Sporty’s Academy, the flight school at Sporty’s Pilot Shop, received attention recently for having a student pilot retention rate three times better than the industry average. Sporty’s has long endorsed modular flight training as an effective method for engaging a more expansive customer base, but other tools have also shown good results, according to company officials.
AOPA research has indicated customers measure the optimal flight training experience, in part, by the resources available to support the instructor and student. One tool regularly identified by customers as a necessity is a flight training syllabus. At Sporty’s Academy, each flight instructor and student work from the syllabus included with Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Course.
“Relying on our own experience, we have a precise standard for how student pilots are best taught,” says Eric Radtke, president of Sporty’s Academy. “Having both the instructor and student working from a syllabus keeps this pair on the same page throughout instruction which diminishes many of the frustrations that lead to a student pilot losing interest in training.”
For the instructor, the syllabus ensures material is presented in a logical, structured manner. It covers all flight and ground lessons, including lesson objectives and completion standards. With room for notes, plus pilot and instructor signatures, CFIs will have a permanent record of training for each student.
For the student, the syllabus facilitates engagement in the learning process, and ensures his time and money are being used efficiently, according to Sporty’s officials. Flight training can seem like an endless process, with the student never quite sure where he or she is in that process. Sporty’s experience shows that a syllabus helps eliminate this uncertainty and is therefore a vital component of student retention. The ability to follow a syllabus will also provide continuity and standardization should the student’s instructor leave midway through his training.
Resources for all flight schools
To support flight schools everywhere, Sporty’s offers a variety of training products for both students and instructors. Sporty’s Complete Flight Training Courses provide a strong foundation for the student, with in-depth video lessons, FAA test preparation and the complete flight training syllabus. Sporty’s Course is available on DVD or Online for $215. For instructors, Sporty’s offers a stand-alone Ultimate CFI Kit, which includes the syllabus, an annotated Practical Test Standards Study Guide, and a Ground Lesson Guide. This kit is available for $34.95.
For more information: Sportys.com/Retention