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Quality Instruction: the Backbone of HVACR Industry Success

Educational studies indicate that student learning is directly related to the quality of instruction provided. After publishing “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies” better known at the Theory of Special Relativity, Albert Einstein accepted a teaching job. However, “Einstein was never an inspired teacher, and his lectures tended to be regarded as disorganized”, Walter Isaascon, Einstein. This is an example of how knowing something does not make one a great instructor.
A basic requirement for employment as a teacher in most states is to pass a standardized teacher certification exam. This examination allows applicants to demonstrate their mastery of the curriculum, as well as their pedagogical skills needed to convey the material in a way that students will comprehend and retain the information. These examinations provide states and schools a standardized measurement of a job applicant’s knowledge and readiness to be an instructor, regardless of institution, or location.
When a person transitions from industry (HVACR technician or contractor) into the classroom, they need to have a deeper understanding of the physics and theories required to teach their subject matter effectively. The HVAC Excellence Educator Credentialing exams are a series of written exams that identify if an instructor possesses mastery of the specific content areas they will be teaching. The core exam covers teaching and technical education methodologies.
Proper training consists of teaching a set of skills and/or competencies for various tasks that a student or technician is required to perform. Most programs try to teach these skills and competencies but, without properly assessing an instructor’s mastery of these skills, an instructor does not know if they are teaching at a level that will help ensure student success in the field.
There are several benefits to having HVACR instructors take the credentialing exams, including:
  • Establishing minimum requirements for HVACR educators
  • Ensuring HVACR students have access to a high-quality education, which can lead to high-quality employment opportunities
  • Creating a nationally recognized benchmark for HVACR educators
  • Aiding school administrators in selecting well-qualified professionals to lead their HVACR programs
  • Providing HVACR instructors with the tools to identify where professional development may be needed
The Certified Subject Matter Educator (CSME) credentialing exams are a series of exams created specifically for HVACR instructors. These specialized HVACR teacher certification exams validate that an HVACR instructor has mastered the subject matter to teach the competencies in each subject area taught, these exams can also identify areas where additional training may be needed.
The exams offered include air conditioning, electrical, electric heat, gas heat, heat pump, light commercial air conditioning, light commercial refrigeration, oil heat, and the Teaching Methodologies, Principles, and Practices exam, which covers technical education methodologies, principles and practices, and attests to an instructor’s pedagogical skills.
Instructors are encouraged to take the exams that directly correlate with the competencies they teach, plus take the Teaching Methodologies, Principles, and Practices exam.
For each CSME exam taken, a customized report is generated. This report serves to identify areas of strength and weakness to assist in the planning of future professional development. When an instructor receives a passing score, which is 80% or higher, they are awarded a CSME certificate for that specific content area. In addition, they will be listed in the official directory of CSME instructors.
While some instructors teach specific classes, most are responsible for teaching many different subjects; some even teach the entire program! For those instructors who have successfully passed seven specific CSME exams, the title of Certified Master HVACR Educator (CMHE) is bestowed upon them. The series of exams one must pass to earn the title of Certified Master HVACR Educator are: teaching methodologies principles and practices (capstone), electrical, air conditioning, light commercial air conditioning, light commercial refrigeration, electric heat, and one of the following: gas heat, oil heat or heat pumps.
All Certified Master HVACR Educators receive a wall plaque and are posted in an official directory of Certified Master HVACR Educators. Additionally, we take time to recognize new CMHEs during the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference.
If you are attending the National HVACR Educators and Trainers Conference, credentialing exams will be offered FREE of charge to attendees.
If you have any questions, contact HVAC Excellence at (800) 394-5268.
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