Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation Technology/Professional Pilot

Institution: 
Sinclair Community College
Approval Status: 
In Review
Comment Period: 
Fri, 12/08/2017 - 11:00am to Fri, 12/22/2017 - 11:00am

Comments

Comment: 
As owner of Commander Aero and a professional pilot and airline pilot for over 34 years, I understand the importance a bachelor degree is. With the current shortage of qualified pilots, the requirement for a bachelor degree has been dropped by some airlines. However, others still require the degree and the airlines who have dropped the requirement still give preference to those candidates who have a bachelor degree. I was directly involved in the pilot hiring process at Airborne Express (ABX Air) for about 15 years. ABX Air did not have a requirement for a four year degree, however, the pilot applicants who did not have a degree had to have other qualifications to compensate for the lack of a degree. Many students who complete the two year AS degree have to transfer to other colleges to complete the bachelor degree. If Sinclair offered both two and four year programs it would give students options and prevent the ones wanting a four year bachelors from transferring to another institution. It would be the next logical step to expand the current flight training program and give students the complete package needed at one institution. I highly recommend Sinclair to expand the aviation program to offer a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation Technology degree.

Comment: 
I agree with Mr. Crawford’s statement. I have been involved in the aviation industry for over 32 years as both an Air Force and private pilot. The latter part of these years has been spent working in the defense industry supporting the development, acquisition, and upgrade of DoD aircraft. During my career, I have seen firsthand the benefits of a four-year degree to an employer which provides them with a more well-rounded individual. For new pilots whom have little practical experience to draw upon and desire to pursue a career in the commercial airline industry, a four-year degree in aviation technology is invaluable. This degree gives them a better understanding of the aviation world provides a distinct advantage over those entering the commercial aviation industry with a degree in business or criminal justice. A four-year degree at Sinclair would give our local area students a chance to pursue their dream career in the aviation industry without the hardship of relocating to a university that is several hours away. Furthermore, keeping such students in the local area will, in turn, provide local businesses with well qualified individuals who will hold a bachelor’s degree upon graduation.

Comment: 
Indeed a 4 year degree makes a pilot applicant more desirable then a 2 year associates degree or even just a high school diploma / technical certificate. To get there, Sinclair has to have a curriculum equal to other colleges that offer a 4 year degree in aviation. Our flight school will need more aircraft and qualified instructors to take a student from private pilot up to and including an ATP certificate. Once an applicant earns his/her CFI, that individual needs to stay engaged with the college as a student working on his/her bachelor's degree and not just logging time to fulfill the requirements for an ATP and fill in the resume for a major airline. We need long term instructors who are paid sufficiently to retain their services. More thoughts later.

Comment: 
Community Colleges were built and operate by funding ofgenerations of local taxpayers adding substantial and continually increasing tax burden. Results are dismal, with 80% failure rate of students to obtain a 2 or 4 year degrees. Tuition paid barely makes a dent in the costs, the local taxpayer shoulders the burden. Even worse, Sinclair has an overseas student recruiting office. Sinclair is not only asking local taxpayers to carry most of the costs for out of county residents, its making them carry the costs for out of country students. It’s a finger in the eye of the thousands taxpayers who worked in the auto and auto parts business Manufacturing and lost their jobs and can now cannot afford to send their kids to school now must shoulder the burden of paying for most the cost to educate foreign parents kids, many of them who took their jobs. 4 year degrees, it’s mission creep and inevitable tax burden creep to schools with a miserable success rate. Taxpayers deserve better.

Comment: 
Blue Ash has an articulation agreement with Sinclair, and has started to provide marketing information to their AAS students and grads. However, we haven’t attracted any of their students (yet). The proposal is unclear about whether this is for a bachelors’ degree. Clermont has an Associate’s level Aviation Program, but it transitions to LCB for a BBA or to the Clermont BTAS program. We don’t see the need for a Bachelor’s degree in Aviation. Pilots need to have a Bachelor’s degree, but it doesn’t matter what field it is in. A specific concern from Clermont is is whether if Sinclair is given permission to offer this degree, if an interest arose in the future would this preclude us from offering this degree? These comments aside, we have no significant concerns that should impede the approval of this degree.

Comment: 
The University of Akron (UA) does not support this proposal. The proposal indicates that highly qualified faculty are available to teach in the program, but no CVs or information about these qualifications are provided. Nevertheless, the budget indicates a large start-up expense for curriculum development by an outside entity. This leads one to believe that the SCC faculty will neither develop nor control the curriculum, which is a basic tenet of faculty rights and responsibilities in higher education. This also raises questions as to the quality and rigor of the curriculum, and therefore the value of the degree proposed. With only 8% of the Fall 2013 entering cohort (as defined by the Three-Year Success Measures January 2017 report on the ODHE website) earning a two-year degree at SCC by the end of the third year, it is unclear how many students will be able to persist to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Comment: 
The data cited by The University of Akron is taken from an ODHE report that was specifically produced in an attempt to provide a more accurate measure of success for two-year campuses as compared to the more traditional graduation measurements that have been focused exclusively on institutions whose business model is built around primarily serving full-time students.  The conclusion of the ODHE report was to say that the REAL three-year success rate of Sinclair College is 44%.  To cite only the 8% graduation rate from that report is either purposefully or inadvertently misleading.   While 94% of the freshman class at the University of Akron does enroll as full time students according to ODHE data, only 29% of Sinclair College students are able to attend full time for a wide variety of personal reasons.  We would be happy to provide numerous examples of students who took longer than three years to complete their degree because they were raising a family, working to support a family, or caring for a beloved family member.  Regardless of their journey, when these part-time students do eventually graduate, they are nothing but success stories. Their achievements should be celebrated.  We hope our colleagues at The University of Akron would agree.

Comment: 
As a retired Air Force Command Pilot with over 4600 hours of flying time, I have a considerable amount of time in the air. During five years working for Boeing Aircraft Company, I have been able to gain additional experience working on crew station designs for Air Force One, the Army’s Light Helicopter, Navy patrol aircraft, and tactical fighter proposals. At Texas A&M, I earned a PhD in Industrial Engineering. Over a ten year period, I taught aviation subjects at the undergraduate and graduate level at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. I have taught aviation subjects at Sinclair Community College for fifteen years. The two year Aviation Technology program at Sinclair has been instrumental in providing entry level aviation knowledge to its students. In comparing the Sinclair curriculum with the first two years offered by Embry-Riddle, Sinclair actually offers more aviation courses during this time. Sinclair has a history of preparing students for jobs in the aviation industry throughout the Miami valley, including Wright-Patterson AFB and the operations at the Dayton airport and smaller airports in the area. With advances in technology, the aviation industry has experienced phenomenal growth, and an accompanying demand for skilled workers. It is Sinclair’s mission to provide its students with the skill needed to succeed in their chosen field. A college or university provides these skills at increasing levels of complexity. During the freshman year, students learn facts about their area of study. During their sophomore year, they learn the rules for applying these facts. The topics taught in the junior year provide an understanding of the application of rules and facts.. Senior level courses introduce design and creativity in solving new problems in the field. As applied specifically to aviation, I have taught Aircraft Accident Investigation at the Sophomore level, at the Junior/Senior level, and as a graduate level course. At Sinclair, students have reviewed accidents of light aircraft and learned about the techniques used by accident investigators. Light aircraft such as Cessna and Beech are fairly simple. They have a single pilot and usually a single engine. They operate under Part 91 rules, and most operations are done in good weather. Accidents involve pilot error and violations of procedures. At the baccalaureate level, failures involve more complex systems. Rules for investigation require contributions from experts in a variety of disciplines such as avionics, data distribution, meteorology, fuel chemistry, physiology, and the effects of altitude on aircraft and human performance. Accidents reviewed at the Junior/Senior level involve Part 135 operations. Rather than a single pilot, these aircraft require crew activities, multiple engines, and an increased complexity of operations in weather. Students must learn the use of investigations to prevent future accidents. They must be able to use models of system operation and investigation protocols like the Human Factors Analysis and Classification System (HFACS) to create original evaluation or complex causes, and then propose steps to avoid future mishaps. To prepare students for employment as airline transport pilots under Part 121, a four year degree in aviation is worth 500 hours of flight time towards the 1500 hour flight requirement. A 2015 finding by a Pilot Source study found that pilots with a four year aviation degree performed better than those without degrees. While the associates degree program at Sinclair currently provides students with the skills to operate small airplanes, Additional training in aviation-related fields is needed to advance to a career as an airline transport pilot. Sinclair Community college serves Montgomery and surrounding counties and the Dayton inner city population, by providing education with low tuition costs. Such training at nationally recognized universities is not only far more expensive, but requires travel and relocation. These options are not always available to our students. Sinclair is fortunate enough to benefit from the availability of aviation professionals at Wright-Patterson AFB, the Dayton airport, and associated businesses who are willing to teach courses in their fields on a part time basis. With this support, Sinclair has a developed a successful two year program in aviation that is the foundation for expansion into a four year curriculum.

