Bachelor of Applied Science in Unmanned Aerial Systems

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

Comments

Comment: 
Thank you for the RFI package and the fact pertaining to the Sinclair's B.S. UAS program. We look forward to the teaming, and hiring of Sinclair students at all levels (interns/coops, associates degrees and new bachelor degree) and graduates, too. Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions, or regards to the our company and assistance to Sinclair's program(s). Regards, Kent J. Tiffany, CEO Unmanned Solutions Technology, LLC.

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: 
The proposed offering by Sinclair College of a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) is an appropriate extension of the current Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in UAS offered at Sinclair, especially since there is currently no bachelor's level degree in UAS available from any academic institution in Ohio. The proposed degree program will build on the solid foundation already in place at Sinclair and will add knowledge, capability and benefit to the graduates, employers and the economic vitality of UAS technology and applications throughout Ohio and beyond. We at JXT Applications, Inc. look forward to an increasingly productive working relationship with the Sinclair UAS Program and the graduates it produces. With best regards, Terrell Fulbright, President/CEO, JXT Applications, Inc.

Comment: 
Sirs, I have been watching Sinclair grow their expertise in UAS technology since the inception of their UAS center. Having traveled around the US and have not yet seen a more complete teaching and laboratory facility. It is clearly, the best in the US and perhaps the best in the world. Not only does Sinclair have a top-notch facility, they back up their operation with outstanding faculty. Many of the professors and instructors come from the real world first. They bring practical and contemporary knowledge to the science and art of designing, building, and operating unmanned aircraft systems. Sinclair maintains their current knowledge base by working with the newest technologies and the companies that provide products and services in the UAS world. Recently, Sinclair's facility and students engaged in experiments relating to real-life, advanced applications technology that contributed to the advancement of UAS technology. Many major universities do not do these sorts of projects. Being a leader in UAS design and manufacturing, SelectTech GeoSpatial LLC sees an exponential growth in the UAS word. Competent engineers and technicians in this world will be needed. I am a product of an engineering technology degree from Fairmont State College in WV. This degree has served me well in many aspects. I strongly recommend that the Ohio Department of Education grant Sinclair the opportunity to offer a BS degree in the science of UAS.

Comment: 
Sinclair Community College (SCC) should have a Bachelor's Degree in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). I am a recent graduate from SCC getting the Associates degree in UAS. When looking at four year degree schools for UAS, the universities I have talked to say they can not compete with SCC's UAS program, and they wish they can change their program to align it with SCC's curriculum. Many people working in the UAS industry who have visited colleges also comment about Sinclair being the best school in teaching safe and efficient UAS operations.

Comment: 
Sinclair Community College has made real-world experience and technical application of UAS study a core component of their program. In an industry that is developing and growing, SCC has strived to become a leader in an academic subject where the book is currently still being written. SCC has been incredibly successful in their endeavor and their students are walking away with increasingly more relevant experience and academic exposure than other 4-year institutions. The faculty has sought expertise from a myriad of sources and has established an excellent certificate program. The next level in providing for their students’ future development is being able to offer a 4 year Bachelor’s Degree. This will make SCC one of a few programs leaning forward in this growing industry. Having witnessed the development of SCC’s program over the last 5 years, they have truly leveraged the capability to provide the expanded educational opportunity of a Bachelor’s program. We highly endorse SCC’s ability to take this program to new heights.

Comment: 
The Sinclair Board of Trustees fully supports the development of a bachelor’s of applied science degree in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This degree has been developed in partnership with area employers such as Dixon Industries and Unmanned Solutions Technology, LLC, and is designed to fill jobs in the Dayton Region. Dayton is historically noted as the cradle of innovation in flight, and Sinclair recognized early on the impact UAS would have on industries such as agriculture, emergency response, public safety and more. The college is committed to being at the cutting edge of UAS training and research support. We have the distinction of being the only community college in the nation invited to be included in the FAA ASSURE UAS Center of Excellence, and we have the first indoor flying pavilion built specifically for UAS training and with the strong support of the state of Ohio. For individuals interested in a career in UAS, the demand is emerging and high. Sinclair students completing an Associate’s degree are finding jobs immediately due to the limited number of institutions offering instruction and the increasing need for UAS skills. As of 2017, no UAS bachelor degrees are being offered at any Ohio public universities. This lack of opportunity for higher-level credentials is creating a skills gap for technical leads and supervisors. Because of our already established Associate’s degree, Sinclair has the qualified faculty and staff to develop, manage and deliver an advanced degree for students seeking to obtain higher-level credentials. 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 application indicates that an external entity would develop curriculum, which raises questions about faculty involvement, and overall quality and value of the program.