Auburn University and Alabama Community College System teaming up on aviation programs

5/9/2016 11:54:59 AM

Auburn University and the Alabama Community College System are joining forces on their aviation programs to enhance aviation training and economic development opportunities around the state.

Auburn President Jay Gogue and Alabama Community College System Chancellor Mark Heinrich signed a memorandum of understanding Thursday at the Auburn University Regional Airport, marking the beginning of the partnership.

The focus will include aerospace engineering and aviation-related degree and certificate programs; flight education training; unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, certification and licensing programs; and technical training such as airframe technology, avionics technology and power plant technology.

"This agreement will benefit the state's students through coordinated programs and will expand innovation, technology and job creation in Alabama," Gogue said. "Aviation technology is key for many businesses looking to locate in Alabama."

The emphasis will be primarily on potential educational, economic and workforce development programs where partnerships can be fostered with each other and with economic development organizations and state agencies.

"This new framework for aviation education is significant in that it brings together the strength and reach of the Alabama Community College System and the established training and research at Auburn," Heinrich said. "New and existing industries will see Alabama as a top source of aviation-skilled employees."

Alabama Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard applauded the partnership, stating, "Auburn University and the Alabama Community College System continue to innovate and expand opportunities for high-tech, high-paying jobs in the aerospace industry with today’s announcement. This memorandum is not only a benefit for the students and community of Auburn, it will have a far-reaching impact on the state of Alabama and our economic development efforts. I applaud President Gogue and Chancellor Heinrich for their continued efforts to move Alabama forward."

Auburn University has been involved in aviation education for more than 80 years and has been providing flight training for pilots for 75 years. It offers degrees in aviation management, professional flight management and aerospace engineering. In 2015 the university received the nation's first FAA approval to operate a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School as part of the Auburn University Aviation Center.

The Alabama Community College System consists of 25 comprehensive community colleges and technical colleges; Marion Military Institute; and Alabama Technology Network, an extensive workforce development initiative. The system provides collegiate programs at the freshman and sophomore levels to prepare students for transferring to four-year institutions; adult education; and workforce development.

More information about the Auburn University Aviation Center is available at http://www.auburn.edu/academic/provost/aviationcenter. More information about the Alabama Community College System is available at https://www.accs.cc.


By Charles Martin

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