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KC Professor Mark Kohnen writes new HVAC education lab manual

Kaskaskia College Professor Mark Kohnen is shown here holding a copy of the lab manual he authored that was recently published by The Goodheart-Willcox Company Inc. The Kohnen-authored 22nd edition of “Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning” Lab Manual, designed to align with its accompanying textbook chapters, will be available at college bookstores as well as online through (Photo courtesy Kaskaskia College)

Kaskaskia College announced recently that Professor Mark Kohnen has created a new Heating, Venting, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) lab manual to promote better learning within the HVAC industry.

Kohnen, a certified Master HVAC educator, has authored the 22nd edition of Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Lab Manual, published by The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Inc. This lab manual features over 100 labs in the paper version and over 200 labs in the electronic version that students can use in their college Learning Management System.

“This lab manual meant a lot to me, as I wanted to share my expertise and passion with Kaskaskia College students and students across the nation,” Kohnen said. “I’ve had a passion for the HVAC trade since I was young. It has been a pleasure to work with all the people at Goodheart-Willcox, as they made writing this lab manual much easier than I ever expected.”

With over 30 years of experience in the HVAC industry, Kohnen has been working at Kohnen Air Conditioning and Heating in Germantown, Ill., for 27 years before starting his teaching career at Kaskaskia College in 2012.

He has received several awards for his outstanding contribution to the HVAC industry, including the Horizon Faculty of the Year in 2014 and the Faculty of the Year award in 2021. Since 2015, Kohnen has been a Certified Master HVAC Educator (CMHE), and he also serves as an OSHA instructor for Kaskaskia in Construction Industry Safety and Health.

Paul Schreiner, executive director of GW Technical Trades, praised Kohnen’s expertise in transferring technical knowledge into authentic lab activities and his contributions to HVACR education.

“We truly appreciate Mr. Kohnen’s contributions to HVACR education and are honored to work with him as a partner,” Schreiner said. “Kohnen has served on the HVACR advisory board for several years and has been extremely generous in sharing his feedback and suggestions.”

“Kaskaskia College is fortunate to have an instructor with the passion, knowledge and expertise that Mr. Mark Kohnen has for HVAC,” Kaskaskia College Dean of Workforce Engagement & Industrial Career Services Joy Fitts said. “Mark dedicates many hours of his time and energy to make sure that students are equipped with the tools to be successful in the trade.  Writing the Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning lab manual to align with the textbook is evidence of his dedication.”

The lab manual has been designed to align with the textbook chapters and uses the same verbiage throughout the entire manual, making it easier for students to understand and comprehend.

Kohnen, who serves on the advisory board for Goodheart-Willcox, was asked by G-W Editorial Director Sandy Clark to write the lab manual after discussing the need for a more cohesive and aligned version. The previous version of the manual was a collection of submissions from instructors nationwide, including Kohnen. However, the different vocabulary used by the authors made the information challenging for students to comprehend.

The Modern Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Lab Manual will be available online via Amazon and can also be found at college bookstores where the Modern Refrigeration textbook will be utilized in HVAC programs. The lab manual is expected to be incorporated into the Fall 2024 Kaskaskia College HVAC courses.


Kaskaskia College is a public community college in Centralia, Ill., within South Central Illinois District 501, serving all or part of nine counties, including Bond, Clinton, Fayette, Marion, Washington, Jefferson, St. Clair, Madison, and Montgomery. Committed to making education accessible, they host the Centralia Crisp Technology Center and have education centers in Greenville, Nashville, Salem, Trenton, and Vandalia, Ill. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the college, which offers a broad spectrum of degrees, programs, and certification options, specializing in 2-year associate degrees and trade school programs. Founded in 1940, Kaskaskia College was the first Class I Community College established in Illinois.

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