MONACA, Pa. — The first in the region, Community College of Beaver County’s new Aviation Academy for high school students recently welcomed the inaugural class of 27 students from nine county school districts.
The academy is a dual-enrollment educational partnership of CCBC and Beaver County high schools in Aliquippa, Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Hopewell, Rochester, Southside, and Western Beaver counties that allows students to experience firsthand many aspects of aviation through four distinct pathways: Professional pilot, air traffic control, aerospace management, and unmanned aerial vehicles.
“The entire CCBC community is proud that our Aviation High School Academy is off to a great beginning,” said Dr. Chris Reber, CCBC president. “Through our partnership approach, high school students will have an unprecedented set of opportunities to earn college credit in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at a very reasonable cost. The program addresses high-priority workforce, economic development, and quality-of-life needs for our county and region.”
Only five similar aviation academies exist across the United States, CCBC officials noted.
The Pennsylvania academy gives students the opportunity to graduate from high school with potentially more than 30 college credits (more than half of an associate degree) and a Private Pilot Certification.
Students explore aviation through classroom academics; flight simulators; aircraft discovery flights; Beaver County Airport Control Tower visits; and guest speakers including professional pilots, air traffic controllers, and remotely piloted aircraft operators.