Ozarka College in northern Arkansas will offer an Associate of Science degree program in aviation beginning in the fall 2015 semester, the college announced.
The program will take students through the private pilot certificate and will include additional coursework such as aviation weather and air traffic control, according to Nick Lenczycki, who was recently appointed director of aviation at the community college. Ozarka has formed a transfer partnership with Henderson State University so that students may transfer to a Bachelor of Science degree program in aviation and continue on through their instrument rating and commercial certificate with single- and multiengine ratings, he said.
Lenczycki, a Gold Seal certificated flight instructor and advanced ground instructor, told AOPA that the school plans to start out with a fleet of three Cessna 172s based at the Melbourne Municipal Airport and one training device. The expected cost for the two-year degree program, including private pilot training, is $12,500.
The school emphasized that a professional pilot program prepares students for a career where they may reside in one location and work from another, providing opportunities in a region that does not have large-scale industry-based employment. According to Lenczycki, it’s perfectly suited to students looking to grow professionally and remain in the area.
“Our focus is primarily on creating life-changing opportunities for students,” he said. Ozarka is accepting applications for the fall semester, and Lenczycki said more than two dozen students have expressed interest in the program. The school plans to have about 20 students enter the program each year.
Ozarka’s Part 141 approval is pending for the Melbourne location at Ozarka’s primary campus, Lenczycki said, but the college may consider expanding to other locations if there is interest.