Comment: 
Aviation Sales, Inc. has been involved in the training of professional pilots for over 59 years. It is hardly a secret that there has never been a more critical need for highly educated, trained and motivated professionals throughout the entire aviation industry. Our support for the BAS degree in Aviation Technology / Professional lies in our belief that such a degree will enhance the critical thinking and decision making skills that professional pilots must possess. It is also our belief that the additional two years will help provide the maturity necessary for the professional pilot graduate to interact in a more positive and successful manner with fellow employees and customers alike. These skills, commonly referred to as “people skills” are so very important to prospective employers in any professional aviation field or industry. In the past Aviation Sales, Inc. has provided many employment opportunities for students enrolled in SCC professional pilot program. A four year program has the very real potential of providing a larger pool of prospective employees who may remain with our company for a longer period of time (four years versus two.)

Comment: 
At PSA Airlines, the fastest growing regional airline in the US, solving for a growing shortage of qualified pilots is a principal strategic imperative. We have invested heavily in the sourcing, training and retention of pilots and have increased first year pay for qualified First Officers from $24,000 to $60,000. We have established a pilot flow through agreement with our parent, American Airlines under which pilots will move on to American from PSA in seniority order, affording them a clear and prosperous aviation career with the world's largest airline. We have partnered with 18 prestigious universities, colleges and flight schools to provide financial assistance, mentoring and a prospective First Officer job to selected candidates. Those, and other efforts are designed to facilitate our hiring at least 500 pilots every year to meet our needs. And although we don't require a four-year degree to become a PSA pilot, we have enough experience to know that well structure four-year aviation education programs produce PSA FO trainees that are more successful at completing our rigorous training to secure their type rating, compete IOE and join the ranks of our 1,600 professionals flying our aircraft today. We appreciate and seek out the caliber of students that know what they want to be: commercial pilots, are willing to commit themselves to earning a degree, and hold the promise of becoming our future flight operations and company leadership. We fully support Sinclair's proposal to add a four-year aviation degree program. Aspiring pilots form the greater Dayton and surrounding areas can look forward to receiving a quality education, building flight time to certification, applying for a PSA Cadet sponsorship and securing a lucrative commercial First Officer job with PSA right here in Dayton. And when they complete their PSA training they can elect Dayton as their domicile, remaining on their a pathway to American without ever leaving the community. I've been told by educators that a critical determinant in students completing their degree is a clear and definitive career path. I'm not familiar with a more clear, definitive and rewarding path than the one Sinclair, PSA and American Airlines could offer. I fully support Sinclair's proposal to add a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation Pilot degree program.

