The Elgin Community College Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVACR) Program prepares highly skilled building engineers and technicians for the HVACR industry. Each year the demand for well-trained men and women to install, service, and maintain equipment increases as fuel conservation, ozone depletion, and global warming remain critical issues worldwide. HVACR programs at Elgin Community College (ECC) are education and training leaders in Illinois and the Midwest. This broad field of study encompasses building engineering, stationary engineering, residential, commercial and industrial service, and energy management.
The HVACR Program at ECC has been especially successful in recruiting, enrolling, retaining, and graduating Latino students. As a community college, ECC offers students the opportunity to study full or part time and to attend college while living at home and contributing to family support. Currently, 31% of ECC-HACVR students are of Latino heritage. Six years ago, college wide, only 9% of students earning Associate degrees in applied science and vocational certificates were of Latino heritage.
In fiscal year 2005, the college’s overall enrollment was at a historical peak, and 273 Latino students received a degree or certificate from the program -- three times as many as the 90 completers in 2001. The percentage of Latino graduates has steadily increased, and in 2007 the program served 216 students who declared HVACR as a course of study; 27% of them were Latino. The percentage of Latino students in the program exceeds that of Latino students within the college as a whole, as only 18.3% of all career/technical majors are Latino.
This program was recognized as an Honorable Mention for making innovative and/or significant improvement in increasing Latino student success.