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N.C. flight school boomingN.C. flight school booming

2009 class at Lenoir Community College's Aviation Management & Career Pilot Technology Department 2009 class at Lenoir Community College's Aviation Management & Career Pilot Technology Department.

Even in these tough economic times, the Aviation Management and Career Pilot Technology Program at Lenoir Community College (LCC) in Kinston, N.C., has seen a 50-percent increase in enrollment from August 2007 to January 2009.

Program Head Richard Corman attributes that to the long-standing tradition at LCC.

“In the program, spanning more than 30 years, we have produced countless aviation professionals in several areas such as professional pilots, both military and civilian, aviation managers, and air traffic controllers,” he said.

The curriculum prepares individuals for a variety of aviation and aviation-related careers. The course work includes fundamentals of flight, aerodynamics, aircraft performance, meteorology, navigation, federal regulations, aviation management, and instrument and commercial ground training. For optional course work, students may choose flight and simulator training or business management training.

Another part of the program’s success, according to Corman, is their articulation agreement with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at its satellite campus at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, N.C.

“Most students transfer right after they obtain their associates in applied science degree from us. They move on to enroll in classes and earn a bachelor’s degree in professional aeronautics or technical management,” he said, adding that the required courses are typically fulfilled in about two years after students leave LCC, which makes the total time they spend in college four years.

“I feel that it’s necessary for students to earn a degree in aviation because it gives them a greater understanding and insight into the aviation industry,” said Corman. “By completing a degree in aviation it shows potential employers that you’re serious about your craft and you probably have a more thorough understanding of different areas of aviation, not just flying or managing aircraft.”

Students currently do not pay more than $723.65 per semester for in-state tuition, which allows most of them who need financial aid to apply for small loans or apply to many of the available scholarships and grants through the college to help or completely fund their college expenses.

If they are enrolled full-time in the program, students may receive a discount for flight training.

“Henley Aviation has become our official partner for the flight training needs of our career pilot technology students, although they can still fly at any flight school they choose. This partnership marks the first time in more than 15 years that LCC has an official link between the classroom education and flight education,” said Corman.

For distance education students, Corman said the program has begun building online courses and by August 2009 almost 20 percent of all required classes for the associates in applied science degree will be online and will be 100 percent online within one to two years.

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