The Professional Flight option in the Aviation program prepares students to pursue careers in the aerospace industry. Over the past 18 months, EKU has taken over the complete operation of the Professional Flight program. This includes performing all flight operations, acquiring aircraft, scheduling of maintenance, and hiring of flight instructors. The challenges have been great, but the response by students has been encouraging.
Over the past six years until 2010, enrollment numbers remained fairly consistent. The average number of enrollments in the flight courses was 59 from 2006 to 2009. In 2010, Aviation increased enrollments to 93. Currently, 2011 enrollments are at 116. While this number reflects student registration in one or more flight courses over the calendar year, and may contain some duplicate enrollment, the number of students in the program continues to increase as well. Active student enrollment in the Professional Flight program has increased from 38 in Fall 2009 to 144 as of July 8, 2011. Additionally, the number of active students in the Aerospace Management program increased from 20 in Fall 2009 to 62. There are approximately 50 incoming freshmen and a number of transfer students.
Initiatives are also underway to enhance the Aviation students' experience, including:
- Developing a learning community for the flight students.
- Working with housing to establish the “Flight Deck” for those living in the residence hall.
- Introducing students to flight instructors and airport operations in an Orientation session.
The Aviation Program has made great progress over the past 18 months and, with the leadership of the new Chief Flight Instructor, Mr. Ralph Gibbs, will continue to grow and improve.
Published on September 30, 2011