Pilot Training - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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College Admissions President's Desk
April 6, 2016

Pilot Training

The community college closest to Geneva is Community College of Beaver County (CCBC), a natural partner in higher education. Here is an excerpt from its website: “Long-standing partnerships exist with many of the area’s four-year institutions including Geneva College for aviation; University of Pittsburgh for nursing and criminal justice; and Robert Morris University for nursing, biological sciences, pre-engineering, networking, and more.”

So how does Geneva’s partnership with CCBC in aviation work?

Students enroll at Geneva College, pay tuition here, and take the full core. They major in Business or Missions, taking more courses at Geneva freshman and senior years, and more at CCBC their middle two years, for a 1-2-1 structure. However, there is a lot of scheduling flexibility. At CCBC, Geneva students major in Air Traffic Control, Aerospace Management, Professional Pilot, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (a.k.a. Drones). Courses have titles like Aerodynamics and Commercial Ground Theory. 

Besides double majoring here and at CCBC, students in the Aviation program learn how to fly out of the Beaver County Airport, taking classes with one of two companies, Moore Aviation (yoke steering) or ACES Aviation (stick steering). As they learn, they progress from private pilot, to instrument flying, to commercial, and then to multi-engine. By passing a test given by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), they can even become certified flight instructors. Flight instruction costs around $5,000/year, of which Pennsylvania pays 40%.

A “perk” of the Aviation program is that its students get to live off campus legally, since they are technically part time at Geneva. A huge attraction for the program is that there is a looming shortage of pilots in the United States, so people come from around the country for the CCBC program.

The joint program potentially gives Geneva and CCBC a template on which to model other joint programs. Follow on industries to the nearby Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) cracker plant, if and when it opens, could provide significant demand for such joint programs.

The Aviation program with CCBC gives its Geneva graduates the blessing of an education that puts God’s Word at its center plus a second major alongside Aviation, laying the groundwork for potential careers beyond the entry jobs that CCBC prepares for. The program is a lot of work, but I don’t know why more Geneva students aren’t taking it.

William Edgar—Bill Edgar, Interim President


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