Comment: 
The Sinclair Community College Board of Trustees fully supports the development of a bachelor’s of applied science degree in Aviation Technology/Professional Pilot. This degree has been developed in consultation with area employers such as PSA Airlines and is designed to fill jobs in the Dayton Region. As noted in the RFI response, there continues to be a high demand for professional pilots and with the national reliance on aviation for travel and transport of goods, demand is not likely to diminish. For example, local carrier PSA Airlines is planning to hire 1000 pilots in the next 12 months. While we recognize that there are other programs in the state, none exist in the Dayton region, and students completing this degree from Sinclair will have more FAA certifications and more flying hours than graduates of any other Ohio aviation baccalaureate program. Further, because of the rigor already in place with Sinclair’s Associate Degree program, there are no transfer options for Sinclair graduates at Ohio’s public institutions. This program will be the only in-state option for Sinclair graduates to obtain a professional pilot bachelor’s degree. Because of our established Associate’s degree, Sinclair also has the qualified faculty and staff to develop, manage and deliver an advanced degree for students seeking to obtain a comprehensive set of skills and flying experience that will speed their eligibility for airline employment. More than 20 states have recognized the important role that community colleges serve in providing the opportunity for bachelor’s degree programs that might otherwise be out of reach to individuals seeking additional education but held back due to location or cost. We appreciate that the state of Ohio is also forward-thinking in order to provide all of our citizens with greater opportunity. This degree is a logical extension of Sinclair’s mission to meet the needs of area employers and to constantly deliver outstanding quality at affordable prices. We strongly support this degree for the students of Sinclair and the employers of the Dayton Region.

Comment: 
The proposed program would be a duplication of several other existing FAA-approved and ATMAE-accredited university programs -- Bowling Green, Ohio Univ, Kent State, Univ of Cincinnati -- that already have infrastructure, aircraft fleet, qualified instructors and co-ops in place. Sinclair's application provides inaccurate information about Ohio University's program regarding flying hours. The application indicates that an external entity would develop curriculum, which raises questions about faculty involvement, and overall quality and value of the program. Ohio University reports that their program has capacity for more students, so IUC recommends that Sinclair CC consider pursuing a guaranteed transfer pathway.

Comment: 
Ohio University respectfully requests the Chancellor not approve this new program. This proposed program is duplicative, because OHIO offers an Aviation Flight Bachelor’s degree. The one difference is the Sinclair program is offering a helicopter pilot certification, which the OHIO program does not offer at this time. The Sinclair Community College statement that their graduates will have more flying hours than any other Ohio Aviation baccalaureate program may be factually incorrect; all of Ohio University’s aviation students graduate with the ATP certificate qualifying for the 500-hour flight hour reduction. Limited and imprecise information such as this statement complicates an accurate assessment of need for the proposed degree and the potential value added by creation of a new program. <br> Sinclair has stated that none of their two-year graduates can transfer into any Ohio four-year program, but have they attempted to develop articulation agreements? Ohio University would be interested in partnering with Sinclair, which could leverage the unique strengths of each type of institution and create a cost-effective pathway for their local students to pursue a high-quality Aviation Flight Bachelor’s degree in Ohio University’s program, which has the capacity to support additional students. <br> There are still many opportunities for creating new articulation pathways that could further enable community colleges to position themselves as the starting point toward a four-year bachelor’s degree of the kinds they are proposing. While not a lot of information has been provided to evaluate the proposed programs, we already see opportunities for articulation that have not been fully explored. The ODHE’s recent mandate to develop regional compacts could catalyze such discussions. For our part, OHIO already has 21 articulation agreements with community colleges statewide that include a provision enabling students who successfully complete their two-year programs to participate in our OHIO Guarantee, at the tuition schedule in effect when they started at the community college. In addition, there are any number of areas in which community colleges could be developing new two-year programs that equip students to compete successfully in Ohio’s job market. Cybersecurity and data analytics are two examples: growing fields where basic skill development is critical. Some community colleges are developing these programs, but as the demand is large and growing, there is plenty of room for more two-year programs in these fields. When higher-education institutions engage with each other as partners rather than competitors, they can collaborate in ways that leverage the unique strengths of each and yield more creative solutions to the challenge of increasing access and affordability.

