The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and Fox Valley Technical College will sign a transfer articulation agreement on July 12 that will allow students in aviation programs at FVTC to transfer a block of credits into the new aviation management emphasis at UW Oshkosh.
“This new emphasis, which was designed with the needs of pilots in Wisconsin and across the United States in mind, focuses on the business side of the industry,” Karen Heikel, assistant vice chancellor at UW Oshkosh, said.
The agreement will be signed Thursday, July 12 at 3 p.m. at the EAA museum in Oshkosh in the Fergus Plaza. The aviation management program is accepting students for September 2012.
The online aviation management program is an emphasis in the Bachelor of Applied Studies, which is for students who have already completed an associate degree in an aviation related field through a technical college.
Aviation management students will gain leadership and management skills as they focus on airline management, aviation law and labor relations, aeronautics systems analysis and more.
“This program will increase the knowledge base of pilots and airplane technicians,” Heikel said. “Students will gain from a leadership-focused bachelor’s degree that they can add to their technical-focused associate degree.”
According to Jared Huss, lead instructor of aeronautics at FVTC, now is the time for pilots and technicians to continue their education.
“A forecast of nearly 500,000 pilots will be needed through the year 2030 worldwide, and technicians are looking at similar shortages, Huss said. “With movement like this in the industry, the opportunities for someone with a bachelor’s degree are endless.”
Kodye Shier, FVTC graduate and current UW Oshkosh student, agrees that earning a bachelor’s degree increases opportunities for pilots.
At just 22 years old, Shier is working as a flight instructor intern and is taking classes in the Bachelor of Applied Studies program at UW Oshkosh.
“Sometimes companies don’t say that they require a bachelor’s degree, but they do,” Shier said.
Shier’s goal is to work for a legacy airline, such as Delta or Southwest Airlines.
The agreement between the two institutions presents a package to students not available through traditional, four-year flight schools.
“By completing FVTC’s aviation training programs first, our graduates are able to start working after graduating in two years,” Huss said. “They can then be employed anywhere in the world, while at the same time complete this degree completely online through UW Oshkosh.”
According to Shier, other four-year flight schools are a lot more expensive, and FVTC offers the same thing, if not more when it comes to flight training.
“You actually get more ratings at FVTC, and the fact they have an agreement with UW Oshkosh really saves a lot of the cost,” Shier said.
The program is currently open for enrollment, and the first courses begin in September. The aviation management emphasis is delivered through the Division of Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement.