NHRAW wholesale sales continue to show a strong growth pattern when compared to results for other industry indices, including housing starts, unitary equipment, and central heating shipments. (Courtesy of NHRAW.)

Ever wonder how to keep employees up-to-date with training? In answer to this industry-wide question, the Northamerican Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Wholesalers Association (NHRAW) has developed what it calls the Home Study Institute (HSI).

Jim Woodruff, chair of the Education Committee for NHRAW, said the distance learning school is operated as a not-for-profit service by hvacr distributor members of NHRAW. The program is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council, a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, participants in HSI classes are among more than 50 million working adults who are pursuing continued education throughout the nation.

Course Offerings, CEUs

Class offerings include basic electricity, commercial refrigeration, counter service and sales, installation and repair of unitary equipment, introduction to comfort cooling, introduction to comfort heating, modern hydronic heating basics, modern hydronic heating design, principles of controls, professional dealer selling, residential duct design, and residential load calculations. There is literally something for everyone.

“Students receive instructional support as they progress through a course,” said Woodruff. “Students also receive Tech Tips, or management-focused bulletins, on a regular basis as they continue their studies.”

NHRAW says that each course may require up to three months to complete, based on a study schedule of two to three hours per week. However, accelerated study is encouraged.

All courses successfully completed earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the Institute, giving course completion a nationally recognized unit of measurement that is awarded by many colleges and other training organizations for participating in qualified continuing education.

Woodruff said the CEU system was developed by a National Task Force, under the joint sponsorship of the National University Extension Association, the Amer-ican Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, the U.S. Civil Service Commission, and the U.S. Office of Education.

“CEUs may serve as a record of maintenance or improvement of professional competence, career advancement, or for other purposes where evidence of professional advancement may be required or beneficial,” said Woodruff.

Under the HSI system, participants will have a permanent, confidential transcript for each course successfully completed, according to NHRAW.

The institute courses are currently approved by the Ohio Construction Industry Examining Board, which enables those finishing courses to meet hvac continuing education requirements in Ohio.

Woodruff said that the program is designed for on-the-job air conditioning industry personnel; over 1,000 people in the heating and air conditioning industry enroll each year.


Ranging from $69.50 for introductory level courses up to $89.00 for more advanced courses, tuition costs are quite reasonable. Woodruff noted the cost covers textbooks, worksheets, study guides, examinations, return envelopes, supplemental notes, certificate/diploma, CEU transcript, personalized study schedule, reminder postcards, student assistance, discounts, and academic records — nearly everything the student needs, with the exception of postage required to mail examination papers to the school. There is also a one-time fee of $10 that goes toward keeping the student in the files, sending transcripts, and updating system files.

Non-members of NHRAW may enroll in courses, if sponsored by a local NHRAW wholesaler, at the lower member fee.

For more information, contact NHRAW’s Student Services Administrator at NHRAW Home Study Institute, P.O. Box 16790, Columbus, OH 43216-6790; 614-488-1835; 614-488-0482 (fax); or nhrawmail@nhraw.org (e-mail).

Publication date: 12/04/2000