Comment: 
The City of Dayton, as the Sponsor of the Dayton International Airport, the only Ohio Airport serving the commercial aviation needs of southwest Ohio supports the development of a bachelor's of applied science degree in Aviation Technology/Professional Pilot Program at Sinclair Community College. The Dayton International Airport has seen a dramatic decline in air service capacity in the last 5 years resulting in a loss of millions of dollars to the local economy through a loss of visitor traffic and commerce created by commercial air travel. One factor in the ability of air carriers to meet the capacity needs of all markets is the availability of eligible applicants to become commercial pilots for the industry. A number of studies make a direct correlation between the loss of commercial service in small to medium hub markets and the ability of the air carriers to identify and hire eligible applicants to become commercial pilots. Now the military is facing the same problem. Dayton is home to PSA Airlines, a subsidiary of American Airlines and the fastest growing commercial carrier in the United States. Next year the carrier will be looking for a 1,000 pilots to meet it's future fleet growth. The economic impact to the Dayton region and air service, with American providing 39 percent of the air service in Dayton as a result of PSA maintenance facilities located here, cannot be overstated. It would be regrettable for the state to not encourage the growth of educational programs that can meet the growing demand for aviation professionals in an industry that is key to the current and future success of the economic vitality of the state. Orville and Wilbur Wright I'm sure would be perplexed to find that the state of Ohio can not find a way to expand participation in programs that put pilots in their amazing invention. This is the right time to advance Sinclair Community College into this program so it can do what it has always done which is meet the higher educational needs and challenges of the Dayton community, region and the state.

Comment: 
PSA airlines hired over 650 professional aviators in 2017 and plans to follow-up 2018 and beyond hiring 500 pilots a year. Our training metrics clearly illustrate the quality of the pilot’s training and recencey of experience accurately predicts their success rate during initial CRJ type certificate training. A pilot’s first 121 training program is a rigorous endeavor that requires student to demonstrate discipline and academic ambition. Although PSA does not require a four year degree, students graduating from a well-structured baccalaureate program followed by expeditious acquisition of aeronautic experience of 1000 hours, fare much better in training and their first year of line flying than those not obtaining a four year degree in aviation. I fully support Sinclair's proposal to add a Bachelor of Applied Science in Aviation Pilot degree program.

Comment: 
The national and global need for well trained pilots of both manned and unmanned aircraft systems has never been greater. On that point, I do not think there is much disagreement. Another point that few would disagree with is that we have an even greater demand for pilots in SW Ohio than in most regions of the country, when you consider the needs of both American Airlines subsidiary PSA Airlines and Amazon's cargo subsidiary Prime Air, who are looking for thousands of trained pilots (manned pilots in the near term and unmanned pilots in the long term). As a result, the business, education and local government communities naturally take notice and want to find a way to close that gap, otherwise these employers may take their business elsewhere. As an education partner to the local business community, Sinclair CC has stepped up once again to meet this demand. Over the years, Sinclair has shown the local community that it can pivot quickly in adjusting its curriculum to meet the new demands of a growing and evolving work force. With focus and commitment, they have put the College and the Dayton Region on the national map with their Unmanned Aerial Systems pilot training and logically want to enhance their existing two year degree to develop students to meet the growing demand. Their approach takes nothing away from the curriculum offered by other schools in the state, but if, for whatever reason, the curriculum being offered by other schools in the state does not match the needs of the regional employers, then we risk leaving a need unfilled and a huge opportunity missed.

Comment: 
I think most agree that the national and global demand for trained pilots (both for manned and unmanned aircraft systems) is well known and well documented. Further, it has become clear to many in the business community that the need for a trained aviation workforce in SW Ohio have grown considerably in the past few years as we have watched American Airlines subsidiary, PSA airlines, which is located at Dayton International Airport, experience dramatic growth, in addition to Amazon's recent announcement that they were moving their air cargo operations to the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. The hiring needs of these two major employers far outstrip the trained workforce currently being developed. Sinclair CC has historically shown that they can quickly pivot around the needs of the market and have a longstanding strategy that is organized around workforce development. They have put themselves and the Dayton Region on the national map with their successful Unmanned Aerial Systems pilot training curriculum and now naturally want to expand their existing two-year aviation degree to include more advanced training to meet the needs of the region. Their objectives take nothing away from the other colleges and universities in the state who offer a similar degree. We would not appreciate having limited educational choices for a career in nursing or engineering, why should we in this case?