Page 14 - Scene Magazine 45-02 February 2020
P. 14

Education Scene
WMU’s College of Aviation Offering Education in A Growing Industry
For years, the aviation industry has been driven by names and places such as Charles Lindberg, Bessie Coleman, Kitty Hawk, NC, and Everett, WA. For the general aviation enthusiast, these people and locations are cemented firmly into memory. Within the past 15 years, a couple of new places have risen up, especially for those people actively engaged in a cloud reaching career: Battle Creek, MI and Western Michigan University (WMU).
Calhoun County is the answer to this obstacle: the Western Michigan Univer- sity College of Aviation.
commercial aviation industry and the military. Bringing their unique aviation expertise, experience, and knowledge to the college, they helped to create one of the leading aviation programs
in the country. This is balanced with an exceptional faculty, dedicated to edu- cating students while also advancing aviation research.
The aviation industry is on fire. Hiring for positions at airlines, airports, and aviation technical operations con- tinue to happen at a fevered pitch. For students interested in careers focused on the business side of aviation, technical maintenance opportunities, or those aspiring to be professional pilots, the challenge is obtaining the training and knowledge to prepare for entry into
one of these fields. Fortunately, within
The College of Aviation offers the only comprehensive aviation program at a public university in the state of Michi- gan, and with over 1,150 undergraduate students, is one of the largest aviation programs in the nation. In addition, the program is backed by over 80 years of aviation experience, education, and our excellent industry reputation, originat- ing in 1939 – 36 years after the Wright Brother’s infamous flight.
The quality of the program is often recognized by the aviation industry. The validation for this has come in the form of a brand-new partnership just announced with United Airlines! WMU is one of three programs in the country to be part of United’s Aviate program. In addition, WMU was one of the initial seven institutions picked to be
WMU’s College of Aviation is consistently viewed as one of the top aviation programs in the United States. The program accomplished this honor by dedicating itself and developing a program designed to meet the de- mands of the aviation industry. The dean, Captain Dave Powell, and his leadership staff originated from the
a part of Delta Air Lines Delta Propel program and was the first university to partner with AAR Corp in the launch- ing of their Eagle Career Pathway program.
Students in the College of Aviation have the opportunity to pursue three-de- gree programs: Aviation Management and Operations, Aviation Flight Science, and Aviation Technical Operations.
Moreover, the College of Aviation
is not only growing in regard to its enrollment, the campus is also increas- ing its physical footprint on the eastside of the Battle Creek Executive Airport at Kellogg’s Field.
In August 2019 the College broke ground on a 22-million-dollar ex- pansion. The project will expand the existing Aviation Education Center from approximately 16,000 ft2, to over 60,000! This expansion will help ac- commodate the student growth experi- enced by the program over the past 10 years – increasing from approximately 650 in 2009 to over 1,150 in 2019.
With the biggest demand in avia- tion the country has experienced in the past 40 years, there has never been a better time to think about a career as an aviation professional. Coupled with the proximity of one of the best aviation programs in the U.S., Calhoun Coun- ty and Battle Creek have become the launching point for the next generation of aviation professionals.

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