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Aviation College Selection Process, Experience and Education

Aviation College Selection Process, Experience and EducationAccording to the Federal Aviation Administration, almost 250,000 people in the United States have private pilot’s certificates, more commonly known as pilot’s licenses — distinct from sport and recreational pilot’s licenses, which limit what, where and when you can fly.

Learning how to fly a plane isn’t all that difficult. Even aviators swaggering in reflective glasses and leather bomber jackets will grudgingly acknowledge that. The process of becoming certified is time-consuming and expensive. Understanding what is involved and choosing a flight school and instructor that fit your needs and personality will improve the odds of success.

What College Teaches

Professional pilots today are “flight managers” who must intimately understand the workings of their computerized and fly-by-wire stick and rudder, and who must work with and depend on a crew of professionals that goes far beyond those in the cockpit.

These are the essential skills students learn and practice in today’s collegiate aviation programs, but the value of a college education goes beyond these aviation-specific skills. Typically, your first two years of college will be devoted to “general education” classes. While they seemingly have no direct correlation with aviation, they do, and additionally, they’ll make you a well-rounded individual.

Math, physics, and computer-science classes help you understand your career’s technical aspects. English makes you a better oral and written communicator. Sociology and psychology give you a better understanding of human nature. History and the humanities give you insight and appreciation for man’s development, achievements, and blunders. Economics makes clear the forces that will act upon your career.

When people think of aviation, they naturally think of pilots. But pilots are just one cog in the vast human machine that makes aviation work. If it were not for aeronautical and electrical engineers, airframe and powerplant (A&P) and avionics technicians, meteorologists, air traffic controllers, aviation managers at all levels, and a host of others, we wouldn’t need pilots (and the others wouldn’t be needed if there were no pilots). These are all viable, rewarding aviation careers, careers for which you can become educated at many colleges and universities.

Those aiming for the cockpit should never forget that a failed medical (or a failed airline) can terminate a flying career without notice. This is another reason pilots should know more than just how to fly. If you don’t have a degree, your career options are limited. But if you’ve been educated as a manager, engineer, or technician, you have career alternatives that will enable you to survive professionally and, perhaps, maintain your aviation “connection.”

Colleges Degree Programs

Aviation education’s diversity is further expanded at four-year institutions. Most state-supported universities have aviation degree programs, and so do many private institutions. A number of the larger universities that are either dedicated to aviation education, such as Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, or those with dedicated aviation departments, such as the University of North Dakota’s Center for Aerospace Sciences, are on the cutting edge of training and research.

“Today’s students will be flying hypersonic aerospace planes at the turn of the century, and how we teach them to fly today must be different from the methods we used 10 years ago,” says UND Aerospaces John Odegard. Part of that training will include flight physiology, which will take place in the school’s hypobaric chamber. Putting college training in perspective, Odegard says, “We teach to what the requirements will be, not what they are, and we don’t train pilots, we educate aerospace professionals.”

The only prerequisite for the independent study bachelor’s of science degree in Aviation Business Management, says Pettit, is a high school diploma. When students apply for either degree program, they are assigned a counselor who works with them from acceptance until graduation. Each independent study course carries three hours of credit. Students have 15 weeks to complete the course requirement, which includes midterm and final exams that must be proctored by an approved individual (high school principal, military training officer, college professor, and others).
Students can enroll in their next course as soon as they complete the one on which they are currently working, even if it’s before the 15-week limit. If students have questions, their professor is just a phone call, letter, or e-mail away. Although technical training, such as flight, maintenance, or avionics, isn’t available through independent study, this program provides the serious aviation professionals an opportunity to achieve their higher education goals without interfering with employment commitments or family obligations.

Another educational option is attending either a flight school or a two- or four-year college that is affiliated with its opposite number. This affiliation is beneficial to both institutions and students, because it allows the organizations to coordinate their programs and work to their specific strengths, says Skip Everett, president of Sierra Academy of Aeronautics at Oakland, California, which has affiliations with several academic institutions.

Degree candidates learn to fly at Sierra and attend San Francisco’s Golden Gate University, where they can earn a bachelor’s of science degree in Aviation Operations and Management. As with many aviation degree programs, the Sierra/Golden Gate degree program enables students to apply the time and money spent in flight training for college credit. Additionally, students working as flight instructors can apply for internship credit while they work toward their ATP.

Flight school, collegiate, and industry officials agree that for a person to succeed in aviation today, and in the future, he (or she) needs a college degree. The complexity of aviation technology is constantly evolving. Given the rate of change, what’s new technology today will be obsolete in five or 10 years.

How to Select a College

In many ways, selecting a college to attend is like buying a car — especially if you’re making either choice for the first time. The number of choices is overwhelming. In the United States more than 230 two- and four-year colleges offer non-engineering aviation degrees. Many of them offer the same degrees, but no two are alike. Each of them offers a number of similar but variable options to their degree programs, and not all of them offer the same degrees, which makes the selection of the school that’s “just right for you” all the more difficult.

Up front, understand that your chances of finding a school that meets all of your specific needs are slim. As with auto makers, colleges tailor their programs to meet the needs of the greatest number of people, so your goal is to find the schools that best meet your major needs and objectives. Working to this goal ensures that you’ll find that many colleges will meet your educational needs.

Because your education plays such an important part in determining your future, the process of selecting a college or university should be meticulous, thorough, and pragmatic. Before you can find what you want, you must know exactly what you need. In other words, why, exactly, do you want to attend college, and what do you want to learn?

Aviation College Selection List

Why Choose Aviator Aviation College?
  • VETERANS – Chapter 33 & Chapter 30 Benefits for Flight Training. Approved to enroll students for Flight School with Post 9/11 Benefits!
  • Aviator – Participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program
  • F-1 & M-1 VISA Approved for International Students
  • Issued to International Flight Training Students!
  • Classroom Environment
  • All classes taught in our educational center, NOT online
  • MORE Multi-Engine Time
  • A Minimum of 200 Hours Multi-Engine Flight Time!
  • DEDICATED to Your Success as a Pilot
  • Graduate with a Degree, your Pilots Licenses and get Hired!
  • PROFESSIONAL Flight School Instructors
  • All Faculty are Pilots and College Graduates!
  • FOCUSED On Aviation Pilot Training
  • For over 25 years, Flying and Flight Training has been our Passion!
  • Gainful Employment Disclosure

Contact our Recruiting Department today to get detailed information on Aviation Degree in Aeronautical Science.


Distributed by Viestly

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