New Academic Program in Commercial Refrigeration Launching This Fall

Darrin Strosahl, vice president for academic affairs at Northwest Technical College, announced April 2 that NTC is adding a Commercial Refrigeration/HVAC academic program beginning in Fall 2018.

Download our program overview, which includes a comprehensive list of courses, and learn more about Commercial Refrigeration at NTC.

“I’m excited to be able to announce our new Commercial Refrigeration program at Northwest Technical College,” Strosahl said. “We are looking ahead to see what is out there, in terms of technical education, that we needed to pay attention to, then listening to business and industry and then acting upon that.”

The program is being added in direct response to feedback from north-central Minnesota commercial refrigeration employers, who shared their perceptions regarding a shortage of skilled employees available to the commercial refrigeration industry during a Dec. 2017 listening session on campus.

During that presentation, employers encouraged NTC to develop a program that provides a high level of electrical and electrical controls knowledge in addition to fundamental skills in commercial refrigeration.

“We listened to business and industry in December, and by March we’ve got approval for a new program,” Strosahl said. “This is a quick turnaround and something we’re really proud of.”

NTC’s Commercial Refrigeration/HVAC program will offer a 60-credit diploma combining courses from the college’s current Plumbing/HVAC and Electrical Construction & Maintenance programs with a 15-credit block of new Commercial Refrigeration courses, along with general education requirements.

Strosahl said the program will provide training and coursework that directly correlates to business and industry requests. It will initially provide approximately 60 percent of its instruction in classrooms with the remaining 40 percent taking place in hands-on labs and field experience. Students will take courses in electrical theory and advanced electronics and motor controls along with specialized coursework exploring commercial refrigeration systems and equipment.

“The part that I’m proud of as we start this new program is that we’ve made a point to listen to business and industry and then make sure our program reflects it,” Strosahl said. “Ultimately, our goal is to serve the students — we want students to leave the program having the skill set they will need to help them be successful on the job. That’s what technical education is about — ensuring that alignment between your education and your employment.”

The college is currently seeking faculty to teach the program.

Northwest Technical College, located in northern Minnesota’s lake district, is an open, inviting technological learning organization. For more than 40 years, the college has valued life-long learning and the worth and dignity of all people. The college serves 900 students with a high-quality education, an open-enrollment policy and affordable tuition. NTC offers nearly 60 degree, diploma and certificate programs in areas such as business, health, human and protective services and environmental and industrial technology. Classes are offered on the Bemidji campus, online, or as a combination of both. NTC is a member of the Minnesota State system of colleges and universities.