NORFOLK, Va. — Tidewater Community College (TCC) will begin offering an associate degree in Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Maintenance Technology (HVACR) with the start of fall classes on Aug. 25.

The 67-credit degree program will prepare students for careers in the HVACR industry as technicians in the areas of service, maintenance, and installation. Students will have obtained the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification upon graduation.

Harlan Krepcik, program head for HVACR at the college, noted that the field faces a shortage of skilled workers locally and nationally. “HVACR has the highest demand for new workers among the technical fields,” he said. “The income opportunities are there, and the future is bright for someone who wants to get into the field.”

Prior to developing the curriculum for the associate degree, TCC faculty and staff collaborated with HVACR business professionals and employers throughout the Hampton Roads area to determine current needs in the industry. “The result was a curriculum designed to fit the needs of the business community,” Krepcik said. “TCC is responding directly to what employers are looking for.”

While TCC is one of three colleges in the Virginia Community College System to offer an HVACR associate degree — the others are Northern Virginia Community College and Virginia Highlands Community College — it is the first to allow students to specialize in one of five areas. Students can specialize in residential, commercial, weatherization, supervision and management, or energy management.

“Specializing in one aspect of the industry is absolutely supported by the business community,” Krepcik said. “That will reduce the learning curve for new employees.”

TCC will also continue to offer a 35-credit certificate in HVACR. For information about the associate degree or certificate program, contact Krepcik at For more information on Tidewater Community College, visit

Publication date: 6/16/2014

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