Community college launches Aviation Academy

MONACA, Pa. — The Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) has created the first regional Aviation Academy. The Academy, which is set to start in January 2015, is a dual-enrollment, educational partnership between CCBC and Beaver County high schools.

“CCBC is partnering with Beaver County school districts, the Beaver County Airport Authority, our Beaver County commissioners, our state legislators, Moore Aviation, ACES Aviation, the CCBC Foundation Board, parents, students, alumni, and others in order to provide potentially life-changing opportunities for Beaver County High School students,” said CCBC President Dr. Chris Reber. “Through partnerships, we are addressing high-priority workforce, economic development, and quality-of-life needs for our county and region. (The) launch of our CCBC Aviation High School Academy is a shining example of how, when we come together to serve students, the outcome can be greater than the sum of the parts, and everyone wins.”

The Academy lets students get an early start on earning college credits while sparking an interest in aviation.

Students in grades 10 to 12 from participating school districts have the opportunity to experience firsthand aspects of aviation through four distinct pathways, including professional pilot, air traffic control, aerospace management, and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).

As a dual-enrollment program, the Academy offers students the opportunity to spend half of the day at their high school then the other half taking courses in science, technology, engineering and math, taught by CCBC faculty members on campus at the Aviation Sciences Center in Chippewa.

Students who spend three years in the Academy can earn more than half of their associate degree credits by the time they graduate high school. Once they complete their associate degree, they are able to transfer to one of the college’s partnership colleges to earn a bachelor’s degree for significantly less than attending a private college for four years, according to school officials.

The College’s Air Traffic Control training program is already nationally known and has placed graduates in towers in all 50 states. The program is also one of only two college programs in the country with its own student-operated control tower.

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