eligible to continue on for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

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Associate in Science Degree

Program Mission, Goals and Outcomes

Program Mission:

The mission of the Refrigeration/Air Conditioning Technology program is to provide an associate degree program that will prepare students with entry level skills in refrigeration and air conditioning.

The study of thermodynamics, through theory lessons and applied labs, will prepare the student for advancement through apprenticeship programs and continued education to qualify for HVAC license tests at state and federal levels.

Program Goals:

  1. To provide an appropriate learning environment to acquire theoretical knowledge, applicable hands on skills, and the interpersonal attributes to function as an entry level HVAC assistant.
  2. To prepare students to qualify for testing in HVAC competency exams and certifications.
  3. To encourage students to continue to gain additional educational knowledge and experience for a successful and rewarding career.

Program Outcomes:
Graduates of the RAC program will have acquired the skills to:

  1. Take pressure and temperature readings with a manifold gauge set and various temperature meters.
  2. Flare and braze copper tubing.
  3. Diagnose various problems in an HVAC system using an electrical schematic diagram and various test meters.
  4. Charge air conditioning and refrigeration systems with the proper refrigerants using manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Identify components of air conditioning and refrigeration systems and explain their function.


Program Outcomes:
Graduates of this program will be able to:

  1. Exhibit knowledge of combustion efficiency testing through the use of instruments.
  2. Demonstrate a procedure for testing electrical circuits by using a Volt-OHM-Milliamp Meter.
  3. Calculate heat loss for a single family dwelling and properly design a multi-zone series loop system for that structure.
  4. Design a fuel delivery system with natural gas and propane for a residential and light commercial application and develop a complete parts list for the installation of that system in accordance with NFPA 54.
  5. Install and troubleshoot heating controls for the following parameters: temperature, humidity, pressure and ventilation to create and efficient system.
  6. Install furnaces and boilers with ductwork and piping.


Associate in Science Degree

  • AH 101 Introduction to the P-RACH Industry
  • AH 114 Refrigeration Systems Fundamentals
  • AH 116 Refrigeration Systems Fundamentals Lab
  • AH 118 Basic Electricity Lab
  • AH 125 Basic Electricity
  • AH 126 Electricity for Refrigeration & Air Conditioning
  • AH 128 Electricity for Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Lab
  • AH 134 Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration
  • AH 138 Commercial and Industrial Refrigeration Lab
  • AH 140 System Electrical Controls I
  • AH 141 System Electrical Controls I Lab
  • AH 143 System Electrical Controls II Lab
  • AH 144 System Electrical Controls II 
  • AH 212 Refrigeration Technician Certification
  • AH 214 Air Conditioning
  • AH 215 Air Conditioning Lab
  • AH 234 Modern Heating Systems
  • AH 235 Heating Systems Lab
  • AH 238 Gas Heating Systems
  • AH 240 Blueprints, Pipe Fitting and Duct Layout
  • AH 241 Blueprints, Pipe Fitting and Duct Layout Lab
  • AH 242 Gas Heating Systems Lab
  • ELY 135 OSHA Construction Safety & Health
  • MT 114 Marine Welding and Cutting
  • Choose one set: AH 244 Oil Heating Systems & AH 246 Oil Heating Systems Lab or AH 250 Renewable Energy Systems & AH 251 Renewable Energy Systems Lab 
  • BU 236 Small Business and the Law
  • EN 100 Introduction to College Writing
  • EN 106 Service Industry Communications
  • MA 105 Basic College Math with Lab
  • MA 125 Technical Math