Hill College


Hill College, TraneĀ® partner to offer HVAC certifications beginning this fall


Open House set for Aug. 10 beginning at 11 a.m.

Hill College’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) program has received the approval needed to begin offering classes this fall.

The program, which has been under development for the past three years, has been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). SACSCOC is the recognized regional accrediting body in the 11 U.S. southern states and in Latin America for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master’s or doctoral degrees.

“We are excited that the program has reached this huge milestone,” Hill College President Dr. Pam Boehm said. “Not only does SACSCOC approval allow us to move forward, it assures that we have developed a quality program that will benefit our community.”

Prior to being accredited by SACSCOC, the program was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, the government agency which coordinates the Texas higher education system. Also approved by Hill College’s board of regents, the program’s curriculum was developed with input from a local advisory board comprised of area HVAC professionals.

The HVAC program is pending approval from the Department of Education for federal financial aid.  Federal financial aid includes Pell grant and the William D. Ford Direct Loan program.  Students will be notified when the program is approved and instructed on how to apply for federal funding.

The program offers four levels of training, from a fast-track certificate of completion to an associate of applied science degree, which combines technical, professional and academic training. Students who begin this fall and attend full-time could have a certificate in as little as one semester. Full-time students can earn a degree in two years.

Developed in partnership with industry leader Trane®, the program will provide training in the areas of residential, light commercial and comfort controls. A lab for each of these areas is currently being equipped at the training facility, located at 200 N. Robertson in downtown Cleburne.

“The HVAC program is the result of strong collaboration,” Hill College Vice President of Instruction Rex Parcells said. “Trane® and Hill College are members of NC3, a network of education providers and corporations that advances new and emerging technology skills. This has allowed us to benchmark and receive input from other successful programs.”

Hill College is a founding member of NC3, while Trane® represents the energy sector. The affiliation will allow the college to offer portable certifications, in addition to higher education awards, Parcells said.

The training facility, now known as the Cleburne Technical Center, is the former home of Walls Industries, which opened its doors in 1945. Following the college’s renovation, the 36,000-square-foot-structure has been referred to by many Cleburne residents as “the big white building.” It is also the home of Hill College’s welding program.

Dr. Floretta Bush, dean of the college’s career and technology division, said that she regularly receives calls from community members interested in studying HVAC.

“It is great to be able to tell them that we now have a program,” she said. “Employers are also very excited.”

The college plans to offer morning, afternoon and evening classes in HVAC.

Serving as coordinator of the program is Allen Dillman, who has nearly 40 years of HVAC and maintenance experience, including operating his own air conditioning and refrigeration businesses. He holds numerous EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) certificates and several years of experience teaching HVAC at the college level.

“I am passionate about this field and passionate about my students,” Dillman said. “I can’t wait to get started.”

Registration is currently underway for the fall semester. Persons interested in learning more about this program can contact Dillman at adillman@hillcollege.edu or by calling 817-760-5553.

An official Open House is scheduled for Aug. 10 where the community is invited to tour the new facility as well as to meet both Hill College and Trane representatives, and to have lunch after the ribbon cutting.