Professional students earn college credit, launch HVAC careers

Nick Wilson |

Professional and career education courses await students interested in business studies through a partnership between the Crawfordsville, North Montgomery, Southmont and Western Boone schools.

One of these classes offered by the partnership is the heating, ventilation and air conditioning program at Crawfordsville High School.

The two-year course offers technical training on a variety of HVAC-related projects, including sheet metal fabrication for pipelines and environmental certifications.

Through the HVAC program, students can earn college credit at Ivy Tech and even start working immediately after graduating from high school, said career and technical education coordinator Sara Nicodemus.

“They have some real work experience in their second year,” he said. “They go out to the workplace and some of them can benefit from internships after completing the certifications. They also have a laboratory space here where they do a lot of practical learning. “

Each year of the HVAC course is taught by Mark Garing, who has spent more than 20 years in the industry.

“Many of them choose to switch to Ivy Tech and some choose to go directly to the field,” said Garing. “If you look at all the companies around here, I have – or have had – an ex-student in almost all of them.”

The course also allows students to participate in the Indiana SkillsUSA competition each year. In 2019, the program was awarded the title of sheet metal champion. A banner hangs proudly in the main hall to encourage other potential champions.

One of the reasons for the success of the program can be attributed to community awareness. The dressing meets regularly with advisory councils and contractors looking for hires.

That concept of responding to community needs is the backbone of all the programs offered through CTE, Nicodemus said.

For more information on the HVAC program at Crawfordsville High School, contact the professional and technical training center on 765-362-2340.