SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Emmanuel Christian Academy (ECA) has received approval of College Credit Plus (CCP) by the Ohio Department of Education for its Unmanned Aviation STEM program.
High school students enrolled in the program can now earn credit towards both high school and college graduation requirements, as well as industry certifications in the fast-growing UAS industry.
In partnership with the Ohio Department of Education, the Turner Foundation, and Kettering Health Network, this new drone program will be open to students starting in the fall of 2019.
ECA is the only school in Ohio that offers dual enrollment credit for a drone program, according to officials.
The four-year program seeks to equip students for careers in technology and aviation.
Taught by Col Bernie “Bunyan” Willis, the program’s courses will focus on the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), as well as providing industry certifications for immediate workforce development in the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) field. The coursework will expose students to UAS navigation planning, data entry, UAS security, UAS aerial photography, principles of management, and more.
“The program gives our young people multiple options for entrepreneurship, job market entry, and a leg up on others in the higher education and training construct if they decide to pursue a degree or more complex certifications,” said Willis.
Students who choose to enroll can earn up to 18 college credit hours for successfully completing all four years. The program will also prepare students to test for a variety of credentials, including their FAA Part 107 UAS pilot certification after completing the program.
UAS is expected to be an $82 billion industry in the United States by the year 2025, according to reports from multinational investment bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
ECA partnered with the Gaetz Aerospace Institute (GAI) at Embry‐Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Florida, to offer an intro high school level aviation STEM course to 22 of its students in the fall of 2018. Students will be eligible for dual enrollment credit through ERAU at ECA beginning in the fall of 2019.
GAI developed the program over 10 years ago to provide dual enrollment courses in every school district in Florida. The success of this program prompted ERAU to expand to other states, including the birthplace of aviation.